When it comes to video games, one of the most classic genres of all time is the platformer. You know, like Super Mario Bros. and Sonic the Hedgehog. These are the classics, and many games try to replicate them on iOS with some success. While it's hard to get the touchscreen controls perfect for the platformer genre, there are some must-haves on the App Store if you're seeking something challenging and fun. Here are some of our favorite pics for platformer games on iOS.
- Mikey Jumps
- Goblin Sword
- Traps n' Gemstones
- Super Mario Run
- Playdead's INSIDE
- Cally's Caves 4
- Suzy Cube
- Rayman Adventures
- Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse
- Star Knight
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Mikey Shorts is one of the best platformer games of all time on iOS, and it launched Mikey Hooks and Mikey Boots as well. Each one of these games had its own unique concept of a game mechanic, such as floating anti-gravity boots and the swinging grappling hook, and the controls have always been perfect.
Mikey Jumps is the accumulation of all of these concepts into a single game, and it's absolutely delightful. BeaverTap Games has perfected the touchscreen controls for platformers, making Mikey Jumps one of the best mobile speedrunning platformer experiences out there. I've been a longtime fan of the Mikey games, and Mikey Jumps is a must for all iOS devices.
If you're looking for a challenge, then Daggerhood is here to answer your call.
With Daggerhood, take control of Vincent S. Daggerhood as he uses his magical dagger to not only deal damage to foes, but also as a way to teleport around everywhere. That's right! Vincent can simply throw the dagger, and then reclaim it by teleporting to it at the right position to escape sticky situations. It's a unique game mechanic that is simple to learn, but hard to master. Think you can steal the King's gold with Vincent and his magical dagger?
Goblin Sword has been around for years, but it's one of the absolute best action platformer games (with a dash of RPG elements) that you can grab.
An evil wizard leads an army of monsters that are invading the town. It's up to you, with an assortment of powerful swords and other weapons, to put a stop to the monsters and then face off against the wizard himself. Goblin Sword features almost 90 stages of challenging hack-n-slash platforming action, and there are a ton of weapons and relics to find, collect, and upgrade your own abilities.
Traps n' Gemstones
Fans of Metroidvania style platformer games should give Traps n' Gemstones a try. Despite being a few years old, it's still a classic.
With Traps n' Gemstones, you'll be exploring the depths of a pyramid for precious relics and treasure. Use your weapons, such as a chain whip, to fend off enemies as you recover ancient relics and use mine carts to discover secret areas that are otherwise unreachable. The pyramid is large and vast, so there's plenty of rooms to discover and explore freely in this epic adventure.
Super Mario Run
As far as platformers go, you can't go wrong with the one that started it all, now optimized for mobile devices: Super Mario Run.
Super Mario Run takes the classic Mushroom Kingdom and your favorite plumber to new levels. It's optimized for mobile devices, so Mario auto-runs, but you're still in charge of when he jumps, collects coins, and more. There are different game modes to try as well, and you can challenge your friends.
When you want a visually beautiful platforming experience, there's Oddmar.
Oddmar is one of the most visually pleasing platformers that you'll be able to find on the App Store. All of the levels are hand-crafted with stunning graphics, and the story is told through a motion comic. There are only 24 levels, but they're filled with challenging puzzles that get your brain going, and the entire world is immersive and captivating. Help Oddmar prove himself worthy as a Viking in Valhalla.
Playdead's INSIDE is a follow-up to LIMBO, and it's a 2D puzzle platformer that's even better.
While the game appears dark and gloomy, it's beautiful with the art style, and it only expands on its predecessor. The puzzles that you must solve are devious and challenging, and the visuals just feel like something you would see in an art museum. It's an award-winning game that everyone should experience for themselves. The beginning of the game is available for free, and if you like it, you can purchase the rest of the game.
While VVVVVV may look simple, it's quite a challenge.
VVVVVV comes from Super Hexagon creator, Terry Cavanagh. It's been around for some time, but it's a classic that every platformer fan should give a try at least once. The graphics are bright and colorful, but the stages take skill and practice to get through. It's tough-as-nails but so very rewarding once you get through a stage that you've been stuck on.
Itching for a platformer that is unlike anything you've played before? Enter the world of Salt in Dandara.
Dandara is the only one who can save the citizens of Salt from oppression and isolation. Salt is a Metroidvania-like city of connected rooms and areas, and Dandara herself defies gravity. Help her jump across floors, walls, and ceilings to save her people while eliminating her enemies in the process. The controls are well done in this title, and while it takes practice, everything is fluid and unhindered by gravity. It's quite a challenge, and you're in for a treat.
Cally's Caves 4
Cally's Caves has always been one of the better platformer game series on iOS in the past, and she continues her journey in this fourth installment.
In this latest iteration, Cally must help cure her friend, Rupert, from a curse. She travels the globe to do so and makes new friends, finds a new arch-nemesis, and will have to fight her way through a horde of enemies to save her friend. This game has nine biomes and over 300 levels to explore and conquer, 11 weapon classes to choose from, and 24 enemy types to eliminate. This is just some downright good platforming action fun.
Remember the good old days of Super Mario 64? You can get that same kind of feeling with Suzy Cube, one of the rare 3D platformers on iOS.
Some fiendish Skulls have stolen the gold out of Castle Cubeton, and only Suzy Cube can get it back. Suzy Cube features a gorgeous, bright and colorful 3D world that is an absolute delight to players of all ages. There are over 40 stages to explore and master, along with secrets to discover. Solve the puzzles, collect the gold, and overcome enemies as you make your way to the end of each stage as you recover the stolen gold.
Fans of speed run platformers are sure to enjoy HoPiKo.
In HoPiKo, a nanovirus has infected gaming systems, bringing your gaming days to an end. But there's a chance to save your HoPiKo brothers! HoPiKo is more of a twitch platformer, so you need to have quick reflexes and some skill to survive. There are hundreds of levels to get through, and each one is split up into five parts that are designed to break you. Think you're up for the challenge? Only the best players with good muscle memory will be able to achieve the best times in this intense and fast-paced twitch platformer.
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.
Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse
This game has been out for a while, 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.
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.
What are your favorites?
Platformers are a genre that pretty much everyone can enjoy to some degree. What are your favorites? Let us know in the comments!
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Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.
When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.
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