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The 25 best platformers for Android

25 essential games to start your Android collection
Product: Best Android games | Publisher: Steel Media Ltd | Format: Android
Updated September 6, 2018: New entries added

Without a serious set of physical controls, the smartphone isn't the natural habitat for the traditional platformer.

Which makes the following list of 25 games all the more remarkable. These are brilliant, beautiful, and frequently bonkers mutations of the games we used to play in the '80s and '90s.

Part of that success is down to the way mobile developers have perfected those touchscreen controls over the years. At other times, completely new movement systems have been introduced.

Whether they're 2D, 3D, or something in between, we've picked out 25 outstanding Android platformers. Don't agree with our selection? Then let us know your favourites in the comments below.

#1 Traps n' Gemstones

Product: Traps n' GemstonesFormats: Android, iPhone, iPad, SteamDeveloper: Donut GamesGenres: Action, Adventure, Platform

Traps n' Gemstones
A rare metroidvania on the Google Play 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

Product: GunbrickFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadDeveloper: NitromePublisher: NitromeGenres: Action, Platform

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

Product: Super Mario RunFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadPublisher: NintendoGenres: Platform

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

You generally want to avoid falling down holes in platformers, but Downwell demands that you do the opposite. Plunge down a well, shooting baddies with your gunboots and generally marvelling at the uber elegant rogue-lite design.

#5 ReRunners

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

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 Super Fancy Pants Adventure

Product: Super Fancy Pants AdventureFormats: iPhone, iPadPublisher: KongregateGenres: Platform

Super Fancy Pants Adventure
Super Fancy Pants Adventure might look a little sketchy, but it's the real deal. No other platformer has such a thrilling sense of weight and momentum.

#7 Feist

Product: FeistFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadPublisher: Last Chance Media

There are definite shades of Limbo and Badland to Feist, but it throws in enough distinctive environmental flourishes to make for a surprisingly fresh platformer.

#8 Vulture Island

Product: Vulture IslandFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadPublisher: Donut GamesGenres: Platform, Puzzle

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.


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

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.

#10 Cally's Caves 4

Product: Cally's Caves 4Formats: iPhone, iPad

Cally's Caves 4
Four entries in, you'd expect Cally's Caves 4 to have nailed its 16-bit reference points by now. And it has: this is run-and-gun gaming at its finest.

#11 Dandara

Product: DandaraFormats: iPhone, iPadPublisher: Long Hat HouseGenres: Platform, Shooter

In Dandara, you catapult your otherwise static character between surfaces. Somehow, a beautiful Metroidvania world emerges from this limited moveset.

#12 Super Cat Tales

Product: Super Cat TalesFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadPublisher: Neutronized GamesGenres: Platform

Super Cat Tales
Super Cat Bros (formerly 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.

#13 Platform Panic

Product: Platform PanicFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadPublisher: NitromeGenres: Action, Endless running, Platform

Platform Panic
Nitrome tests your skills and reflexes in a series of single-screen platforming gauntlets. Best of all, the game features platforming heroes from throughout the ages, such as a familiar plumber and blue rodent.

#14 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.

#15 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.

#16 Chameleon Run

Product: Chameleon RunFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadPublisher: Noodlecake GamesGenres: Platform

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.

#17 Suzy Cube

Product: Suzy CubeFormats: Android, iPhone, iPad

Suzy Cube
Suzy Cube is like a little slice of Super Mario 3D Land in your pocket. It's the 3D platformer done well on mobile - who'da thunk it?

#18 Limbo

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

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.

#19 Hopiko

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

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.

#20 Shadow Blade

Product: Shadow BladeFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadDeveloper: Dead Mage StudioPublisher: Crescent Moon GamesGenres: Action, Platform

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.

#21 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 Android and made a game that's bouncy, beautiful, and responsive. The first game is great, too.

#22 Skullduggery!

Product: Skullduggery!Formats: Android, iPhone, iPadDeveloper: ClutchPlay GamesPublisher: ClutchPlay GamesGenres: Action, Puzzle

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

#23 Mikey Hooks

Product: Mikey HooksFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadDeveloper: BeaverTap GamesPublisher: BeaverTap GamesGenres: Platform

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.

#24 Wimp

Product: WimpFormats: Android, iPhone, iPad, SteamDeveloper: Flexile StudioPublisher: Flexile StudioGenres: Adventure, Platform, Puzzle

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.

#25 Candleman

Product: CandlemanFormats: iPhone, iPadGenres:

A beautiful, simple, highly affecting 3D platformer with a fascinatingly flawed protagonist. Every time you supply light to the world, our candle-shaped hero grows weaker.


Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy 6 September 2018
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