Are you ready to embark on an adventure? Then get ready to explore the world of platform type games! In this article, we will dive into the exciting world of platformers and discover what makes them so addictive. From classic platformers like Super Mario Bros to modern hits like Minecraft, we will explore the key elements that make these games so beloved by gamers of all ages. Whether you’re a seasoned gamer or just starting out, this article will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of platform type games and how they work. So, grab your controller and let’s get started!
A platform type game is a video game genre where the player controls a character that runs, jumps, and interacts with the environment to overcome obstacles and enemies. The character’s movements are controlled by the player using buttons or joysticks, and the game typically involves navigating through levels or stages while collecting power-ups and avoiding hazards. Platform games can be single-player or multiplayer, and can be played on a variety of devices, including consoles, computers, and mobile devices. They are known for their challenging gameplay, creative level design, and iconic characters.
What is a Platform Game?
A platform game is a type of video game that focuses on character movement and navigation across obstacles, typically by jumping and running. The gameplay typically involves a character moving from left to right or right to left, while navigating a series of platforms and obstacles, often while collecting power-ups and defeating enemies.
Characteristics of a Platform Game
- Jumping and running mechanics: Platform games rely heavily on precise timing and spacing of jumps and runs to navigate the environment. Players must master these mechanics to progress through the game.
- Platforms to jump on and obstacles to avoid: The game environment is composed of platforms that the player must jump on to reach higher areas, and obstacles that the player must avoid or defeat. These obstacles can include pits, spikes, bottomless pits, and more.
- Enemies to defeat and power-ups to collect: Platform games often feature enemies that the player must defeat to progress, and power-ups that can enhance the player’s abilities or provide temporary invincibility.
- Levels or stages to complete: Platform games typically consist of a series of levels or stages, each with its own unique challenges and obstacles. As the player progresses through the game, the difficulty and complexity of the levels increase.
Examples of Platform Games
- Super Mario Bros.: One of the most iconic platform games, Super Mario Bros. follows the adventures of Mario and his brother Luigi as they navigate a series of obstacles and enemies to save the Princess.
- Sonic the Hedgehog: This fast-paced platform game features the character Sonic the Hedgehog, who runs and jumps through levels at high speeds, collecting power-ups and defeating enemies.
- Donkey Kong: In this game, the player controls Jumpman (later known as Mario) as he navigates a series of platforms and obstacles to rescue a damsel in distress from a giant ape named Donkey Kong.
- Crash Bandicoot: This platform game features the character Crash Bandicoot, who must navigate a series of levels filled with obstacles and enemies to save the world from an evil doctor.
- Rayman: In this platform game, the player controls the character Rayman, who must navigate a series of levels filled with obstacles and enemies while collecting helpful creatures called “Electoons.”
How Does a Platform Game Work?
Controls and Mechanics
A platform game relies heavily on controls and mechanics to provide a smooth and engaging gameplay experience. Some of the key elements that make up the controls and mechanics of a platform game include:
- Movement controls: These are the basic controls that allow the player to move their character around the game world. Movement controls typically include left, right, up, down, jump, and other similar controls that enable the player to navigate the game environment.
- Special moves and abilities: Some platform games include special moves or abilities that can be unlocked or acquired by the player. These moves or abilities can include things like double jumps, wall jumps, or special attacks that can be used to defeat enemies or overcome obstacles.
- Health and damage mechanics: Platform games often include a health system that allows the player to take damage and lose health points. When the player’s health reaches zero, the game is over. Platform games may also include various items or power-ups that can be collected to restore health or provide temporary invincibility.
- Collectibles and power-ups: These are items that can be collected by the player throughout the game. Collectibles may include coins, stars, or other items that can be collected to earn points or unlock new abilities. Power-ups may include items like extra lives, temporary invincibility, or other boosts that can help the player progress through the game.
Level Design and Progression
The level design and progression of a platform game is another important aspect that contributes to the overall gameplay experience. Some of the key elements that make up the level design and progression of a platform game include:
- Design principles: Good platform game design typically follows certain principles, such as using patterns and repetition to create a sense of familiarity and ease of use. The level design should also be challenging but fair, with difficulty increasing gradually over time.
- Platform placement and obstacle placement: The placement of platforms and obstacles in a platform game is crucial to creating a challenging and engaging gameplay experience. Platforms should be placed in such a way that they require precise timing and spacing to navigate successfully, while obstacles should be placed in such a way that they require careful planning and execution to overcome.
