Category Archives: Platform

Combining some super addictive and challenging physics puzzling with four classes of the cutest zombies, Artifex Mundi’s Deadlings [$1.99] is a joy to play. In a similar fashion to Lemmings, you, as the player, must navigate each of the zombie babies around and across the most death-defying traps in an attempt to "train" your minions...

Dawn of Play’s Roll Back Home [$1.99] doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel when it comes to tilt-based platformers. While it has a few tricks up its sleeve in regards to the physics puzzles you do eventually take on, I’d say it’s still pretty traditional as far as the genre goes. Combine it with an impressive showing of sketchbook visuals and some pretty catchy music, and that’s really all Roll Back Home needs to be a fun game worth downloading...

If you're somewhat new to the world of iOS gaming, it's possible you haven't heard about Chris Neveu's adorable little platformer Miss Claire Garden [$0.99], which launched way back in January of 2011. However, last week the game received a massive, long-overdue update, and if you somehow have missed out on the game before, now is the time to introduce yourself to Miss Claire. The game is largely built around the mechanic of picking up items and enemies that will be instantly familiar to fans of Super Mario Bros. 2, or at least the non-Japanese version of it (which is actually a game called Doki Doki Panic that was reskinned with Mario characters and released as Super Mario Bros. 2 outside of Japan). Miss Claire Garden takes the item-picking-up idea and runs with it, and the original 2011 release is considered by many to be one of the top platforming games on iOS...

I always enjoy it when a sequel makes a strong effort to surpass its predecessor without losing the core concepts that worked in the first place. Bloo Kid [$1.99], released in 2011, was a vaguely Bubble Bobble-like single screen platformer where you had to clear the screen of enemies by bouncing on their heads to finish each stage. The controls were pretty decent, the graphics were colorful and cute, and there were 84 stages with a few goals on each, so if you enjoyed it, there was a fair bit to chew on. That said, single screen platformers, while enjoyable, were knocked nearly into extinction when Super Mario Bros. first came around, approximately 25 years or so before Bloo Kid tried to get some attention with a fairly rote take on the concept. When Bloo Kid 2 [Free] popped up on my radar, I assumed that like many sequels, this was going to be little more than a level pack with a few new things stapled on at best...

One of my very favorite platformers, Renegade Kid's Mutant Mudds [$8.99], is currently free on the App Store. Originally released on the Nintendo 3DS in January of 2012, Mutant Mudds made its debut on the App Store in December of that same year, and proved to be quite a hit. It's more of a slow-paced action platformer, as you'll need to take your time and make precise jumps in order to get past the many enemies in the game. It's very challenging, but also very satisfying. There's a hint of Metroidvania in it too, as you'll slowly unlock and upgrade new weapons and abilities that allow you to revisit previous levels and gain access to new areas. Finally, one of its key elements is the ability to jump in-between three levels of depth in the environment. There's a normal middle plane, a farther away plane in the background, and even an extreme close-up foreground plane. It's a neat effect, but it also ties into much of the puzzling and exploring in Mutant Mudds...

Ravenous Games first landed on people's radars with the awesome League of Evil [$1.99] a few years back, but it's pretty safe to say their output has been a bit of a mixed bag overall since. Looking at their last couple of releases, Random Runners [$0.99] was a complete misfire, and before that, League of Evil 3 [$1.99] was a pretty uninspired sequel. This developer is in need of a comeback, and I'm happy to report that at the very least, their latest title, Devious Dungeon [$1.99], shows slightly more creativity in concept than those two. It's more than a little similar in feel to their hit Random Heroes games, but the idea works far better here...

Ghost hats, packs of vicious dogs, and strutting ostriches. If you’re giving me a strange look, then you haven’t heard of Floyd’s Worthwhile Endeavour [Free], a platform game that utilizes a combination of magnificent 19th Century photography and bizarre elements to concoct one of the most eccentric and fascinating games you will ever lay eyes upon...

