In previous chapters about platform games we could see how they began their history, where did they head to in the following years and how did they manage to get settled in the videogames market. Wonderful, now what?
Now there is still a really important part left, especially for all of us who still enjoy so much jumping from one level to the next: where platform games are nowadays. Incredible as it seems, this old genre is still amazingly standing up. Let’s see what we can learn about that!!!
As we could see in the previous chapter, Super Mario 64 was a great success both in sales and reviews, so more 3D platform games started hitting the market: Donkey Kong 64 also for Nintendo 64, Sonic Adventure for Sega Dreamcast, or even a sequel to Super Mario 64 in the next console generation: Super Mario Sunshine for Nintendo GameCube. Even so, in spite of its success, the genre started its decline in favour of another kind of game, with more action and strategy, like the all-famous franchises Tomb Raider and Resident Evil.
Although no other genre has gained up to 33% of the market, as platform games did in their golden days during the 80’s, this very high percentage went down to 15% in the late 90’s. Nowadays they could be around 2% of new developments. Even so, we can still find a few jewels, like the Super Mario Galaxy series for Nintendo Wii. The first Super Mario Galaxy, released in 2007, even won prizes for the best game of the year. And it wasn’t just Nintendo, as very refreshing proposals for other platforms have also been released, like Little Big Planet for PlayStation 3 or Mirror’s Edge for XBOX 360.
Nintendo has been able to squeeze the past success of platform games, releasing new versions with graphics and technological improvements, like New Super Mario Bros. (for Wii and Nintendo DS) and Super Mario 64 DS (only for Nintendo DS). The amazing welcome of these games even encouraged Nintendo to launch other 2D platform games, sequels for golden oldies, like Donkey Kong Returns and Kirby’s Epic Yarn. And that’s not all: due to the recent success of some platform games in the latest consoles, other developers have also jumped in this market with wonders like Trine, in 2009, going back again the 2.5D in computers and PlayStation Network. This game by Frozenbyte has been so successful that two years later, in 2011, they released the second part, Trine 2.
Anyway, it is very right to considering these games as Retrogaming. And, as anything retro, sooner or later they get trendy again, in this case thanks to mobile phones. Due to the lower power of these devices against big domestic consoles, they make the most of platform games gameplay and addiction, combined with the nostalgia of us RetroGamers, to make an explosive cocktail that can only bring success. We just need to have a look at the best games currently available for mobile devices, like Cordy and Mega Jump, both for the two most usual platform: Android and iPhone.
As we can see, the most classical genre of all has still so much to say. And although we are in love with those wonder from the 70’s and the 80’s, it’s not bad to now and again turn on the Wii or the XBOX 360 and play some of these latest proposals. Whether it is a new or an old platform, we will always remember them with a smile. Isn’t that true, RetroGamers?
You can also read: Everything about platform games. Part 1: The beginnings
You can also read: Everything about platform games. Part 2: Evolution
You can also read: Everything about platform games. Part 3: Maturity