- Enemy placement and enemy behavior: Enemies are a common obstacle in platform games, and their placement and behavior can greatly affect the difficulty and challenge of the game. Enemies should be placed in such a way that they require careful timing and spacing to defeat, while their behavior should be unpredictable enough to keep the player on their toes.
- Checkpoints and boss battles: Checkpoints are points in the game where the player can save their progress, while boss battles are special encounters with powerful enemies that require careful planning and execution to defeat. Both checkpoints and boss battles are important elements of platform game design, as they provide the player with a sense of accomplishment and progression throughout the game.
Platform Game Genres and Subgenres
2D platformers are a subgenre of platform games that take place in a two-dimensional environment. These games typically feature a side-scrolling perspective, where the player moves left and right and interacts with the environment by jumping, running, and defeating enemies.
Classic side-scrollers are a subtype of 2D platformers that first emerged in the 1980s and 1990s. These games are characterized by their simple graphics, catchy music, and challenging gameplay. Some examples of classic side-scrollers include Super Mario Bros., Sonic the Hedgehog, and Mega Man.
Pixel art platformers
Pixel art platformers are a subtype of 2D platformers that are characterized by their use of pixel art graphics. These games often have a retro aesthetic and may feature retro-style music and sound effects. Examples of pixel art platformers include Shovel Knight, Ori and the Blind Forest, and Rayman Legends.
Metroidvania-style games are a subtype of 2D platformers that are characterized by their open-world exploration and nonlinear gameplay. These games often feature a large interconnected world that the player can explore at their own pace. Examples of Metroidvania-style games include the Metroid series, Castlevania series, and Axiom Verge.
Collectathon platformers are a subgenre of 3D platformers that focus on the collection of items and objects. The player must navigate through various levels, jumping, running, and climbing to gather these items, which can include coins, stars, or other collectibles. These items are often hidden or placed in difficult-to-reach locations, encouraging players to explore the environment and challenge their skills. The goal is often to collect as many items as possible, or to collect a specific number of items to progress to the next level.
Open-world platformers are a subgenre of 3D platformers that offer a vast, non-linear environment for players to explore. These games often feature large, open worlds with multiple areas to discover, each with its own set of challenges and obstacles. Players can choose which areas to explore in any order they wish, allowing for a high degree of freedom and replayability. Open-world platformers may also include a variety of side quests and mini-games, as well as a main storyline to follow.
Platforming-heavy Action-Adventure Games
Platforming-heavy action-adventure games are a subgenre of 3D platformers that combine platforming mechanics with other genres, such as action and adventure. These games often feature a combination of exploration, combat, and puzzle-solving, in addition to platforming challenges. Players may control a character that can jump, run, and climb, as well as engage in combat with enemies using weapons or special abilities. The game may also include a variety of power-ups and upgrades that enhance the character’s abilities and allow for new strategies and approaches to gameplay.
Other Platform Game Types
- Party platformers
- These games are designed for multiple players and often involve cooperative gameplay.
- Examples include Mario Party, Rayman Legends, and LittleBigPlanet.
- Platform racing games
- A subgenre of platformers that incorporates elements of racing games.
- Players control characters that run, jump, and glide through various tracks.
- Examples include Sonic Riders, Crash Team Racing, and Mario Kart.
- Rhythm-based platformers
- These games combine platforming gameplay with rhythm-based mechanics.
- Players must time their jumps and attacks to the beat of the music.
- Examples include PaRappa the Rapper, Dance Dance Revolution, and Beat Saber.
Platform Game History and Evolution
Early Platform Games
- Donkey Kong (1981): Developed by Nintendo and Shigeru Miyamoto, Donkey Kong was one of the first platform games that introduced the concept of jumping over obstacles. The game follows the character Jumpman (later known as Mario) as he tries to rescue a princess from a giant ape named Donkey Kong. The game was an instant hit and set the stage for future platform games.
- Super Mario Bros. (1985): This classic game, also developed by Nintendo, expanded on the platform gameplay mechanics introduced in Donkey Kong. The game featured two characters, Mario and Luigi, who could jump, run, and perform various other actions. Super Mario Bros. was a major commercial success and became one of the most iconic video games of all time.
- Sonic the Hedgehog (1991): Developed by Sega, Sonic the Hedgehog was a response to the popularity of Super Mario Bros. The game introduced a new type of platform gameplay, focusing on high-speed running and jumping, which became a hallmark of the Sonic series. Sonic the Hedgehog was a critical and commercial success, and spawned numerous sequels and spin-offs.
