Exploring the Exciting World of Platform Gameplay: What You Need to Know

Welcome to the world of platform gameplay, where you’ll find yourself on the edge of your seat, navigating through challenging levels and dodging obstacles with every step. This type of gameplay is all about exploring new worlds, overcoming obstacles, and discovering hidden treasures. In this article, we’ll dive into the exciting world of platform gameplay and discover what makes it so captivating. Get ready to jump, run, and leap your way through the most thrilling games around!

Understanding Platform Gameplay

What is platform gameplay?

Platform gameplay is a type of video game genre that is centered around the player navigating a character through a series of obstacles and challenges in a two-dimensional environment. The objective of the game is usually to reach the end of each level or stage, while collecting power-ups and avoiding enemies along the way.

Origins and history

Platform gameplay has its roots in early arcade games such as “Donkey Kong” and “Super Mario Bros,” which were released in the late 1980s. These games were simple in terms of graphics and gameplay mechanics, but they introduced the basic elements of platform gameplay that would become staples of the genre, such as running, jumping, and climbing.

As technology advanced, so did the complexity and variety of platform games. Games like “Sonic the Hedgehog” and “Crash Bandicoot” introduced new mechanics, such as scrolling levels and advanced animations, and pushed the boundaries of what was possible in the genre.

Today, platform gameplay is still a popular genre, with new games and updates to classic franchises being released regularly. The genre has evolved to include a wide range of styles and gameplay mechanics, from retro-inspired games to more modern, story-driven experiences.

Key features of platform games

  • Running, jumping, and climbing: These are the basic mechanics of platform gameplay, and they are what set the genre apart from other types of video games. Players must master these skills in order to progress through the levels and overcome obstacles.
  • Enemies and obstacles: Platform games are known for their challenging and diverse enemies and obstacles, which players must avoid or defeat in order to progress. These can include pitfalls, spikes, fire, and a variety of creatures, each with their own unique abilities and behaviors.
  • Power-ups and collectibles: Power-ups and collectibles are a staple of platform games, and they provide players with an incentive to explore the game world and discover hidden secrets. These can include items that increase the player’s speed, strength, or jumping ability, as well as special abilities or weapons that can be used to defeat enemies.

The Evolution of Platform Games

Key takeaway: Platform gameplay is a popular video game genre that involves navigating a character through a series of obstacles and challenges in a two-dimensional environment. The genre has evolved significantly over the years, with modern platform games featuring advanced graphics, complex gameplay mechanics, and immersive worlds. Key gameplay mechanics include running, jumping, climbing, and combat and defense. The level design in platform games is crucial, with designers creating challenging yet fair levels by balancing difficulty and player skill level and designing memorable and varied environments. Platform games are not limited to a single genre and can be found in various genres, including action-adventure and puzzle genres.

Early platform games

The early platform games were pioneered by the classic games like Super Mario Bros. (1985) and Sonic the Hedgehog (1991). These games introduced the concept of platform gameplay where the player had to navigate through various levels, overcome obstacles, and defeat enemies while progressing through the game. The games featured simple graphics and limited gameplay mechanics, but they were highly addictive and became instant classics.

Modern platform games

The modern platform games have evolved significantly from their early counterparts. Games like Rayman Legends (2013) and Super Mario 3D World (2013) have taken platform gameplay to new heights. These games feature stunning graphics, complex gameplay mechanics, and immersive worlds that players can explore. They also offer a variety of challenges, from puzzles to platforming to combat, that keep players engaged and entertained.

One of the significant changes in modern platform games is the inclusion of multiplayer modes. Many modern platform games offer cooperative and competitive multiplayer modes, allowing players to enjoy the game with their friends and family. This adds a new dimension to the platform gameplay, making it more social and enjoyable.

Another notable change in modern platform games is the introduction of open-world environments. Some modern platform games feature open-world environments where players can explore and discover new areas, complete side quests, and interact with non-playable characters. This adds a sense of freedom and exploration to the platform gameplay, making it more immersive and exciting.

In conclusion, the evolution of platform games has been remarkable, from the early classic games to the modern games with advanced graphics, complex gameplay mechanics, and immersive worlds. These games continue to be popular among gamers of all ages and provide endless hours of entertainment.

Gameplay Mechanics in Platform Games

Movement and controls

  • Running, jumping, and climbing: These basic movements are the foundation of platform gameplay. Players must master these mechanics to progress through the game.
  • Double jump and wall jump: These advanced movements allow players to jump higher and further, making it easier to navigate difficult terrain and obstacles.
  • Gliding and flying: Some platform games include gliding and flying mechanics, which allow players to soar through the air and access new areas.

Combat and defense

  • Attacking enemies: Players must use various attacks to defeat enemies and progress through the game. These attacks can include basic punches and kicks, as well as special moves and combos.
  • Defending against attacks: Players must also defend themselves against enemy attacks, using techniques such as blocking and dodging.
  • Special moves and combos: Some platform games include special moves and combos, which allow players to unleash powerful attacks on enemies. These moves require precise timing and spacing to execute successfully.

The Importance of Level Design in Platform Games

Creating challenging yet fair levels

  • Balancing difficulty and player skill: One of the primary objectives of level design in platform games is to create an experience that is challenging yet fair to players. This involves balancing the level’s difficulty with the player’s skill level. Designers must ensure that the game is difficult enough to be engaging but not so hard that it becomes frustrating or impossible to complete.
  • Designing memorable and varied environments: Another critical aspect of level design in platform games is creating memorable and varied environments. This can involve incorporating unique themes, color schemes, and landscapes that help distinguish each level from one another. By creating distinct environments, designers can make the game more immersive and enjoyable for players.

