Something weird has happened. Platform games have become cool. "Yeah, likely story", I hear you say. "Next you'll tell me flares are all the rage and Genesis is undergoing a revival".
I am being serious here. Put your prejudices aside. Platform games have progressed a long way since Manic Minor. Still don't believe me. Take a look at Braid and Shadow Complex on the XBox. They're both platform games and they have been hugely successful.
And that's before we even get to Terry Cavanagh's new platformer VVVVVVV, which is making waves in the gaming world despite its bare-bones graphics and traditional platformer game play (albeit refreshed for the modern age).
So yes. Platform games have become cool. And there is no reason why you too can't partake in this latest fad. So squeeze into your drain-pipe jeans, apply dollops of black mascara and don your retro tortoiseshell sunglasses (well, that's what the cool kids do round here, anyway) and get stuck into our list of the Top 25 Browser Platform Games.
Like veteran rockers who put the younger generation to shame with their non-stop partying, the Fancy Pants Adventure games have been around for what seems aeons but they are showing none of their age. Exactly the opposite, indeed. