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Gaming 101:
Platform Games

In this series, we are learning how different aspects of video games work by playing games that offer an easy introduction to this one concept. This is designed for people new to gaming and aims to identify games with the least barriers. In this entry, we are looking at Platform games.

Platform games task the player with directing their character to jump, climb, run and avoid obstacles. Getting their name because of levels constructed of platforms from which you have to jump, these games usually introduce hazards to make the forward progress more hazardous.

Although often played with just a joystick and a couple of buttons the timing and duration of the button presses and joystick direction requires considerable skill. When combined with Simulation genre the character responds to the physical mechanics of the game world in such a way that players need to spend time learning to use their instincts and relations to progress.

These are commonly considered Action games, but platformers (as they are often called) can also be combined with Fighting or Rhythm games to create a wide range of ways (and reasons) to traverse levels. Although Platform games are usually simpler to understand. However, when combined with Open-World or Puzzle genres they can present a larger and more complex challenge to players.

This list includes 53 games from the last 33 years, with 1,862 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to play your first platform game. We break them down into the following areas:

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 16
Australian Ratings: G to R 18+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Battle, Brain Game, Collecting, Communication, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Physically Active, Platform, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Race, Rhythm, Role-Play, Sequencing, Shooting, Simulation, Sports, Stealth and Traversal
Total Likes: 1,862

1. The story of the climb

The Alto Collection

The Alto Collection is a series of games including Alto's Odyssey and Alto's Adventure. Both are action traversal games where you explore beautiful mountains, dunes and canyons on a snowboarding journey full of serenity and secrets. All you have to...

Submerged Hidden Depths

Submerged Hidden Depths is an adventure game where you sail, climb and explore the ruins of a sunken world. With light puzzle-solving and no combat, you discover a drowned city, crumbling skyscrapers and deserted villages. It's the sequel to the first...

Old Man's Journey

Old Man's Journey is a game about memory and old age. You help a grandfather figure traverse the countryside by raising and lowering the landscape. Along the way, he visits places that evoke the story of his life: a wife, a child and a love of the sea.

Never Alone

Never Alone is a running, jumping and exploring game based on the traditional Iñupiaq tale, "Kunuuksaayuka". You swap between controlling an Iñupiaq girl named Nuna and her Arctic fox companion as you complete puzzles and move the story forwards.

Journey of the Broken Circle

Journey of the Broken Circle is a rolling and jumping game about looking for a life partner. You play as a simple circle with a piece missing. As you progress by making jumps and solving puzzles, you meet partners who slot in specific abilities and...


Hue is a puzzle game where you run and jump through platforms. You explore a grey land while searching for your missing mother. The novelty is in the coloured pieces you uncover, which when matched against obstacles will cause them to disappear,...


Surmount is a traversal game about jumping, swinging and climbing your way up a challenging mountain. You play by controlling your character's jumps, moves, skills and swings to get higher and higher. It's a unique mountain climbing adventure that gives...

Dora the Explorer (Series)

Dora the Explorer video games put you in control of Dora (or Diego) to run, jump and dash your way through lightly themed stories. You play these games on older PlayStation, Wii or DS consoles, that each offer super easy controls and plenty of...

2. More than running and jumping

Rainbow Billy

Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan is a role-play adventure where you save the world from colourless darkness. Unusually, battles are won through listening and conversation rather than traditional attacks. It combines the excitement and strategy...

Thomas Was Alone

Thomas Was Alone is a jumping and puzzle-solving platform game where you control different-coloured rectangles. It sounds boring and derivative but each of the distinctly coloured shapes comes to life in the game as a character embroiled in this escape...


Wandersong is an adventure where you play a bard on a quest to gather parts of a song. Uniquely, you interact with the environment and inhabitants by singing with one of the direction sticks. It stands out not only for its start of love and loss but for...

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse is a rolling, dashing and jumping game where you draw rainbow ropes for Kirby to follow. You journey through the clay world on a mission to restore the colour that has been drained by a mysterious force. You are guided along...

JellyCar Worlds

JellyCar Worlds is a puzzle game about a car made of jelly traversing a squishy world. You use the physics properties of the car and the objects in the world to get from A to B. It's an action puzzle game that stands out for the joyous novelty of a...

3. Embark on your platforming education

It Takes Two

It Takes Two is a running, jumping and exploring game that tells the story of a young girl, Rose, whose parents are divorcing. The girl creates two dolls to represent her parents, which unexpectedly traps the clashing couple in them. You and a friend...

Spyro Reignited Trilogy

Spyro Reignited Trilogy is a running, jumping, bashing and exploring game. It’s a re-release of the classic platform games featuring the purple dragon, Spyro. The attraction is the well-designed levels, collecting and exploration. It’s an amiable...

Ibb and Obb

Ibb and Obb is a puzzle game where you run, jump, land on enemies and solve momentum puzzles. The novelty is that it's a game designed for cooperation. One player controls the green creature, Ibb, and the other controls the pink creature, Obb. The world...

Super Mario Run

Super Mario Run is a running and jumping game you play by tapping the screen to jump. Your character automatically runs and you just tap at the right time to avoid obstacles and jump on enemies. It sounds too simple to be fun but is actually a cleverly...