The role of platforming in level design

  • Using platforming to enhance gameplay: Platforming is a crucial element of platform games, and level designers must use it effectively to enhance the gameplay experience. This can involve incorporating different types of platforming mechanics, such as jumping, running, and climbing, to create diverse and engaging challenges for players.
  • Examples of excellent platforming in levels: There are many examples of excellent platforming in levels, such as the “Donkey Kong” series’ iconic barrel-jumping mechanic or the “Super Mario” franchise’s inventive use of power-ups and environmental hazards. By incorporating creative and innovative platforming mechanics, designers can make their levels stand out and provide players with a more engaging and exciting experience.

Platform Games Across Different Genres

Platformers in the action-adventure genre

  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (2017)
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is an action-adventure game developed by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch and Wii U consoles.
    • The game follows the protagonist, Link, as he explores the vast open-world of Hyrule, fighting enemies and solving puzzles using his sword and bow.
    • The game features a unique physics system, allowing for realistic object interactions and environmental puzzles.
    • Breath of the Wild received critical acclaim for its immersive gameplay, beautiful visuals, and engaging story.
  • Uncharted series (2007-2016)
    • The Uncharted series is an action-adventure game franchise developed by Naughty Dog for the PlayStation consoles.
    • The series follows the protagonist, Nathan Drake, as he embarks on various treacherous adventures around the world, fighting enemies and solving puzzles with his wit and skill.
    • The games feature impressive set pieces, cinematic storytelling, and a mix of combat and exploration gameplay.
    • The Uncharted series has been praised for its engaging story, memorable characters, and breathtaking visuals.

Platformers in the puzzle genre

  • Portal (2007)
    • Portal is a puzzle-platformer game developed by Valve Corporation for the PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 consoles.
    • The game follows the protagonist, Chell, as she navigates through a series of test chambers, solving puzzles using a portal gun that creates portals between two points.
    • The game features challenging puzzles that require critical thinking and spatial reasoning skills.
    • Portal received widespread critical acclaim for its innovative gameplay, unique atmosphere, and clever writing.
  • Fez (2012)
    • Fez is a puzzle-platformer game developed by Polytron Corporation for the Xbox 360 and PC platforms.
    • The game follows the protagonist, Gomez, as he explores a 2D world with a unique 3D gameplay mechanic that allows the player to rotate the game world to reveal new paths and solutions.
    • The game features challenging puzzles that require the player to manipulate the game world in creative ways.
    • Fez received critical acclaim for its innovative gameplay, unique art style, and engaging story.

Tips and Tricks for Playing Platform Games

Mastering platforming mechanics

Techniques for precise movement
  • Familiarize yourself with the basic controls and movement mechanics of the game.
  • Practice performing precise jumps and platforming maneuvers in safe areas.
  • Utilize double jump and other advanced movement techniques to navigate challenging terrain.
Advanced techniques for challenging sections
  • Learn and practice wall jumping, wall running, and other advanced platforming techniques.
  • Study the patterns and behaviors of enemies and obstacles to anticipate and overcome them.
  • Take advantage of environmental cues, such as audio and visual clues, to help with platforming.

Strategies for combat and exploration

  • Identify and exploit the weaknesses of different types of enemies.
  • Utilize various weapons and abilities to overcome challenges.
  • Search for hidden collectibles and secrets by exploring off the beaten path and using platforming skills to access hard-to-reach areas.
  • Make use of the environment to your advantage, such as using objects in the environment as weapons or distractions.
  • Use the game’s camera to your advantage by adjusting the field of view and positioning to gain a better view of the action.
  • Make use of the game’s save system to save your progress and avoid losing progress due to mistakes.
  • Utilize online resources, such as walkthroughs and guides, to help with challenging sections of the game.


1. What is platform gameplay?

Platform gameplay is a type of video game genre that involves the player character navigating and jumping between platforms to overcome obstacles and reach a goal. The gameplay typically involves running, jumping, and dodging enemies while collecting power-ups and other items to enhance the character’s abilities.

2. What are some popular platform games?

There are many popular platform games, including classic games like Super Mario Bros. and Sonic the Hedgehog, as well as newer games like Rayman Legends and Ori and the Blind Forest.

3. What makes platform gameplay exciting?

Platform gameplay is exciting because it requires quick reflexes and timing to navigate through challenging levels. The thrill of jumping over gaps and dodging obstacles can be exhilarating, and the sense of accomplishment when completing a difficult level is rewarding.

4. What are some common gameplay mechanics in platform games?

Common gameplay mechanics in platform games include jumping, running, and gliding, as well as special moves like double jumps and wall jumps. Many platform games also feature power-ups and special abilities that can temporarily enhance the player character’s abilities, such as invincibility or increased speed.

5. Can platform games be played on multiple platforms?

Yes, many platform games are available on multiple platforms, including consoles, PC, and mobile devices. Some games may have different controls or gameplay mechanics depending on the platform.

6. What are some tips for playing platform games?

Some tips for playing platform games include mastering the controls, learning the level layouts, and practicing timing and precision jumps. It can also be helpful to take breaks and avoid getting frustrated, as platform games can be challenging and require patience and persistence.

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