The oxymoronic thing about platforming games is that they are extremely simple, with most of them rarely ever needing all of the buttons that take up controllers these days. But at the same time, so many games in the genre are released that push gameplay forwards in such a way that there is a huge paradigm shift in the gaming industry.
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Through no fault of their own, many platforming games that arent Super Mario fall by the way side. But luckily enough, there are other developers who are influenced by those games that go on to create highly influential games of their own for the next generation, and here are five examples of each.
With much of its production chronicled in the documentary Indie Game, its clear how much of a passion project Fez was for its creator, but it went on to become one of the best games of 2012. The game inventively has 3D environments but still retains 2D gameplay. Its one of the most clever indie puzzle platformers of the century and is also known for its transcendent soundtrack, one never beforeheard in a platformer type game. There are also no punishments for failure either, as the character immediately respawns, which is growing in popularity. Fez is a unique, stop-and-smell-the-flowers type game with euphoric sound design, groundbreaking level structures, and a fascinatingly secretive lore.
After being backed on Kickstarter with huge success, gaining over 1000 backers and doubling its goal by reaching close to $20,000, the side scroller is reinventing the way the genre is played. Not only is Lore Findercashing in on nostalgia, oozing with 8-bit goodness, pixelated graphics, and classic gameplay, but its a cosmic horror and each lore scroll that is collected warps the level design in some shape or form. Playing as K.C. Morgan, a paranormal investigator, players shoot their way through a haunted mansion with a .38 revolver, and Lore Finder is one of the first LGBTQ-friendly indie games, as K.C. is non-binary.
No longer is Limbo the genre revitalising spring chicken it was seen as over ten years ago. Limbo changed the way indie games were made for a long time, owing to its minimalist design and clever puzzles. The game encouraged indie game developers to be more inventive, especially in the platformer genre. The developer, Playdead went with the less-is-more approach with distant sounds of machinery sending shivers down the players spine and its simple, mysterious, and dark look was nightmarish enough to keep gamersawake at night, being named of the scariest video games.
Being one of the most ambitious indie platform games to have ever been developed, Hazel Sky takes place on the ground, underwater, and in the sky. As players explore an island as Shane, an engineer trying to prove his worth, he is put through a series of tests on the island of Gideon where he must fix all kinds of vehicles, using the island as his workshop. Players are able to jump, climb, and swing through the island, and even soar through the skies in Shanes own inventions.
Braid remains one of the most imaginative side scrollers of the 21st century and has some huge surprises for a game that relies heavily on traditional tropes of side scrollers.
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Not only does it have one of the best video game endings, with a shocking twist after youve spent the entire game trying to save a princess, but its gameplay was a visionary leap for a type of game whereplayers learn through trial and error. Players were able toreverse time if they were about to fall to their death, something that was made popular in Prince of Persia.
Once the mascot for SEGA before Sonic The Hedgehog far outperformed him, Alex Kidd was the main rival to Nintendos Mario and was the protagonist of the successful Alex Kidd in Miracle World in 1986. Though Alex Kidd has fallen into obscurity, it is a remake that SEGA fans have been clamouring for, andAlex Kidd in Miracle World DX is not only a remake of the original, but it is also adding new game modes and offering levels from other Alex Kidd releases too.
Another original Playdead development, Inside is completely unrelated to Limbo, but it shares similar haunting themes and a spine-tinglingatmosphere. The game is mostly silent except for the odd sound effect, and the environment is very surreal. Playing a young boy, players can take the form of other NPCs that are encountered along the journey to complete some of the most intricate puzzles, which is one of the reasons why Inside was named the best IP from this generation of consoles,
The most immediate And positive response to Minute of Islands is its vibrant art style, highly resembling the look of Adventure Time. Minute of Islands is a stunning playable cartoon, which is apparently very story driven, and is from a studio that previously only worked on graphic adventures. In the game, players can explore huge open islands and caves as the mechanic, Mo. The puzzle platformer follows Mo as she must restore the world whileit is on the brink of destruction.
Prince of Perisa is best known for rewinding time, saving for needless deaths like youd see in games like Tomb Raider, and it was an easy fix. It is one of the most inventive titles of the past 20 years. While the Prince of Persia series hasnt necessarily been officially cancelled, it has laid dormant for over 10 years. Ubisoftplay it safe, continuously workingon a specific list of bi-annual AAA action games such as Assassins Creed, FarCry, and Watch Dogs.
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And though those games range from good to great, Prince of Persia feels left out. As there is some implementation of parkour in Assassins Creed, which was one of the best parts of Prince of Persias gameplay, it might be unlikely that well see another one. Prince of Persia: Escape was recently released for mobile, but it is a runner game much like Temple Run, which ishardly the same.
Though the original Spelunky is known as one of the hardest games of all-time, it isnt the reason why gamers are still playing it to this day. The game is filled with so many secrets that players are only now discovering over 12 years since the games release. The original has become a modders haven, adding new levels and obstacles, The gamehas become one of the most niche gaming communities there is, which is why the sequel is focusing so much on an online multiplayer mode, so that the rich community of fans can play through the game together.
NEXT: Every Mario Platformer Ranked By How Long They Take To Beat
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