The platforming genre with a heavy emphasis on action and side-scrolling is enjoying a second life on all sorts of systems. If applied correctly, it’s a formula that never fails and guarantees hours and hours of fun and challenge. And the mobile ecosystem is no stranger to a way of understanding electronic entertainment that was practically born with the industry and which, throughout the last decades, has left us with authentic masterpieces on PC and consoles of all generations. That’s why we want to share our selection of 2D action rigs that every user of iOS and Android devices should watch out for and if storage capacity allows, install permanently.
Adventures of Rayman
We start with a classic among the classics of these games about jumping and solving all kinds of challenges. And after Rayman returned to desktop platforms a few years ago with Rayman Origins and Rayman Legends – and its colorful staging via UbiArt Framework, Ubisoft has launched a truly awesome game on smartphones that has captured the spirit of such a successful release in the form of free-to-play games with over 200 spectacular levels and over 55 playable characters. And does the enchanted forest have trouble after the theft of the eggs that support the sacred tree; our objective will be to recover as much as possible while controlling Rayman, Barbara, Globox and company against minotaurs, bandits and many other classic enemies of the saga.
We continue with two authentic Playdead masterpieces which, although they are more puzzle-driven and generate almost constant atmospheric oppression, also offer a more than satisfying 2D platforming experience, with sections that will also require a some control skill. And there will be no shortage of sequences in which we will be chased and in which we will have to escape without looking back; others will offer us jumps and movements to the extreme. And what about its prodigious setting, with Limbo playing contrasts of backlighting as one rarely sees at the time and with Inside offering a harrowing and tyrannical world with visual and narrative resources engraved in the minds of those who have them. already appreciated.
Super Mario Run
Nintendo’s plumber could not miss the appointment of the most recommended platforms for mobiles and tablets, especially since the Japanese company landed on mobile devices with some of its most popular franchises. In the case of Mario and company, we have a visual proposal based on the New Super Mario Bros. with typical ecosystem endless runner gameplay that works like a charm. And the -never better said- leap from Super Mario to iOS and Android has brought us a fully Nintendo experience tailored to touch-based gameplay, with fast-paced games and plenty of unlockable content.
With an exclusive release for Apple Arcade with the rest of the platforms planned for 2022, the novelty of The Chinese Room (Dear Esther, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture) takes us to a dystopia of the 60s in which, in the middle of a race to space against NASA, the Soviet cosmonaut goes in the opposite direction to explore the center of the Earth through an extinct volcano. From there, the player is presented with an imaginative and hilarious 2D platforming adventure through lost civilizations, underwater kingdoms, prehistoric jungles and more. Plus, the experience is enhanced by a grand setting with truly eye-catching graphics and an electrifying soundtrack.
As this selection of titles shows, mobile not only lives in the free-to-play market, but also receives premium games with production values that could well pass for other more traditional platforms. This is the case of this RPG adventure with platforms and frantic combat with the sword in the hand in which a knight must face the threats unleashed by the madness of King Valor. To achieve this, we have leveling, different combat skills, controls that respond quite well, and amazing 3D graphics with side scrolling. An evil power has spread through the lost kingdom of Vallaris, a land you will have to defend with your life even if you are not welcome…
While classic 2D platformers have great masterpieces and plenty of other completely forgettable examples, our mobiles (also on PC and Xbox) were given a very special title a few years ago that fans of the genre don’t should not neglect. We’re talking about Levelhead, a classic game that looks like it’s been taken from 16-bit consoles and features two different aspects: story mode and a full level editor. We are GR-18, a small galactic delivery robot that must deliver all kinds of packages to its customers through stages full of dangers with a very original design, with almost 100 levels to overcome. And what about its comprehensive level editor? Full of possibilities that make it almost endless; a safe bet for lovers of retro jumps and challenges.
Downwell is already a classic roguelike game, and its mobile version exploits its gameplay like no other platform. As many know, the game couldn’t be simpler, although at the same time it’s full of possibilities. And all this through three simple commands: left, right and shoot. No game is like the last; hence his rogue-like personality. To do this, we must rush into an endless pit full of enemies to defeat with our semi-automatic boots -other enemies can be defeated by falling on them-. Along the way, we will be able to collect bonuses both in terms of health and weapons, giving the player the possibility to adapt his game to the needs of each situation. A title that we won’t be able to stop playing once we get used to its particular ecosystem; and retro frame.
Released in 2019 for PC and consoles, this colorful action platformer based on the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West, the famous legend of the Monkey King that inspired so many works of popular culture, has made the leap to mobile devices last year while keeping its many virtues intact. It’s a side-scrolling platformer and action title with jumping and fighting in the strictest kung fu style and featuring four curious heroes: Sanzang, the sage; Wukong, the daring monkey, Kihong, the gluttonous pig, and Sandmonk, the noble-hearted bully. We can also change characters at any time to combine their different skills and thus overcome the most varied challenges and enemies that we will have to face, including the final bosses. All this through a majestic staging with graphics that look like a moving web.
Shinsekai in the depths
Originally designed for Apple Arcade and later released for Nintendo Switch, Capcom surprised fans of 2D action platformers and exploration with a massive underwater adventure. It is a title with a certain metroidvania flavor, since we will have to return to previous areas once we have the possibility. In the near future, the relentless spread of ice has forced humanity to seek refuge in the oceans, although there came a time when the ice made its way to the bottom of the sea. As an underwater explorer, we will have to make our way through a multitude of dangers and threats, while discovering the secrets of this new world in the depths, improving our equipment and surviving the end of civilization.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
We continue with a classic among classics that never goes out of style and that every fan of action platformer and Metroidvania with a retro flavor shouldn’t stop playing. And it is, surely, the most emblematic episode of the Castlevania saga, a title that marked a turning point in the genre in 1997 and forever marked a genre that today lives a second youth. All with its original content intact, whether its iconic staging or its refined control, accompanied by a new interface fully adapted to touch controls -and compatible with traditional controllers-. Additionally, a new quick save option is added to enable quick games, so common on mobile devices. A masterpiece not to be missed in the internal memories of our smartphones and tablets.
We close our collection of traditional style action rigs with one of the roguelite phenomena of recent years. Dead Cells arrived on desktop platforms in 2018 to then make the leap to iOS (2019) and Android (2020), keeping its proposition intact with an excellent touchscreen port. A pixel art proposition that blends the essence of Metroidvania with rogue-like development, resulting in an addictive 2D action game with deep combat and mobility that invites you to keep racing to progress, over and over again . Fight your way through the dungeons of an ever-changing castle and face the most powerful enemies to die, learn and repeat. All this through a magnificent port that takes nothing away from the PC and console versions.
Bonus: the sonic saga
We cannot close this selection of 2D platform games without mentioning one of the sagas that marked the genre forever, revolutionizing Sega’s 8 and 16-bit systems. We’re talking about Sonic The Hedgehog and its classic episodes that we can enjoy on mobiles thanks to Sega’s Retro Collection. We have available the original Sonic with the second part and the famous Sonic CD delivery. We can even mention the fourth part specially designed for mobile devices with Sonic The Hedgehog 4 and its various parts. A unique opportunity to revisit a classic with ports fully adapted to the gameplay and experience on mobile devices.