Like any good video game hero, Rayman knows how to move with the times. After taking a break to let those raving rabbids star in a few games, this big-nosed, limbless parkour master has returned to revitalize the world of platformers with a series of beautiful, fun, and masterfully crafted 2-D games. Rayman's recent console titles have proven to be quite the tasty bits of awesomeness, and now he's stepping off the big screen into something a little smaller: your iPad.

From the first moment this game gets started, it'll put you in the mood to party. The title screen is a joyous scene of Rayman and his pals having a mighty Mexican boogie, with bright trumpet tunes blaring and everyone dancing without caring. There's little story to speak of, it's just level after level of Rayman running automatically through a series of platforms, collectibles, and hazards. Players control the timing of Rayman's jumps and punches, the latter of which can be used to destroy obstacles and to increase the hang-time on his hops.

The levels have a huge variety to them in both structure and aesthetic; sometimes you'll be in a dark level with only silhouettes to guide you, others you'll be in a cascade of donuts and candy bouncing from rubbery treat to rubbery treat. Most stages aren't too difficult, and there are usable power-ups to help the less-skilled gamers get through (and thankfully, these power-ups are both cheap and optional). There's plenty of room for mastery, though, with a scoring system that tracks how many of the golden lums you've found per level and rewards you accordingly. You'll probably be surprised how willing you are to go back to collect more lums — the music is so cheery, the levels are so fast, fun, and varied, and the controls are so friggin' tight that you won't mind repeating the same area to get that perfect score. Plus, unlike most iOS runners, there are myriad ways to traverse each level, so even though you move automatically, you're constantly playing.

As with most iOS games, there are microtransactions... but they're entirely optional. The lums you collect in-game are used to purchase everything from new characters to artwork to temporary power-ups, but spending money to buy more never feels necessary, it's just an available option for anyone too impatient or not quite skilled enough to get everything with the substantive currency given to you.

The visuals are fantastic, the goofy, upbeat music will put an equally goofy smile on your face, and the controls are tight tight tight. Rayman Fiesta brings exactly what its name promises: a fiesta! It's fun, it's fast, and it's smartly made, perfect for anyone who wants to do a little high-speed, high-energy gaming on the go.


App Store Link: Rayman Fiesta Run for iPhone and iPad | By Ubisoft| Price: $2.99 | Version: 1.01 | 88 MB | Rating 4+

9.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating