The platforming genre has been us with for more three decades and it shows no signs of slowing down. Although its bread-and-butter basics have remained the same since the first Mario games, ensuing decades have brought a lot of innovation, such as Metroid‘s exploration-heavy gameplay or Super Mario 64‘s 3D perspective. Right now, there are a lot of great platforming titles using both 2D and 3D perspective, displaying both reverence to the principles of old-school platforming and a slew of innovative ideas.
For the type of player who loves to reminisce about the undeniable charm of platformers of the early Nintendo games, there is no better option than Shovel Knight. This beautifully simple title has been ported to just about every platform under the sun, and there is a good reason why: it somehow manages to faithfully reproduce the atmosphere and gameplay mechanics of classics such as MegaMan, Zelda 2 and DuckTales, while at the same time remaining fresh enough to wow also the new-school players. Its colorful retro graphics, catchy music, incredible level design and funny story are enough to win the heart of any gamer.
Another platforming game that deserves any player’s attention is definitely Ori and The Blind Forest. Its beautiful hand-painted graphics make it look like a Hayao Miyazaki movie, but this is only one aspect of its greatness. This is a fantastic pure Metroidvania experience, with vast, complex levels full of surprises and some tricky platforming challenges. Be warned, though – it really is a game that provides quite a decent challenge, so be prepared for a little bit of frustration.
We mentioned that there are a lot of platforming titles nowadays that combine elements of old-school games with fresh ideas. A great example is Hollow Knight – a Metroidvania-type platformer influenced by Dark Souls. It boasts hand-drawn graphics that are half-cute and half-dark and lets the player explore some truly massive, labirynthine levels. Much like Ori and The Blind Forest, it can be sometimes bit obtuse and frustrating, but at the same time also immensely satisfying and artistically unique. A great proposition for those who are tired by cookie-cutter titles.
As any gamer surely knows, the Mario series is a touchstone for the platforming genre. Even few decades after Super Mario Bros., it still refuses to be outdone by the competition and Super Mario Odyssey for Nintendo Switch proves it in a splendid way. Its big sandbox levels are brimming with surprises while still providing that classic platforming fun, while it delightfully zany story will definitely bring a smile to your face. This game is in itself a good enough reason to own a Switch!
If you are interested in something truly outside-the-box, you should definitely get Limbo – a small indie game that made quite a big impression on almost everyone! Its protagonist is a small boy transported into a dark world full of terrifying monsters and devious traps. Although the game does not have any dramatic cutscenes, the gameplay itself tells quite an atmospheric and poignant story. This is definitely a thinking-man’s platforming game, as its gameplay is centered upon complicated puzzles rather than action. Combined with a spooky tone, this type of gameplay makes it quite an unique title.
Source: Acrylic Clocks