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Gaming 101: Platform Games

In this series, we are learning how different aspects of video games work by playing games that offer an easy introduction to this one concept. This is designed for people new to gaming, and aims to identify games with the least barriers. In this entry we are looking at Platform games.

Platform games task the player with directing their character to jump, climb, run and avoid obstacles. Getting their name because of levels constructed of platforms from which you have to jump, these games usually introduce hazards to make the forward progress more hazardous.

Although often played with just a joystick and couple of buttons the timing and duration of the button presses and joystick direction requires considerable skill. When combined with Simulation genre the character responds to the physical mechanics of the game world in such a way that players need to spend time learning to use their instincts and relations to progress.

These are commonly considered Action games, but platformers (as they are often called) can also be combined with Fighting or Rhythm games to create a wide range of ways (and reasons) to traverse levels. Although Platform games are usually simpler to understand. However, when combined with Open-World or Puzzle genres they can present a larger and more complex challenge to players.

This list includes 31 games from the last 21 years, with 511 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to play your first platform game.

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 12
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB EVERYONE 10+
Australian Ratings: G to PG
Genres: Action, Adventure, Collecting, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Physically Active, Platform, Puzzle, Rhythm and Traversal
Total Likes: 511
 

 

Kirby's Epic Yarn

Release Date: 17/10/2010, updated in 2019

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Wii and Wii U

Skill Rating: 3+ year-olds

Kirby's Epic Yarn is a running and jumping game starring Nintendo's Kirby character that can (usually) suck enemies into their large mouth to gain new abilities. It's set in Patch Land, a world made completely out of fabric. You use your platforming...

New Super Lucky's Tale

Release Date: 08/11/2019, updated in 2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

This is a platform game where you play a fox on a quest to recover pages from a magical book that will save his world. It takes gameplay in a more action-oriented direction but the islands and characters are full of quirky character and treasures like...

Astro's Playroom

Release Date: 19/11/2020

Platforms: PS5

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Astro's Playroom is a running and jumping game that launched with the PlayStation 5. It not only showcases the PS5's new DualSense controller but offers a loveable adventure with novel interactions and considerable substance.

Thomas Was Alone

Release Date: 18/04/2013, updated in 2014

Platforms: PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii U and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Control different-coloured rectangles in this simple running, jumping and puzzle solving platform game. It sounds boring and derivative but each of the distinctly coloured shapes comes to life in the game as a character embroiled in this escape story...

Wandersong

Release Date: 27/09/2018, updated in 2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

In Wandersong you play a bard on a quest to gather parts of a song. Uniquely, you interact with the environment and inhabitants by singing. Controlled by one of the direction sticks, you can access different notes on the coloured ‘Song Wheel’. This...

Never Alone

Release Date: 18/12/2014

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Never Alone is a running, jumping and exploring game based on the traditional Iñupiaq tale, "Kunuuksaayuka". You swap between controlling an Iñupiaq girl named Nuna and her Arctic fox companion as you complete puzzles and move the story forwards.

Celeste

Release Date: 23/01/2018, updated in 2018

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Celeste is a platform game that requires players to use jumping and climbing moves to ascend an increasingly challenging two-dimensional mountain. You play Madeline, who is, perhaps unsurprisingly, haunted by self-doubt at the task in hand. She presses...

LocoRoco

Release Date: 23/06/2006

Platforms: PS Vita, PS4 and PSP

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

This creates a world of plants and creatures to investigate. The novelty, besides the character’s singing and cute aesthetic, is that you control the game with just two buttons, tilting and bumping your characters through each level.

Spyro Reignited Trilogy

Release Date: 03/09/2018

Platforms: DS, GameCube, PC, PS2, PS4, Switch, Wii and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Spyro Reignited Trilogy is a running, jumping, bashing and exploring game. It’s a re-release of the classic platform games featuring the purple dragon, Spyro. The attraction is the well designed levels, collecting and exploration. It’s an amiable...

Disney Pixar Toy Story

Release Date: 30/09/2010

Platforms: DS, PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, PS5, PSP, Wii and Xbox 360

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Toy Story 3 (Toy Story 3: The Video Game) is a running, jumping and exploration game from the developers who went on to make Disney Infinity. It is loosely based on the film and features the voice cast from the film.

Super Mario 3D World

Release Date: 21/11/2013, updated in 2013

Platforms: Switch and Wii U

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Super Mario 3D World (known as Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury on the Switch) is a platform game you can play with up to 4-players in the same place. While all Mario games are good for families, this co-operative and competitive play makes it great...

Yoshi's Crafted World

Release Date: 29/05/2019

Platforms: Switch

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Yoshi's Crafted World is a running and jumping game where you control a friendly dinosaur, Yoshi. You work through each level, eating or jumping on enemies while searching for hidden items and collectables.

Yoshi's Woolly World

Release Date: 25/06/2015, updated in 2017

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS and Wii U

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Yoshi's Woolly World is a platform game of knitted yarn. You explore, jump and run your way around, solving puzzles and collecting items to complete each stage.

