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Top 10 best platformers on iPhone and iPod touch

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Product: Top 10 iPhone charts | Format: iPhone
Top 10 iPhone charts iPhone, thumbnail 1
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, fresh ideas, and rigorously play tested, the humble run-'n'-jump has gradually seeped its way onto the iPhone App Store.

iTunes is now bursting with platformers, 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.

Review - Download


The once Android-exclusive Cordy is one of the most gorgeous games on the App Store. Your cute little robot hero traipses about sunny worlds, twilight hills, and funky green pathways that snake and bend into the horizon.

It's all so effortlessly enjoyable, throwing up smart concepts and a range of challenges that are never too easy to sleepwalk through, but never too difficult to leave you reaching for the Home button in frustration.

This charming little game comes as a free download, but you'll need to pay up to see all the game has to offer, including tricky obstacles, clever new stages, and death-defying swings over perilous drops.

Review - Download


Cavorite is distinctly reminiscent of the old-skool puzzle-platformers we used to enjoy on the old Amiga - and not just because of its limited palette and blocky pixel visuals. It's more about the ultra-tricky and seriously devious puzzles that fill each level.

In the game, Dr. Cavor discovers an anti-gravity goop, names it after himself, and uses it to fling a space rocket to the moon. While he's there, he discovers a troupe of alien nasties, who take him prisoner and lock him in the rocky bowels of our lunar satellite.

To escape, he'll need to use his anti-grav goo to manipulate boxes, trigger switches, defeat little green men, and propel himself towards rocket parts, and towards the level's exit.

To-Fu: The Trials of Chi
Review - Download


To-Fu isn't your average platform hero. In a genre about jumping, a sentient blob of meat-substitute hardly has the necessary limbs to achieve such a feat. He's also not very fast, isn't controlled with a joystick, and tastes disgusting.

But by harnessing the unique strengths of the iPhone - namely its touchscreen - developer Hotgen has cleverly re-engineered the humble platformer to better match the device.

You move To-Fu by stretching him out and letting your finger go to ping him across the dojo. The 100-odd treacherous levels add in bouncy metal pads, deadly spikes, intermittent laser beams, icy walls, and many more obstacles to keep you guessing.

Continuity 2: The Continuation
Review - Download


This indie award-winner is the mixed-up mutation of a puzzle-obsessed platformer and a sliding-tile puzzle. You know the ones: those horribles braintwisters you get in Resident Evil 4 and Christmas crackers.

At first glance, the game looks like your typical stickman jumper. But as you zoom out, you'll soon realise that the level's individual rooms are giant tiles that can be slid about to rearrange the entire play space.

This lends itself to some perilous jumps, maze-like navigation, and seriously devious puzzles. It'll certainly take some cunning to beat all 50 stages, especially as they continue to introduce radical new concepts and ideas even up until the very last level.

League of Evil
Review - Download


League of Evil shouldn't really work. It's as hard as nails, requires impeccable timing, and demands some serious dexterity. More than any other title on this list, Ravenous Games's masochistic Meat Boy-styled jumper feels like it would need buttons.

But somehow, the game works fine on the iPhone. League of Evil's virtual buttons and invisible D-pad is responsive and reliable, allowing you to pull off ridiculous wall jumps, split-second timing between lasers, and perilous leaps over danger without throwing your smartphone out the window.

Review - Download


Why walk when you can ride? That's (presumably) the motto for teenage boy-bot Roboto, who uses his hyper-powered rocketboard to bounce off walls, skate up steep slopes, and hover in the air.

He'll perform these sick tricks while hunting down a busty fem-bot over 30 different levels. Those stages will chuck up a number of different challenges - from anti-gravity plates to nuisance enemies - to overcome on your way.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4
Review - Download


Our old pal Sonic has taken a few missteps here and there. Like turning into a werewolf. Or kissing that human girl. Or finding a talking sword. Or getting on a hoverboard. Three times.

But in Sonic the Hedgehog 4, Sega's blue fuzzball takes his first steps on the long road to recovery. The so-called fourth game is 2D, a super-fast blur, a tricky platformer, and it only features Sonic. It wasn't exactly rocket science, was it?

The downloadable-only game comes to iPhone with success, and is both a visual treat on the device's dinky screen and totally playable on the button-free gizmo. If you've lost touch with the 'hog, now might be the time for a joyful reunion.

Hook Champ
Review - Download


Like To-Fu, Rocketcat's Hook Champ has found a unique control scheme that perfectly fits the iPhone. Your adventuring hero can barely even run when on foot, but his grappling hook can latch onto ceilings and propel him through the stage.

It allows for fluid and fun movement, either in the tight constraints of Hook Champ's ancient, ghost-filled ruins or the more open (and sometimes endless) areas of sequels Super Quickhook and Hook Worlds.

Pix'n Love Rush
Review - Download


Pix'n Love Rush is a true tribute to classic gaming, and a heartfelt salute to the old-skool puzzlers and platformers that inspired half the games on this list.

As you race through the neon-tinted worlds, collecting coins, dodging enemies, and racking up a higher and higher score, the backdrop slowly morphs into different colours, themes, and styles.

They all represent different vintage games consoles, from blurry LCDs to technicolour Vectors, and from the green-and-black Game Boy to the headache-inducing Virtual Boy. It's like a history of gaming in a five-minute burst.

One Single Life


FreshTone's One Single Life is more of an arty experiment than a real game. But it has levels, death-defying leaps, and tricky reflex-based challenges, so it just about counts.

This indie title is about a bonkers parkour fan who reckons he can make a series of ridiculous jumps between cloud-tickling skyscrapers. The game gives you, as the name might suggest, just one single life to leap them all.

You can practice all you like, but once you hit the real rooftop, the pressure is on. Mess this up - forget to jump and stumble off the edge, or mistime the leap and splat into the opposite building - and its game over, forever.

After a good few months on the App Store, only a paltry four per cent of players have cleared all the jumps and got to the end. Think you can join that microscopic percentage?

Reviewer photo
Mark Brown 3 August 2011
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