About Platform Games
Amidst other captivating sub-genres in the gaming universe, we have platform games. Designed to provide an immersive gaming experience, this genre revolves around a game character who navigates skillfully across various platforms. The term "platform game" or "platformer" is embedded in the fact that the player must move the character between platforms, collecting items to advance. Metaphorically, the concept could be likened to navigating the various facets of life's events, similar to platforms, with each jump representing overcoming life's challenges.
The origins of platform games date back to the 1980s, spurred by the technological advances of the time. Since then, the genre has gained economic popularity among children, teenagers and adults alike. Notably, the main character in such games can range from animated animals to superheroes, with each character possessing distinctive abilities to interact with the game environment.
What types of platform games exist?
The gameplay loop of platform games is simple and linear, forcing you to move through different platforms. With this in mind, we can divide these games into two broad categories:
- Two-dimensional games: In these games, the character moves primarily in only two directions, usually left and right. A coinage from the early gaming era, this category of platform games was designed using pixel art. The games Super Mario Bros and Prince of Persia are examples of old-school two-dimensional games.
- Three-dimensional games: Recent platform video games have largely been designed using three-dimensional graphics, offering more interactive elements in gameplay. Crash Bandicoot and Super Mario 64 are popular for their immersive 3D platforming experience.
While the criticism of game opponents can be subjective, platform games invariably feature opponents of limited complexity. These opponents repeat similar moves in a predictable pattern of behavior, posing limited danger to the player.
- The interaction between the player and the enemy is central to the development of the game. Touching the enemy would cause the player to suffer a virtual injury, lose life, or even risk a game-over.
- Savvy platform game developers often install power-ups for players. These power-ups provide the player with enhanced powers or in-game bonuses. With power-ups, the player can scale higher jumps, gain stamina, or gain instant speed.
What you can learn in platforming games
Platform games increase cognitive agility and stimulate learning in ways not previously thought possible. They help develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills, and provide a cognitive platform for understanding artificial intelligence, game algorithms, and eye-hand coordination tactics.
Best Online Platform Games
- Braid: Designed with a compelling story, Braid is a two-dimensional platformer that incorporates puzzle solving. The game revolves around the character 'Tim' who is in search of a princess.
- Limbo: Limbo is a dark and eerie 2D sidescroller. The game involves controlling a character across platforms to find his missing sibling.
- Inside: Created by Playdead (the same game company that made Limbo), Inside is also a 2D platform game. The game is designed with more color and detail than its predecessor.
- Ori and the Blind Forest: This is a 2D platformer with an intriguing storyline. The player is tasked with traversing platforms, acquiring skills and unlocking secrets.
- Celeste: Celeste is an indie platform game with stunning game design. It revolves around the character 'Madeline' and involves climbing platforms around the Celeste mountain to unearth her deepest fears.
In conclusion, platform games are here to stay. Not only do they provide addictive entertainment, but they also serve as tools to innovate cognitive skills in the areas of data processing, problem solving, and decision making. An encouraging paradigm shift in the gaming industry!