Doodle Jump (Series)

Doodle Jump is a jumping video game where you guide a hand-drawn four-legged creature up an endless series of platforms. Once you fall to the bottom of the screen it's game over.

Super Mario World

Super Mario World is a running and jumping game where you help Mario on his quest to save Princess Toadstool and Dinosaur Land from Bowser and his minions. Play is similar to earlier Mario games, only here the levels are larger and have vertical height,...


Downwell is a vertically scrolling platform game where you frantically shoot snail-like enemies to gain points and upgrades. You will die frequently, but that's part of the fun. Each go, you have a chance to learn from what went wrong last time as you...

Koa and the Five Pirates of Mara

Koa and the Five Pirates of Mara is a running, jumping and collecting game where you journey across whimsical islands in search of hidden pirate treasure. You explore ancient ruins, avoid dangerous traps, and defeat the pirates as you scour every inch...

Eagle Island

Eagle Island is a running and jumping adventure where you play Quill and his owl companion Koji as they uncover the secrets of Eagle Island. You work your way through levels using falconry-inspired attacks to take down enemies.

The Last Tinker: City of Colors

The Last Tinker: City of Colors is an adventure game set in the brightly painted world of Colortown. Play involves traversing the levels by climbing and battling enemies. It brings to mind classic 90s games like Banjo-Bazooie but makes the adventure...


Poinpy is a jumping and bouncing game where you play a green monster and work your way up a well. You play by directing each leap to avoid enemies and collect the fruit. It's exclusive to Netflix subscribers and from the developer of [link game/downwell...

Pyro Jump Rescue

Pyro Jump Rescue is a one-button jumping and rolling game where you are a lump of fire leaping from one platform to the next to try to catch Princess Paper. You work through levels by jumping and attaching to wheels and surfaces, being careful to not be...

4. Complete your platforming education

Astro's Playroom

Astro's Playroom is a running and jumping game that launched with the PlayStation 5. It not only showcases the PS5's new DualSense controller but offers a loveable adventure with novel interactions and considerable substance.

New Super Lucky's Tale

New Super Lucky's Tale is a running and jumping game where you play a fox on a quest to recover pages from a magical book that will save his world. Play is action-oriented but the islands and characters are full of quirky characters and treasures. It...

Kirby's Epic Yarn

Kirby's Epic Yarn is a running and jumping game starring Nintendo's Kirby character who can absorb enemies to gain their abilities and powers. It's set in Patch Land, a world made completely out of fabric. You use your platforming skills to collect...


Celeste is a platform game that requires players to use jumping and climbing moves to ascend an increasingly challenging two-dimensional mountain. You play Madeline, who is haunted by self-doubt at the scale of the task at hand. She presses on but is...

Yoshi's Crafted World

Yoshi's Crafted World is a running and jumping game where you control a friendly dinosaur, Yoshi in a hand-made world of paper-craft. You work through each level, eating or jumping on enemies while searching for hidden items and collectables. It stands...

Super Mario 3D World

Super Mario 3D World (known as Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury on the Switch) is a platform game you can play with up to 4-players in the same place. While all Mario games are good for families, this cooperative and competitive play makes it great...

Yoshi's Woolly World

Yoshi's Woolly World is a running and jumping game where you play a character in a world made of wool and other craft materials. You explore, jump and run your way around, solving puzzles and collecting items to complete each stage. It stands out for...

Super Monkey Ball (Series)

Super Monkey Ball is a rolling and balancing game where you tilt platforms to control the path of a hamster ball containing a monkey. The peculiar premise is matched with accurate challenging gameplay and some great multiplayer modes (like Monkey...

Spelunky 2

Spelunky 2 is, like the classic Spelunky, a running and jumping game where you explore mysterious caves on the moon looking for your missing parents. On your journey, you will find unique environments, treasure, and people to join you as you delve...

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is a running, exploring, puzzle game where you guide the Toad character to save Toadette from the villain Wingo and retrieve the Power Stars on each level. You navigate puzzles and obstacles, fighting enemies to reach the...

Cave Story

Cave Story is a running and jumping game styled after classic Metroid and Castlevania games of the 1980's. Unusually, it was initially overlooked until it gained popularity on the internet and then received widespread critical acclaim. The simplicity,...

5. Take platforming to the next level

Dead Cells

Dead Cells is a running, jumping and fighting game where you are escaping a prison. In a bright pixelated world you must accurately time attacks and dodges to defeat a wide range of enemies. It's intentionally hard, and you will die a lot. But each time...

Phantom Abyss

Phantom Abyss is a running and jumping game where you charge through temples to get to the exit. Your only tool is a whip that interacts with objects and can propel you forward. Along the way are numerous traps and difficult jumps to avoid. There are...

Rain World: Downpour

Rain World: Downpour, and Rain World are traversal and survival games where you play a half-cat, half-slug in a living breathing world. You must venture out and brave the other predatory creatures to find food before the rain comes and you have to hide.


AntonBlast is a frantic running-and-jumping game where you play a disgruntled construction worker who has a feud with Satan. It's reminiscent of the classic Wario Land games, as you smash through buildings, enemies, and obstacles with your hammer. It...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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