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Platformer games have been a staple in the gaming world for decades, offering thrilling challenges and addictive gameplay experiences. From classics like Super Mario Bros. to modern masterpieces like Celeste, platformers demand precision, timing, and strategic maneuvering

Whether you're a novice or a seasoned player, mastering these games requires a combination of skill and strategy. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll look closely at platformer games, share valuable examples, and present six essential tips to help you navigate through their obstacles and levels with finesse.

Cover art from the Celeste game.
Image via Maddy Makes Games

Understanding Platformer Games

Platformer games, characterized by their emphasis on jumping between platforms and navigating obstacles, come in various forms and styles. From side-scrolling adventures to 3D platformers, each game offers its own unique challenges and mechanics. However, the core principles remain consistent: precise jumping, timing, and strategic thinking are key to success.

Let’s take a closer look at some types of platformer games:

  • Side-Scrolling Platformers: Side-scrolling platformers, also known as 2D platformers, feature gameplay where characters move from left to right across the screen. These games often involve navigating through a series of obstacles, jumping between platforms, and overcoming enemies. Classic examples include Super Mario Bros., Sonic the Hedgehog, and Donkey Kong Country.

  • 3D Platformers: 3D platformers introduce an added dimension to gameplay, allowing players to explore expansive worlds in three-dimensional space. Players navigate through environments filled with obstacles, puzzles, and challenges while collecting items and completing objectives. Notable examples include Super Mario 64, Banjo-Kazooie, and Spyro the Dragon.

  • Metroidvania Platformers: Metroidvania platformers combine platforming elements with exploration and non-linear gameplay. Players explore interconnected worlds, uncovering new areas and abilities that allow access to previously inaccessible areas. Metroid and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night are prime examples of this genre, featuring sprawling maps filled with secrets and challenges.

  • Auto-Run Platformers: Auto-run platformers, also known as endless runners, feature gameplay where the character automatically moves forward, and players must navigate obstacles and hazards by jumping, sliding, and performing other actions. These games often focus on reflexes and quick decision-making. Popular titles include Canabalt, Jetpack Joyride, and Temple Run.

  • Puzzle Platformers: Puzzle platformers combine platforming challenges with puzzle-solving mechanics, requiring players to use logic and creativity to progress through levels. These games often feature environmental puzzles, physics-based challenges, and intricate level designs. Portal, Braid, and Limbo are renowned for their innovative blend of platforming and puzzle-solving.

  • Precision Platformers: Precision platformers focus on demanding precise movements and timing from players to navigate through increasingly difficult levels. These games often feature challenging obstacles, tight controls, and punishing level designs. Titles like Super Meat Boy, Celeste, and VVVVVV are renowned for their high level of difficulty and precise gameplay mechanics.

Essential Tips for Navigating Platformer Games

  1. Master the Basics of Jumping

Perfecting your jumping technique is fundamental to conquering platformer games. Focus on the length and height of your jumps and practice controlling your character's mid-air trajectory. In games like Super Meat Boy, mastering the art of wall jumps and mid-air maneuvers is essential for reaching elusive platforms and avoiding hazards. Experiment with different jump timings and heights to navigate through complex level designs. Remember, mastering the basics sets the foundation for more advanced maneuvers.

  1. Understand the Importance of Timing

Timing is everything in platformers. From dodging moving obstacles to navigating through narrow passages, impeccable timing can mean the difference between success and failure. Study the movement patterns of enemies and environmental elements to anticipate their actions and smoothly progress through levels. In titles like Hollow Knight, precise timing is crucial for defeating enemies and traversing treacherous terrain. Analyze each level's rhythm and pace, adjusting your movements to maintain momentum and prevent setbacks.

  1. Explore Alternative Paths

Platformer games often conceal secret areas and alternate routes that lead to valuable rewards or shortcuts. Take the time to explore each level thoroughly, keeping an eye out for hidden passages and collectibles. Experiment with different paths and strategies to discover the most efficient routes. In Ori and the Blind Forest, exploring alternative paths can uncover hidden abilities and enhance your character's capabilities. Use your curiosity to uncover hidden secrets and unlock new gameplay opportunities. Remember, exploration can yield unexpected rewards.

  1. Practice Patience and Persistence

Patience is a virtue in the world of platformers. Expect to encounter challenging obstacles and difficult levels that may require multiple attempts to overcome. Stay calm, learn from your mistakes, and approach each challenge with determination. Keep in mind that perseverance is crucial for mastering platformer games. In Cuphead, embracing a mindset of resilience and persistence is essential for conquering its challenging boss battles and levels. Take breaks when needed, but always return with renewed focus and determination to overcome obstacles.

  1. Utilize Power-Ups and Abilities

Many platformer games feature power-ups and special abilities that can aid you on your journey. Take advantage of these tools to overcome particularly challenging sections or enemies. Experiment with power-up combinations to find those that best suit your playstyle. In Shovel Knight, utilizing unique relics and abilities can provide crucial advantages in battles and platforming sequences. Explore and strategically use the full range of abilities to efficiently overcome obstacles and progress through levels. Remember, adaptability is key to success.

  1. Stay Focused and Mindful of Your Surroundings

Amidst the chaos of platformer levels, it's easy to lose track of your surroundings. Stay focused and maintain awareness of potential hazards and obstacles. Pay attention to environmental cues and visual indicators that may signal impending dangers or hidden secrets. In Celeste, staying mindful of the game's mechanics and level design is essential for navigating its intricate platforming challenges and uncovering its narrative depth. Observe your surroundings, anticipate challenges, and adapt your strategy to overcome obstacles precisely. Remember, awareness leads to mastery.

Navigating platformer games requires a blend of skill, strategy, and perseverance. So, if you’d like to dip your toes in this proverbial pool, follow Ape Odyssey for more gaming news, reviews, and the latest gaming strategies.


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