Best platformer games for iPhone and iPad

When you think of the mack daddy of all video games, what's the first one that comes to mind? For many folks, it's like Super Mario Bros. Platformers harken back to the video game days of yore, so it's no wonder we seek them out on current devices. If you've been craving some running and jump and dodging, then check out these dynamite platformers.

Icycle: On Thin Ice

Icycle is an App Store Editor's Choice pick and certainly redefines the platforming genre with an adventure unlike anything you've seen on the iPhone and iPad.

You essentially play as a naked man, named Dennis, who is trying to make it through mind-bending stages on a teeny tiny bicycle. Icycle's music and sound effects are top-notch and the visuals seamlessly blend art with gameplay for a very different experience. You'll traverse a frozen world that's quickly thawing in order to find love, and you'll ride through collapsing structures, exploding wedding cakes, and more crazy, surreal backdrops. If you're in for a laugh and a wild ride, definitely check out Icycle: On Thin Ice.

Rayman Adventures

Rayman is a classic. After 22 years, the franchise lives on and Rayman Adventures is another App Store Editor's Choice pick.

The enchanted forest is in deep caca because the ancient eggs that sustain the sacred tree have been stolen. As Rayman, you have to traverse the colorful in-game world to collect the Incrediballs' eggs and restore life to the sacred tree.

Gameplay is a blast and touch controls suit the world of Rayman nicely. If you love a great platforming adventure á la Donkey Kong Country or any other Rayman titles, definitely check this one out.

Platform Panic

Platform Panic is a platforming adventure through the ages. All the great heroes from throughout video game history have been abducted and you get to pit them against one another to see who is truly the greatest of all time.

This is an endless platformer, so you don't get to stop running, and levels are randomly generated, so you'll always start in the same room, but obstacles and enemies will change every time. The controls take some getting used to, but once you master them, it's fun on the bun. If you like 16-bit madness, then check out Platform Panic.

Star Knight

Take control of Naro and reclaim Gaon from the hordes of terrible monsters, while also trying to bring back the sun from Dark Dragon Nidhogg. If it sounds like a tall order, that's because it is. Star Knight is hard, but it's incredibly fun and the art is gorgeous. You can grow your character as you try to reach objectives on each stage, which all feature different terrains, enemies, and traps. There are boss battles and the whole shebang, so if you like a platformer with some meat on its bones, check out Star Knight.

Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse

This game is almost 4 years old, but it's still fun to take Mickey through the mysterious and ever-changing Castle of Illusions, which puts a fresh 3D face on the Sega Genesis classic. You're on a quest as old as time: to save the woman you live (Minnie). There are five worlds for you to traverse, where you'll face all sorts of obstacles as you attempt to defeat Mizrabel and her minions.

If you're looking to relive a classic or just love the whimsy of Disney, then check out Castle of Illusion.

Waking Mars

Waking Mars is another older game, but it deserves a place on this list simply for its depth. Life has been discovered on Mars in the year 2097 and you're sent to explore, but you become trapped in an underground cave. Harness the alien ecosystem, you must survive and explore the open-ended network of caves to decode signals, discover ruins, best monstrous aliens, and ultimately revive a once-thought-dead planet.

You get to interact with aliens, use the native vegetation to your advantage, and get entrenched in the rich storyline. If you like sci-fi, then you'll love Waking Mars.

Mikey Shorts

Mikey Shorts is a classic platformer with simple touch button controls, a familiar-looking atmosphere, and replayability out the wazoo.

You'll run, jump, and slide, collecting coins and dodging and defeating enemies all along the way. There are great underground levels, ice levels, deserts, the whole shebang. Mikey Shorts might borrow heavily from Super Mario, but that doesn't mean it's not just as entertaining (if less nostalgic). There are 84 levels across two game modes, over 170 disguises for your character, 6 environments, and tons of platforming to be had.

Doodle Jump DC Super Heroes

Doodle Jump has been frustrating iPhone owners for years, but a fresh skin makes a difference, and I love this game. In truly addicting fashion, you'll guide the Doodler ever upward in order to defeat Batman's Rogues Gallery of villains. Though the game is called "DC Super Heroes", you actually only get to play as Doodle Batman, but there are fun skins to unlock, including Batman Beyond, so it keeps the game fresh.

There are tons of villains and upgrades, and the Doodle Jump folks have even done a great job of including some of Batman's less-than-mainstream villains, like Mad Hatter, Solomon Grundy, and more. If you like Batman and you love addicting games that are best played on the toilet, then check it out.

Sonic CD

Sonic CD brings Sonic's classic 90s adventures to iOS with all the dashing, spinning, and ring collecting you fell in love with 20 years ago. In this game, Sonic arrives at Never Lake to find that Robotnik's (Eggman's) covered the place in a metallic shell, hell-bent on claiming the Time Stones as his own. To save Never Lake, Sonic will have to use the power of Little Planet and time-travel to destroy Eggman's machines and recover the Time Stones.

If you loved Sonics growing up or are just getting into the franchise, this is the perfect game, since it truly is a tribute to Sonic's history, it looks awesome on iPhone or iPad, and it's free!

Mutant Mudds

Mutant Mudds is another whacky, Mario-esque platformer that borrows from Super Mario World 3 and lets you turn 2D into 3D (sort of) by jetting between the background and foreground using Max and his sweet jetpack. Max has a powerful water cannon, which he uses to cleanse the world of the malicious Mutant Mudds (ALL THE ALLITERATIONS).

As Max, you have to go through each world, cleaning the place up and collecting all the Water Sprites, who are said to possess the power to vanquish the Mutant Mudds for good. This is a fun 12-bit platformer with neat worlds and great gameplay, and there are over 100 levels, so you won't be plowing through this one any time soon.

What's your favorite?

Sound off in the comments below with your favorite platformer for iPhone or iPad!

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