A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
While the background story is incidental to gameplay and not incredibly fleshed out, players are presented with the notion that Rayman is working to vanquish an evil force and restore peace to the world -- a noble quest by any measure. The game also encourages teamwork, with up to four players able to embark on the journey together. More players lead to better strategy and a stronger offensive force, emphasizing how beneficial it can be to work with others.
Positive Role Models
Although he is sometimes known for antics and mayhem, in this game Rayman is a true protagonist and takes it upon himself to rid the world of evil. While this altruistic mission is usually muddled and falls secondary to the zany gameplay, Rayman does ultimately inspire a message of heroism.
Ease of Play
As with most "platforming" games, this one is easy to play but challenging to beat. There are all sorts of hazards -- lava pools, bottomless pits, etc. -- that players must avoid while figuring out how to get from point A to point B in every level. In addition, the boss fights require a strong strategy and often force players to try over and over again until they get the hang out of the enemy's attack patterns. In short, the game is accessible but requires a lot of trial-and-error to complete.
Violence & Scariness
Every level in this expansive game is littered with monsters and creatures that must be defeated in order to proceed. This sometimes leads to a cavalcade of explosions, bright flashes of color, and loud sound effects. During boss battles, players will need to attack the same creature over and over again until it is ultimately defeated. Some of the monsters are humongous and scary-looking while others are small and seemingly not intimidating. Virtually all characters, though, whether friend or enemy, are fantastical in nature and are separated from the idea of inflicting human violence. All violent content in this game is slapstick in nature.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
During the game, players will encounter female fairy creatures, which have exposed midriffs and bikini-like tops that depict their cleavage.
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There is some bathroom humor in the dialogue, with references to such themes as "farting beans" and "boogers on a stick."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Rayman Origins is a "platformer" game, which means players will go through a series of levels, each with the goal of getting from point A to point B. In addition to figuring out which way to turn through a series of winding paths and platforms, players need to avoid obstacles and defeat myriad enemies along the way. Most enemies are defeated with one hit and disappear in an explosion; however, there are also several boss battles that put players in more of a one-on-one combat situation. Much of the violence is meant to be slapstick in nature. As is common with the Rayman series, this game also contains bathroom humor. There are also human-like female fairy creatures that wear sexy outfits. What sets this game apart from most other platformers is it supports cooperative play for up to four players, which means players can work together as a team to overcome obstacles and defeat enemies.
Is It Any Good?
Rayman Origins is perhaps one of the most fun and well-crafted games in the 16-year Rayman series. After being dominated by innumerable "Rabbids" titles, it is incredibly refreshing to see the franchise make a return to Rayman's roots, where addicting gameplay, challenging platform levels, captivating scenery, and epic boss battles rule the day. The most exciting feature in this game is the ability for four players to get together and play through the game on the same screen. The process of adding players is seamless, so if you have a friend over and want to play together, the friend can join in right in the middle of your game; when he leaves, you just continue on by yourself again with no interruption to the fluidity of the game experience.
The fantastical and mythical art style that has come to be associated with Rayman is here in full force, along with the addicting and rewarding nature of the game that allows players to gain new skills and gadgets as they progress. There are dozens of characters, many of whom have been reprised from previous Rayman titles for the first time, and an exhaustive number of levels to keep players occupied and fully entertained long enough to make this game well worth it.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.