Platform Game

A platform game (or platformer) is a video game characterized by requiring the player to jump to and from suspended platforms or over obstacles (jumping puzzles). It must be possible to control these jumps and to fall from platforms or miss jumps. The most common unifying element to games in this video game genre is a jump button; other jump mechanics include swinging from extendable arms, as in Ristar or Bionic Commando, or bouncing from springboards or trampolines, as in Alpha Waves. These mechanics, even in the context of other genres, are commonly called platforming, a verbification of platform. Games where jumping is automated completely, such as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, fall outside of the genre.

Platform games originated in the early 1980s, and 3D successors were popularized in the mid-1990s. The term itself describes games where jumping on platforms is an integral part of the gameplay, and came into use some time after the genre had been established, but no later than 1983. However, it is not a pure genre and is very frequently coupled with elements of other genres, such as the shooter elements in Contra, the adventure elements of Flashback or the RPG elements of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.

While commonly associated with console gaming, there have been many important platform games released to arcades, as well as for handheld systems and home computers. Europe, North America, and Japan have played major parts in the genre's evolution. Platform themes range from cartoony "mascot" games to science fiction and fantasy epics.

Platform games were, at one point, the most popular genre of video game. At the peak of their popularity, it is estimated that between one-quarter and one-third of console games were platformers. No genre before or since has been able to achieve a similar market share. As of 2006, the genre is far less dominant, representing a 2% market share (compared to 15% in 1998), but still commercially viable, with a number of games selling in the millions of units.

Read more about Platform GameSub-genres, Dispute About Classification of Early Platformers

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Famous quotes containing the words game and/or platform:

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