Last week’s Digital Days saw Ubisoft revealing quite an intriguing little trio of upcoming mobile games, based off their existing catalogue of franchises. Rayman Fiesta Run sees a follow up to last year’s popular Jungle Run, but Rabbids Big Bang and Assassin’s Creed: Pirates bring something brand new to their respective game series.
Rayman Fiesta Run
Coming off the back of last year’s runaway success, Rayman returns to mobiles and tablets with Rayman Fiesta Run. A short amount of play time really showed that this want to take things to the next logical level, pushing beyond what was there last year.
If you’re unfamiliar with Jungle Run, it would be easy to dismiss this as an endless running game, when it’s actually not. It’s more like a version of Rayman where someone else is holding the D-pad or stick permanently to the right, leaving you to control the jumping and punching.
However, where Jungle Run gave you one flat world to run through, Fiesta Run introduces the jump pads which bounce you to a different layer, introduces the ability to shrink Rayman down, swim and so on, adding so much more potential variety to the level design. It brings the whole thing much closer to Rayman Legends and Origins in this regard.
It also ramped up the difficulty level on the couple of levels I picked at random from the world map, but I’d imagine this was just pot luck, and we’ll see the same gradual difficulty increase as we did in the first attempt.
Rayman Fiesta Run is out later this year, and should do a good job of mixing things up and progressing from the first outing with Jungle Run.
Rabbids Big Bang
The Rabbids are a truly ridiculous bunch, as a bizzare offshoot from the Rayman franchise, which is really, really popular in France, in particular – they’re known as cretinous rabbits over there. Big Bang takes this bunch of loonies, and drops them into space, in a game which has quite a few parallels to Angry Birds Space, but manages to do its own thing.
You start each level by getting one rabbid to hit another with a baseball bat, and propel them into a particular arc, to try and collect a bunch of coins and complete the level. Very quickly, though, it introduces a limited use jetpack, other planetary bodies and gravity wells and… cows?
Yeah, that’s definitely a cow you can splat your rabbid into. I did say this game was a bit nuts, and this carries into the customisation, where coins earned through playing can be spend on buying bits and pieces of costumes to dress the rabbids up.
This looks like it could be quite a fun little physics puzzler, which will take a bit of thought and timing to weave your way through increasingly challenging levels, when it’s released later this year.
Assassin’s Creed: Pirates
It would seem that Assassin’s Creed is all about boat-y action these days – I’m sure there’s a horrendous pun to be had here – and Ubisoft have decided that mobiles and tablets should get a look in on this too, with Assassin’s Creed: Pirates.
It is going to be all boats, all of the time, as fairly early in development they realised that this was the element that worked best, and was one they should hone in on and refine. There will be a balance between combat and exploration, which can be played in either first or third person, with it weighted slightly in favour of combat, and backed up by RPG-like ship upgrades.
Unfortunately, there was no hands on time here, and actually no footage outside the handful of snippets in the trailer, but it’s a solid concept. Speaking to Julien Guérif, Script Writer for the game, he was able to give me some insights in what else to expect.
The story is set during the rough time period of AC4, but comes in the form of 2D cinematics, intercutting the boat-based gameplay. It tells the tale of Alonzo Batilla, a half-French, half-Spanish pirate, who roams the seas of a large slice of the West Indies, hunting down the lost treasure La Buse – The Buzzard.
This ties in with real life events, as many AC games do, and La Buze was a real life pirate who, coming to the end of his days threw a cryptogram into a crowd, which he claimed held the clue to the location of his ill-gotten gains. To this day, that treasure has been undiscovered, despite many surely trying to find it.
The target for this game, as with the others, is for later this year, with a good concept and sensible design behind it. However, with so little game to actually show, it does feel like it maybe wasn’t quite ready for the lime light just yet.