Ninja games! One might say there are not enough of them out there, if one were the sort of person who needed a new ninja game every hour of every day for the rest of one's life. It might seem silly that there are so many games featuring them, but like their equally overplayed colleagues, zombies, it's really just because they (or at least the pop culture image of them) fit video games almost perfectly. While zombies are great for letting a player cut loose on a crowd of human-like figures without any of the messy moral implications, ninjas are great shorthand for a nimble character who could potentially have any tools at his or her disposal. If a ninja pulls out a smoke bomb, we don't question it. If a ninja launches a grappling hook at the ceiling Batman-style, hey, it just works. Wall-jumping is really hard in real life, but if anyone can do it, a ninja can. Plus, they look really cool...

Perhaps because of how many of them are made, platformers have often turned to heavy usage of gimmicks to try to breathe some fresh air into things. Whether it's the closet full of special suits from Mario's adventures or the gravity-defying antics of VVVVVV, it's strangely more difficult sometimes to find a platformer that isn't packed full of novelties. There's nothing wrong with gimmicks, of course. When used well, they can make running and jumping from point A to point B feel like something you've never done before. Still, it's nice once in a while to play a game that gives you a straightforward run and jump through cleverly designed stages. Ava's Quest [$0.99] is just such a game. There are a few little gimmicks as you play through the game's 30 levels, but for the most part, the game simply focuses on using familiar elements to present you with a pleasant challenge. Oh, and to let you know up-front, you only get four stages for free. The rest are unlocked via an IAP for $1.99...

BeaverTap Games have updated their two main "Mikey" games, Mikey Hooks [$1.99] and Mikey Shorts [$1.99], with official support for MFi iOS 7 controllers. Owners of Mikey Shorts may have noticed that the game already received a controller support update early last week… and then again over this past weekend. Well, there was some wonky issues with the controller support in those first two updates, but today's update seems to be right on target. As such, the sequel Mikey Hooks has received the same controller support update...

Sometimes, old school gamers just want to kick back and relax with a retro platformer. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that, but it's tough to find a really great control scheme barring a controller option, as precision is often synonymous with the platforming genre. While it may not employ the perfect solution, Foxtrot! [$1.99] does a great job of keeping the old school spirit alive...

In an age of horse armor and pay gates, the debate for and against monetization in games rages on. Jan Tomasik is a big fan of genres unique to the platform, namely endless runners, but not as keen on the over-monetization that too often favors money-making opportunities for the publisher at the expense of design and fun. Tomasik decided to team up with his girlfriend to create a game free of freemium trappings. That game is Cloudbreakers [$0.99], and it is an absolute blast...

The worst thing about Platforms Unlimited is that it denies you vengeance. My fellow run-and-jumpers know what I'm talking about. You die at a certain point in a platformer, so you retry, and you die again, and again--until at long last, something clicks, and you bound over the pit, or enemy, or whatever-it-was that had sapped so many lives from your once-ripe supply of continues. But that's, like, all part of the Platforms Unlimited [Free] experience, man. ..

Just a quick heads up that one of my current obsessions, Curve Digital's Stealth Inc. [$4.99], has dropped its price for the first time and can be yours for just $1.99, down from its usual cost of $4.99. You may know Stealth Inc. by the name it originally released under on PC back in 2011, Stealth Bastard. At its core, Stealth Inc. is a punishing puzzle-platformer that's built around stealth mechanics. You'll need to utilize hiding in shadows to reach the end of each level, as well as figuring out whatever blocks need to be pushed or switches need to be flipped to even reveal where the exit is...

There was something I was more excited for yesterday than any of the newly released games, and that was the impending arrival of the version 2.0 update to Slayin [$0.99]. I even stayed up until midnight hoping it would come out, but sadly it didn't. However, when I got up today, it was there waiting for me in the App Store, like a tiny Christmas morning present under the tree...

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