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The 25 best platformers on iPhone and iPad The 25 best platformers on iPhone and iPad
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 IPHONE Top List

 
 

Updated September 5, 2017: New entries added


At first glance, the buttonless iPhone doesn’t seem like the most suitable device for playing platform games.

But as the system has matured, and developers have tried new control methods and fresh ideas, the humble run ‘n’ jump has gradually seeped its way onto the App Store.

iTunes is now bursting with platformers, with titles that echo Super Mario and Sonic, try their hand at masochistic horrors like Super Meat Boy, or resemble more puzzle-orientated treats like The Lost Vikings.

We’ve picked out the best of the bunch, with this guide to the best platformers on iOS. Disagree? Let us know your favourites in the comments below.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE LIST »

  

#1 Traps n’ Gemstones

Traps n' Gemstones

A rare metroidvania on the App Store. This one lets you explore a massive great pyramid as you unlock new tools, uncover secrets, and generally just get lost for hours. Fun!

#2 Gunbrick

Gunbrick

A Gunbrick is a square tank that rolls clumsily from side to side, using its oversized cannon to propel it to higher platforms as well as for taking out baddies. It’s also the name of one of Nitrome’s best ever games.

#3 Super Mario Run

Super Mario Run

We never thought we’d see the day, but Nintendo has made a Mario game for mobile – and it’s brilliant. Super Mario Run takes the one-button mechanic of your average endless runner and app

#4 Downwell

Product: DownwellFormats: Android, iPhone, iPad, SteamDeveloper: MoppinGenres: Action, Platform
Downwell

You generally want to avoid falling down holes in platformers, but Downwell turns it into a whole game. Shoot baddies with your gunboots whilst freefalling down a bottomless hole.

#5 ReRunners

Product: ReRunnersFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadPublisher: Klang GamesGenres: Multiplayer, Platform, Racing
ReRunners

2D platformers don’t traditionally fit the massively multiplayer template, but that’s just what ReRunners does. It’s a frantic dash to the finish line that Sonic would be proud of, but Sega’s blue mascot never let you do so in competition with a bunch of other real life players.

#6 Vulture Island

Vulture Island

It looks a lot like the 8-bit Super Mario Bros. games we used to love, but Vulture Island is a lot more ambitious than it seems. It’s a non-linear adventure where the overworld map is a genuine guide to a surprisingly open experience.

#7 VVVVVV

Product: VVVVVVFormats: Android, iPhone, iPad, 3DS, PS Vita, SteamDeveloper: DistractionwareGenres: Adventure, Conversion, Platform
VVVVVV

You can’t jump in VVVVVV. So you might be wondering how it qualifies as a platformer. But as soon as you flip gravity upside down to bounce your hero through a maze of spikes, you’ll know. Oh, you’ll know.

#8 Kalimba

Kalimba

This clever platform-puzzler has you controlling two characters simultaneously through a series of deliciously escalating challenges.

#9 Super Cat Tales

Super Cat Tales

Super Cat Tales looks an awful lot like the 16-bit platformers of the ’90s, but its pared down controls and bite-sized levels are pure smartphone magic.

#10 Super Powerboy

Super Powerboy

Yes, Powerboy is another autorunner, but it features an uncommonly advanced progression system that marks it apart from the rest.

#11 Golf Zero

Product: Golf ZeroFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadGenres: Platform
Golf Zero

Take Super Meat Boy, mix in some crazy golf and a satisfying time-dilating mechanic, and you have Golf Zero. It’s a hardcore platformer with a deliciously sporty payoff.

#12 Hop Swap

Hop Swap

Nitrome have this casual platformer lark well and truly mastered. Here the usual tappy-jumpy action gets a clever tone and plane-swapping makeover.

#13 Waking Mars

Product: Waking MarsFormats: Android, iPhone, Other, iPad, SteamDeveloper: Tiger StylePublisher: Tiger StyleGenres: Action, Adventure, Platform, Simulation, Strategy
Waking Mars

It’s more about the adventure and the mystery than pulling off tricky jumps, but this Martian epic will still challenge your ability to navigate tricky terrain with your jetpack. Plus, this essential game doesn’t fit neatly on any other list.

#14 Chameleon Run

Chameleon Run

This auto-runner only has a handful of levels. But before you go leave your negative review on iTunes, hear us out. The joy is in mastering these taut stages, and finishing all the bonus challenges.

#15 Wimp

Wimp

Wimp’s all about the physics. This gelatinous ball of goop oozes and stretches his way through stages, tugging on boxes and solving simple puzzles. It’s charming and full of stuff to do.

#16 Limbo

Product: LimboFormats: Android, iPhone, iPad, PS Vita, SteamPublisher: PlaydeadGenres: Platform, Puzzle
Limbo

Limbo is a 2D platformer that sees you running from left to right and jumping over things.That’s about where the similarities with Mario end in this stunningly bleak, brutal, monochrome adventure.

#17 Hopiko

Product: HopikoFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadPublisher: Laser DogGenres: Platform
Hopiko

Hopiko hates you. You might think you’re in control thanks to its sharp, empowering swipe-to-jump controls. But you will fail dozens of times – hundreds, even – on your way to mastery. If you ever reach it.

#18 Shadow Blade

Shadow Blade

This tricky action game is a lot of fun as soon as you start chasing the level completion times. Then it becomes a feisty test of your reflexes – and a display of the game’s taut controls.

#19 Rayman Fiesta Run

Product: Rayman Fiesta RunFormats: Android, iPhone, iPad, Windows PhonePublisher: UbisoftGenres: Arcade, Endless running, Platform, Retro
Rayman Fiesta Run

Auto-runners don’t get much better than this. Ubisoft reinvented its limbless platforming hero for iOS and made a game that’s bouncy, beautiful, and responsive. The first game is great, too.

#20 Skullduggery!

Skullduggery!

This platformer’s catapult-style control scheme takes its cues from Angry Birds, leading to a bouncy adventure that works perfectly on a touchscreen.

#21 Mikey Hooks

Mikey Hooks

If you reckon you’ve finished a Mikey Hooks level just because you got to the end, you’ve got another thing coming. Try it again under par time – which has you skidding under barriers, swinging over spikes, and hopping with pixel precision – and see how well you get on.

#22 Dan the Man

Dan the Man

A constantly entertaining retro platformer that evokes the platformers of the 16-bit era, but with a healthy dose of beat-’em-up and shooter gameplay to spice things up.

#23 Thomas Was Alone

Thomas Was Alone

This puzzle platformer is pretty good. What makes it so well loved, though, is the memorable story which is narrated by polarising Brit Danny Wallace.

#24 Eggggg

Eggggg

And the award for grossest platformer on iOS goes to… Eggggg – The Platform Puker! The name says it all: you must use your character’s projectile vomiting capabilities to propel you across each level. Nasty.

#25 Standby

Product: StandbyFormats: iPhone, iPadGenres: Platform
Standby

This super-hardcore platformer throws you through brief, brutal levels that move by at a frankly ridiculous speed. It’s not for the weak-hearted.

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