Super Mario Run

Release Date: 15/12/2016, updated in 2017

Platforms: Android and iOS

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Super Mario Run is a running and jumping game you play by tapping the screen to jump. Your character automatically runs and you just tap at the right time to avoid obstacles and jump on enemies. It sounds too simple to be fun but is actually a cleverly...

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (Series)

Release Date: 13/11/2014, updated in 2018

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Switch and Wii U

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is a running, exploring, puzzle game where you guide the Toad character to save Todette from the villain Wingo and retrieve the Power Stars on each level. You navigate puzzles and obstacles, fighting enemies to reach the...

Super Monkey Ball (Series)

Release Date: 23/06/2001, updated in 2021

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Android, DS, PS Vita, PS4, PS5, Switch, Wii, Xbox, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Super Monkey Ball is a rolling and balancing game where you tilt platforms to control the path of a hamster ball containing a monkey. The peculiar premise is matched with accurate challenging gameplay and some great multiplayer modes (like Monkey...

The Smurfs Mission Vileaf

Release Date: 26/10/2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

The Smurfs Mission Vileaf is an exploration running, jumping and shooting game. You battle the wizard Gargamel to free imprisoned Smurfs and return the sarsaparilla fields to health. to do this you must track down the ingredients for the antidote.

Hue

Release Date: 30/08/2016

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Hue is a puzzle game where you run and jump through platforms. You explore a grey land while searching for your missing mother. The novelty is in the coloured pieces you uncover, which when matched against obstacles will cause them to disappear,...

Journey of the Broken Circle

Release Date: 18/09/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Journey of the Broken Circle is a rolling and jumping game about looking for a life partner. You play as a simple circle with a piece missing. As you progress by making jumps and solving puzzles, you meet partners who slot in specific abilities and...

Rolando

Release Date: 03/04/2019

Platforms: Mac and iOS

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Rolando is a puzzle-adventure game where you control the ball-like Rolandos. You direct the collection of creatures through levels by tilting the device and interacting with elements like conveyor belts and elevators via the touch screen. It's a lovely...

Aurascope

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Aurascope is a retro running and jumping game that combines elements from other genres. The platform action is central but you also have a lot of collecting and exploration to do. As much as the gameplay, the game stands out for its fast skill-based...

Doodle Jump (Series)

Release Date: 06/04/2009, updated in 2020

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Amazon Fire, Android, DS, Xbox 360 and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Doodle Jump is a jumping video game where you guide a hand-drawn four-legged creature up an endless series of platforms. Once you fall to the bottom of the screen it's game over.

Cave Story

Release Date: 20/12/2004, updated in 2018

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, DS, Mac, PC, Switch and Wii

Cave Story is a running and jumping game styled after classic Metroid and Castlevania games of the 1980's. Unusually, it was initially overlooked until it gained popularity on the internet and then received widespread critical acclaim. The simplicity,...

Splitter Critters

Release Date: 15/05/2018, updated in 2021

Platforms: Android, PC, Switch, iOS and iPhone, iPad

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Splitter Critters is a puzzle game where you cut up the world to connect platforms and get to the exit. You split and rearrange each level so you can avoid deadly lasers and create floating swimming pools to guide alien critters back to their spaceship.

Greak: Memories of Azur

Release Date: 17/08/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Greak: Memories of Azur is running, jumping and sword fighting game. You play in a hand-animated world as three siblings: Greak, Adara and Raydel who travel through the lands of Azur. It's unusual because you switch control between each of them to use...

Marsupilami: Hoobadventure

Release Date: 16/11/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Marsupilami: Hoobadventure is a comic book inspired running and jumping game with some puzzles.
You jump on and over platforms, avoid spikes and other hazards while you collect special items to unlock extra areas and secret levels. It's unusual...

The Plucky Squire

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC, PS5, Switch and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

The Plucky Squire is an adventure where two dimensional storybook character, Jot, discovers the three dimensional world. Play involves battling enemies and exploring the world, on the book pages, surfaces of objects in the real world, and out in the...

Islets

Release Date: 24/08/2022

Platforms: PC, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Islets is a running and jumping game about a small mouse exploring a sky kingdom to reunite a fragmented world. You play be defeating enemies in each area to gain powers that let you delve further into the world. It's like other Metroid-style games with...

Pyro Jump Rescue

Release Date: 25/08/2014, updated in 2017

Platforms: Amazon Fire, Mac and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Pyro Jump and Pyro Jump Rescue are a one button jumping and rolling game where you are a lump of fire leaping from one platform to the next to try to catch Princess Paper. You work through levels by jumping and the attaching to wheels and surfaces,...

SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake is a whimsical running and jumping game based on the longstanding Nickelodeon cartoon. In a magical world of pirates and cowboys you run, jump and glide through several different areas, fighting enemies and...

Worldless

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Worldless is a running and jumping game where you explore a strange, shapeless world and fight monsters in turn-based combat. Starting almost formless, you steadily gain a plethora of abilities to dash, glide, jump and run through the levels, and a...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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