Recently, I've been playing the XBox 360 demo of Rayman Origins. It's lovely. Proper, old-school 2D platforming, with gorgeous graphics, great level design and lashings o'fun. I liked it so much, I've bought the game as a family Christmas treat.
Hey! Watch what you're doing with that thing!
But Christmas is still nearly two weeks away! What if I can't wait that long? Well, I could always head over to GOG.com, where it's possible to buy PC versions of the first three Rayman games!
The first game in the series was just called "Rayman", obviously enough, and was released on a number of formats. PC owners, though, saw a number of updates. Rayman Gold added a load of new levels, and then Rayman Forever was released, and that included fan-made levels alongside the content of Rayman Gold. Plenty of bang for your buck then... and that's the game I'm giving away this time.
The key to this lies in those white fists...
The plot of Rayman Forever sees you, looking like the weirdest snooker referee of all time, having to save your world. "What's wrong with it?", I hear you ask. Oh, the usual platform game stuff... an evil dark being has stolen the world's provider of harmony and balance! In so doing, he has allowed a range of freakish creatures to infiltrate the world, and they are capturing all the Electoons!
If this sounds bad, well, it is. It's all a bit nonsensical too, but that doesn't matter... all you need to know is you have to leap around gorgeous levels, rescuing some cute critters and smacking around some other cute critters. This is fairly simplistic to begin with, but you gain extra powers and abilities as you progress, making critter-smacking even more fun.
*whistle* Do you think if I ignore it, it'll go away?
Rayman Forever is a classic platformer, although there's not a lot in there that's new. In fact, it takes many of its ideas from existing classics (Ristar is one game that springs to mind... I think it's the hands...). It does, though, bundle those ideas together with wit and charm, and in doing so creates a classic game in its own right. It's well worth a few hours of your time, and of course, one of you can do it for free! Just post a link to this somewhere relevant (Twitter, gaming forum, wherever you hang out), and post a comment here telling me where you've posted it, and you'll be in the draw! Good luck!