Platformers | Platform games
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Platform games (or platformers) are for those players who like fun and colorful games, usually without intricate and deep mechanics, but always with fun and addicting gameplay, mainly consisting of running, jumping, and shooting. It’s an old genre, a subgenre of action games, and there are a ton of classic and new platformer titles on the market. Get to know this genre better and buy the best titles at a cheaper price.
What is a platform game?
In this type of video game, the main goal is usually to move your character between certain points in the environment. Platformers are known to feature a specific level design, consisting of uneven terrain and various suspended platforms. Player has to reach certain platforms by jumping and climbing to reach their goal. Also, a lot of platform games feature abilities: swinging from objects like vines or grappling hooks, jumping off walls, air dashing, gliding through the air, and much more.
What are the most common types of platform games?
There are various approaches to the genre, including 3D and 2D platformer games, but these two are of the most importance:
- Run-and-gun. Many platform games also feature combat mechanics, where you have to shoot enemies and try not to die in dangerous levels filled with foes. This type of game is called “run-and-gun”;
- Puzzle-platform. These games are platform-style, but the player has also to solve various puzzles in order to progress.
Are platformer games still popular?
This genre is quite old, and today there aren’t as many platformers as 30 years ago, but this genre still offers a fun experience both in classic and newer titles. Today, this type of game has become more cinematic: they often feature action, interesting characters, and engaging storylines. They aren’t as simple as they once were, and have merged with the third-person action genre. One can say that the well-known series Uncharted is a modern platformer, and this series can be a perfect example of how platform games are looking today. And yes, they are quite popular, so take a look at various PS4, Xbox platform games at Eneba. We have them all!
Most notable platformer games
There are a lot of popular platformers, but we recommend looking at these more notable ones:
- Contra. This is a cult-classic run-and-gun type of series that was first published in 1987 on arcades and Nintendo Entertainment System by Konami and is alive even today! These games feature a two-player co-op mode, where you have to traverse levels and shoot enemies;
- Mega Man. Another cult-classic series that entertains fans even today, but this time from Capcom. The very first Mega Man game was also created in 1987 on Nintendo Entertainment System. In Mega Man games you control a… Mega Man, and navigate him through 2D environments, where many enemies lurk;
- Metroid. And one more cult-classic series, this time from Nintendo. First appearing in 1986, the Metroid series is known for revolutionizing level design: in Metroid games, you navigate through one huge 2D level, unlock its zones and chambers, find power-ups, defeat enemies and bosses. The Metroid series is partly responsible for creating the “Metroidvania” genre, which is popular and relevant even today. Just be aware that there are more types of Metroid games than 2D platformers;
- Prince of Persia. This series started in 1989, and a lot of different developers made its installments, but the golden age of PoP was in 2003 when Sands of Time by Ubisoft Montreal was released. From this point, Ubisoft made several other PoP games that are known as one of the best platform games of the PlayStation 2 era;
- Portal. A good example of a puzzle-platformer, the very first Portal was a big surprise for the whole gaming industry in 2007, and its sequel, Portal 2, was extremely successful. Portals are first-person games, where the player has a gun that can create portals on certain surfaces. With this ability, the player has to think of ways to overcome various challenges, that are presented in games as tests;
- Cuphead. It’s time for some indie goodness! Cuphead was released in 2017 and instantly has become a cult-classic title for its amazing cartoon style and challenging difficulty. Cuphead is a 2D run-and-gun platformer, where the player has to defeat enemies and bosses in 2D levels.
History of platformer games
Take a look at a short history of these games:
- The 1980s. The earliest examples of platformers featured a static playing field and were based on climbing mechanics between platforms. Space Panic (1980) for the arcade is credited as the first platform game. It was the Nintendo-created Donkey Kong (1981) that allowed players to jump over obstacles and gaps, thus skyrocketing the company’s popularity and praise all over the world. But another Nintendo title, Super Smash Bros (1985), became an absolute top-tier title for many years to come. In 1986, Sega released Wonder Boy, a game that incorporated elements from Super Mario Bros, and merged it with skateboarding segments;
- The 1990s. In 1991, Sega released Sonic the Hedgehog for the Genesis system. It presented a new style of design that was allowed by the new hardware. Large stages, scrolling in all directions, loops and curved hills, as well as a physics system, all came together in this significant title. The character's speed showed off the hardware capabilities of Genesis. In 1996, Naughty Dog released Crash Bandicoot for the original PlayStation, and for some years, this character was the mascot of Sony, as the title became one of the most successful examples of early 3D platformers. In 1996, Core Design released the very first Tomb Raider, which presented probably the best-known female protagonist in video game history. In 1999, Crystal Dynamics presented Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, which introduced a new story, protagonist, and a new approach towards 3D platformers.