Modern Platform Games
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998): Developed by Nintendo, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is a critically acclaimed action-adventure game that incorporates platform gameplay mechanics. The game features an open world, a vast array of weapons and items, and complex puzzles. It is often cited as one of the greatest video games of all time.
- Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy (2001): Developed by Naughty Dog, Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy is a platformer that incorporates elements of action-adventure and Metroidvania genres. The game features a unique world with various ecosystems, a variety of weapons and vehicles, and challenging platforming sections.
- LittleBigPlanet (2008): Developed by Media Molecule, LittleBigPlanet is a platformer that emphasizes user-generated content. The game features a unique art style and a focus on creativity, allowing players to create their own levels and share them with others. LittleBigPlanet was a commercial success and received critical acclaim.
Indie Platform Games
- Rayman Origins (2011): Developed by Ubisoft Montpellier, Rayman Origins is a platformer that features a unique art style and gameplay mechanics. The game focuses on exploration, with a variety of challenging platforming sections and puzzles. Rayman Origins was a critical success and won several awards.
- Braid (2008): Developed by Jonathan Blow and Number None, Braid is a platformer that incorporates time manipulation mechanics. The game features a unique art style and a focus on puzzle-solving, with challenging platforming sections. Braid was a critical success and won several awards.
- Celeste (2018): Developed by Celeste Corporation, Celeste is a platformer that focuses on difficulty and precision. The game features a unique art style and a focus on storytelling, with a narrative that explores mental health and personal growth. Celeste was a critical success and won several awards.
Future of Platform Games
New Platform Game Trends
- Increased focus on narrative and character development
- Platform games have traditionally been focused on gameplay mechanics and challenges, but in recent years, there has been a growing trend towards incorporating more narrative and character development. This includes more complex storylines, deeper character backstories, and more nuanced character interactions.
- Continued evolution of mechanics and controls
- As technology advances, platform games are continuing to evolve in terms of their mechanics and controls. This includes things like improved physics engines, more responsive controls, and new ways of interacting with the game world.
- More diverse representation in game design and characters
- Platform games have historically been criticized for their lack of diversity in terms of both game design and characters. However, there is a growing trend towards more diverse representation, with games featuring more varied characters and settings, and more inclusive design choices.
Emerging Platform Game Technologies
- Virtual reality and augmented reality
- Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are technologies that are increasingly being incorporated into platform games. VR allows players to fully immerse themselves in the game world, while AR overlays digital elements onto the real world. These technologies offer new ways of experiencing platform games and can provide a more immersive and interactive gameplay experience.
- Cloud gaming and streaming
- Cloud gaming and streaming technologies are becoming more prevalent in the gaming industry, and platform games are no exception. These technologies allow players to access and play games on a variety of devices, without the need for powerful hardware. This opens up new possibilities for platform games, such as allowing players to access games on lower-powered devices or enabling more seamless cross-platform play.
- AI-generated game content
- Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly being used to generate game content in a variety of genres, including platform games. This can include things like procedurally generated levels, enemies, and items, as well as more advanced AI systems that can learn and adapt to player behavior. AI-generated content offers new possibilities for platform games, such as creating more dynamic and unpredictable gameplay experiences.
1. What is a platform type game?
A platform type game is a genre of video games that are characterized by the player navigating a character through a series of obstacles, challenges, and enemies using jumping, running, and other types of movements. These games often have a set of levels or stages that the player must complete in order to progress through the game.
2. How does a platform type game work?
A platform type game typically works by having the player control a character who is moving through a series of levels or stages. The player must navigate the character through various obstacles, challenges, and enemies by using jumping, running, and other types of movements. The goal of the game is usually to reach the end of the level or stage, although there may be additional objectives such as collecting items or defeating certain enemies.
3. What are some examples of platform type games?
There are many examples of platform type games, including classic games like Super Mario Bros. and Sonic the Hedgehog, as well as more recent games like Rayman Legends and Shovel Knight. Some platform type games are also designed for mobile devices, such as Temple Run and Subway Surfers.
4. What are the key features of a platform type game?
Some key features of a platform type game include the use of a character that the player controls, the use of jumping, running, and other types of movements to navigate through levels or stages, and the presence of obstacles, challenges, and enemies that the player must overcome. Other features may include the collection of items, the use of power-ups or special abilities, and the presence of boss battles or other challenges.
5. What are the benefits of playing platform type games?
Playing platform type games can have a number of benefits, including improving hand-eye coordination and reaction time, as well as problem-solving and decision-making skills. These games can also be enjoyable and entertaining, providing a fun and engaging way to pass the time. Additionally, many platform type games are designed to be family-friendly and accessible to players of all ages and skill levels.