Platform through
a jungle filled with
Bright, colorful,
and cartoony 
Interesting soundtrack
that actually features
a diggeridoo 
 Simple and
Runs at a smooth
60 FPS at all times 
Replay Value
Moderate. There's a
bonus world, and you
can always go back
for more Lums. 

As a kid, I watched a lot of cartoons. Shows like Fairly Odd Parents and Spongebob Squarepants had an appealing playfulness and goofy sense of humor. There's a simple joy in watching silly adventures starring even-sillier cartoon characters.

Maybe that's why Rayman Origins is so familiar. From the hilarious opening video to the disco party at the end of every level, Rayman feels like a Saturday morning cartoon come to life. The characters look absurd. They deliver their lines in pig latin. Bad guys have funny facial expressions. It's great.

The silliness continues into the world design. Rayman must traverse a world full of ice-skating, fire-breathing baby dragon chefs; mutant birds; and worst of all, old people.

These terrifying enemies populate ten lengthy and varied worlds. Level design deserves a tip of the hat; it's one of the strongest parts of the game. Every world has a unique theme and gameplay style. You'll dive into pitch-black waters by the light of glow fish, glide on the wind, and ride waterfall slides. Worlds are long enough to feel worthwhile but short enough to avoid tediousness.

The levels within each world seem streamlined. There are a three hidden coins and two secret areas in each level. Nothing else. Compared to secret-dense games like Super Mario and Donkey Kong Country, Rayman Origins looks spartan. However, this simplified approach to level design also means you don't have to worry about going back and finding every little nook and cranny in the level. It's easier to focus on having fun and collecting Lums.

Rayman Origins takes a cue from Kirby's Epic Yarn. Death is lightly punished with a trip back to a checkpoint never more than a few feet away. Performance is instead judged on how many Lums (coins) you collected in the level. It's an inclusive approach to level design that should help younger players.

Newbies and experienced players alike will appreciate the inclusion of excellent platforming physics. Rayman's movements feel totally natural and smooth. I didn't run into a single instance of bad movement design. There's nothing that needs improving.

What do need improving, though, are the boss battles. They're not that good. The first half is flying sequences. The legitimate bosses in the second half of the game require rote pattern memorization to beat. There's no skill involved. Just see what each boss does and memorize how to dodge it.

Regardless of weak bosses, Rayman Origins is something we don't get too often. It's a kids' game that doesn't use its genre to excuse bad mechanics. It's an honest-to-god triple-A platformer that isn't named "Super Mario." It's a game with simple fun that should remind anyone of their childhood. I enjoyed it. Anyone looking for a good platformer outside of Nintendo's stable should definitely look at Rayman Origins.

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