Platform Games Through Years

Platform games are some of the earliest video games that were ever invented. While each generation seems to think their games are the best, it seems like everyone can agree on the hours of joy brought by platformers.

While platform games haven’t changed much over the years, there have been clear revisions and improvements aimed at better entertaining each subsequent generation of gamers.

To understand how platform games have evolved to stay relevant, you need to explore their origins and history.

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The first platform games

The platform game genre was made popular by Universal’s Space Panic in the 1980s. Players could climb ladders and fall from platforms, but you couldn’t jump. In addition to that, players could also not scroll across the page or up and down. This early game was considered a single page game.

In 1981, Nintendo released one of the most famous platform games of all time. Donkey Kong made its debut, and the iconic game was accompanied by players’ ability to jump over barrels. While it was still a single screen game, it was highly successful with a variety of sequels.

Being able to scroll across

Early platform games were easy and predictable. Frequent players would have the games memorized since computing power didn’t allow for the game to follow unique patterns. Besides, the single screen aspect meant players could see every obstacle long before it arrived.

This was changed by Jump Bug in 1981 in which players controlled a car that could bounce over obstacles and onto platforms. In this game, platforms were able to scroll, widening the gaming screen and moving away from single-screen gaming. 

The first side-scroller opened the doors for popular games like Pac-Land in 1984 and Super Mario Bros in 1985. Before you dig up details about these classic games and get engrossed in playing, try out for essay ideas and other writing assignments. This will ensure that your work is not delayed while you immerse yourself in gaming.

New resolutions

Platform games quickly became the most popular video game for college students. Students would often spend their afternoons in arcades mastering the games and challenging their friends. By the end of 1987, platform games would take on a whole new look with the introduction of 16-bit gaming.

While 8-bit gaming was fine, gamers sought more realism. Gaming was considered an escape but often felt too “blocky.” 16-bit introduced new resolutions as well as new colors.

Games were now much more interesting than their two-tone predecessors, and this showed in their increased popularity. Despite this, many gamers were already looking toward a 3D future.

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Returning to the past

The popularity of racing games, various versions of pinball, multiplayer games, and the Sims only went down well with the youth. Many adults still held on to the belief that platformers were the best. As a result, platform games were usually the first games modern gamers would play.

While newer games had better mechanics, graphics, storylines, and gameplay, platform games were simple, easy, and affordable. Many young gamers often took a walk through the past by playing platform games because many computers were not powerful enough to run the newer games without laying out piles of money. 

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Revival time

While many different kinds of games rose in popularity, platform games seemed ready to make a comeback. The retro revival era saw Nintendo releasing New Super Mario Bros on the 3DS. This game took 3D graphics to a 2D plane and it led to a revival for platform games.

Many indie game creators took a leaf out of Nintendo’s book and began creating platform games to be remembered. 

While sticking with the same idea behind the basic platform, game developers also implemented 3D graphics and moving platforms to make the gameplay less predictable. Also, computing power led to the development of a game that evolved as you played – each run-through of a level can be unique.


Platform games formed the basis of most modern gaming styles. The players’ ability to run, climb, and jump were all developed for the platform game mechanic. While graphics, gameplay, and storyline have improved, platform games still hold a place of popularity.

Many indie gamers and indie game developers hold platform games in high regard and continue to play and develop new types of these retro games. While the younger generations may prefer games where they can race cars or shoot other players, these would not be possible without the basic engine created by platform games.

Author Bio:

Emma Rundle is an experienced writer who holds expertise in academic writing and handles subjects in business management, accounting, finance and economics. She is a subject expert, which enables her to handle thesis and dissertation work with great ease. In her free time, she practices yoga, loves to cook and tries her hand in kitchen gardening.

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