Rayman Adventures is almost a very good game. As you’d expect from the franchise, it’s incredibly colorful and vibrant. Just looking at the screen makes you want to smile and beam at the world contained within your mobile screen. It’s the stuff that dreams were made of …sort of. But the more you play, the more you realize it suffers from some awkward controls — and more pressing are the free-to-play elements that simply muddy the waters.

Sticking to the auto-running format of its mobile predecessors, Rayman Adventures is quick to pick up. A swipe starts you off, with Rayman running until he hits something. You can swipe in either direction to change where he runs, with taps invoking leaps. Wall jumping plays a big role here as you leap around the colorful levels – but that’s also where a problem arises. While you swipe to change direction, you also swipe to lash out at an enemy.

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Soon enough, you find yourself having to jump, switch directions, AND hit an enemy. It’s a combination that all too often causes a problem. Usually you’ll slightly mistime it and run into the enemy instead of punching it. That soon turns frustrating, and leads you to a resentment of  the controls.

This is unfortunate, because when Rayman Adventures works, it’s pretty fun. There are three different types of level to deal with, including combat focused, exploration, and more puzzle-led sections. Each is suitably appealing, although I found combat did get occasionally a little tedious. More importantly though, it never takes you very long to complete a stage, meaning that this is a game ideal for mobile play. You can dip in for five minutes and still achieve something in that time.

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Unusually though, you can never replay a level once you’ve finished a group of stages. Given that this is a game full of levels that are just encouraging you to explore them more thoroughly, this is a bit disappointing. I wanted to go back and check out earlier levels again, having rushed through them without realising they were my one shot. While Rayman Adventures isn’t short on things to do, this would have really extended longevity and kept things appealing.

There’s also the presence of Incrediballs – strange creatures that can be fed and played with before being used to extend your abilities in game, such as protecting you from damage. It’s a reasonable concept, but it’s poorly explained and quickly feels like filler in a game that didn’t really need it. It forms the basis of a lot of the game’s F2P elements, though, as you work towards unlocking new Incrediballs as well as maintaining the ones you hae. You can open up eggs too, but again, it feels superfluous.

It’s annoying that Rayman Adventures is so keen to give with one hand and take with the other. When it flows well, it’s great. You’ll find yourself flying through some levels with a smile on your face, enjoying everything that goes on. Then you’ll hit a moment or two where the controls let you down a bit, and that smile fades. You carry on and you fly through some levels, but you wish you could go back to that earlier group and explore them properly. Oh, but you can’t. That smile fades more.  But hey, you can always incubate an egg!

It’s all so very close for Rayman Adventures, but in the end, you’re going to end up wanting more from it. It might look beautiful, but its increasing number of niggles let the side down in the end.