What do YOU look for in a platform game?

12-15-2012, 10:15 AM
#1
What do YOU look for in a platform game?

So I've gathered a few fans and followers with AWESOME Land and MANOS, and I another few are in the works for 2013, many bigger or more complicated, but I'm curious. What do you, personally, look for in your platform games? What makes them stand out and ensure that you buy them?

For me it's the structure - iOS games tend to do the Angry Birds thing, throw hundreds of tiny levels at you which go past faster than you can blink and rank your performance. I always think a platform game stands out when the developer shifts focus to the variety of the experience - so that you don't spend too long in one world, focusing on the same backdrops in a different layout for 10-20 different levels before you get to see anymore. I prefer the console-style platformer, where worlds tend to be varied and contain boss battles. Usually if a platform game on iOS shows screenshots of boss battles and variety then I'll pick it up.

But what about you? What makes a platform game stand out for you, and what do you think iOS is lacking in the genre?
12-15-2012, 11:22 AM
#2
Quote:
Originally Posted by DistantJ View Post
So I've gathered a few fans and followers with AWESOME Land and MANOS, and I another few are in the works for 2013, many bigger or more complicated, but I'm curious. What do you, personally, look for in your platform games? What makes them stand out and ensure that you buy them?

For me it's the structure - iOS games tend to do the Angry Birds thing, throw hundreds of tiny levels at you which go past faster than you can blink and rank your performance. I always think a platform game stands out when the developer shifts focus to the variety of the experience - so that you don't spend too long in one world, focusing on the same backdrops in a different layout for 10-20 different levels before you get to see anymore. I prefer the console-style platformer, where worlds tend to be varied and contain boss battles. Usually if a platform game on iOS shows screenshots of boss battles and variety then I'll pick it up.

But what about you? What makes a platform game stand out for you, and what do you think iOS is lacking in the genre?
Console style platformers

12-27-2012, 01:41 PM
#3
the music needs to fit the game
12-15-2012, 11:26 AM
#4
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Salem, Massachusetts, USA
Posts: 10,877
Quote:
Originally Posted by DistantJ View Post
So I've gathered a few fans and followers with AWESOME Land and MANOS, and I another few are in the works for 2013, many bigger or more complicated, but I'm curious. What do you, personally, look for in your platform games? What makes them stand out and ensure that you buy them?

For me it's the structure - iOS games tend to do the Angry Birds thing, throw hundreds of tiny levels at you which go past faster than you can blink and rank your performance. I always think a platform game stands out when the developer shifts focus to the variety of the experience - so that you don't spend too long in one world, focusing on the same backdrops in a different layout for 10-20 different levels before you get to see anymore. I prefer the console-style platformer, where worlds tend to be varied and contain boss battles. Usually if a platform game on iOS shows screenshots of boss battles and variety then I'll pick it up.

But what about you? What makes a platform game stand out for you, and what do you think iOS is lacking in the genre?
Basically I agree with you, but I would add a few things:

* personality: the best platformers have strong personalities. But also that personality is fully integrated into the gameplay. Examples: Super Mario Bros, Rayman Origins

* characters: there's a reason why Mario continues to be sell games, and why some of the most memorable platformers of the SNES era were Disney-based. They all have strong, identifiable characters. You root for Mickey in Castle of Illusions, enjoy Scrooge McDuck's antics in Ducktales. There's more to it than just getting from point a to point b.

* variety: great platformers constantly introduce new gameplay ideas, even as they provide variations of established ones.

* puzzles: not every platformer needs to be a "puzzle" platformer, but the best ones provide challenges that go beyond dexterity. They make you think, not just react.

* consistent and predictable physics. Bad platformers feel "floaty," with characters, enemies, and objects lacking the "weight" that we expect from them. That doesn't mean that the physics need to be realistic, but they should at least feel internally consistent.

* checkpoints: long levels are great, but a lack of checkpoints can lead to unnecessary frustration, particularly in a mobile platform.

Boss fights can be great, but they can also be deeply frustrating if carelessly designed. Longer levels give you room to explore, but I can think of games like Mini Dash that hook you with bite-size but wildely creative levels.

On iOS, I would say that the following hit most or all of those marks:

Wimp
Nihilumbra
Frogatto
Oscura
Terra Noctis
Wacoon!
Incoboto
Shantae
Jazz
Mutant Mudds
Crazy Hedgy
Storm in a Teacup
NyxQuest

I'm sure there are others.

Last edited by squarezero; 12-15-2012 at 11:32 AM.
12-15-2012, 11:28 AM
#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by squarezero View Post
Basically I agree with you, but I would add a few things:

* personality: the best platformers have strong personalities. But also that personality is fully integrated into the gameplay. Examples: Super Mario Bros, Rayman Origins

* characters: there's a reason why Mario continues to be sell games, and why some of the most memorable platformers of the SNES era were Disney-based. They all have strong, identifiable characters. You root for Mickey in Castle of Illusions, enjoy Scrooge McDuck's antics in Ducktales. There's more to it than just getting from point a to point b.

* variety: great platformers constantly introduce new gameplay ideas, even as they provide variations of established ones.

* puzzles: not every platformer needs to be a "puzzle" platformer, but the best ones provide challenges that go beyond dexterity. They make you think, not just react.

* consistent and predictable physics. Bad platformers feel "floaty," with characters, enemies, and objects lacking the "weight" that we expect from them. That doesn't mean that the physics need to be realistic, but they should at least feel internally consistent.

* checkpoints: long levels are great, but a lack of checkpoints can lead to unnecessary frustration, particularly in a mobile platform.

Boss fights can be great, but they can also be deeply frustrating if carelessly designed. Longer levels give you room to explore, but I can think of games like Mini Dash that hook you with bite-size but wildely creative levels.

On iOS, I would say that the following hit most or all of those marks:

Wimp
Nihilumbra
Frogatto
Oscura
Terra Noctis
Wacoon!
Incoboto
Shantae
Jazz
Mutant Mudds
Crazy Hedgy
Storm in a Teacup
NyxQuest
Mutant Mudds

I'm sure there are others.
You like mutant mudds so much you listed it twice
12-15-2012, 11:32 AM
#6
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Salem, Massachusetts, USA
Posts: 10,877
Quote:
Originally Posted by DannyTheElite View Post
You like mutant mudds so much you listed it twice
Actually, I should have listed Wimp and Crazy Hedgy twice, too .

I'll add Paper Monsters to that list.
12-15-2012, 11:33 AM
#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by squarezero View Post
Actually, I should have listed Wimp and Crazy Hedgy twice, too .

I'll add Paper Monsters to that list.
Mikey shorts should be there
12-15-2012, 11:34 AM
#8
Lol..noticed that too. Think I finally have some time later tonight to pick up Mutant Mudds.
My favorites is Frogatto, Mikey Shorts and Shantae right now...

I guess I'm more of a wimp in platformers so I prefer a lot of check points with infinite lives. Platformers that make you start from the beginning of levels are just too annoying for me.

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Last edited by tops2; 12-15-2012 at 11:37 AM.
12-16-2012, 12:29 AM
#9
Joined: Aug 2012
Location: Earth
Posts: 1,410
For a touchscreen platformer, I find that auto-runners perform the best. That's not to say manual-move platformers are not good - you've got games like Nihilumbra and Waking Mars which are simply amazing. But I don't think traditional platformers are fun on touchscreens.

Among the best auto-running platformers:
- Rayman Jungle Run
- Polara
- Wind Up Knight
- Gear Jack
- Totem Runner
12-16-2012, 12:45 AM
#10
I play primarily on an ipad, so moveable controls are a must like on Mickey Shorts and wimp.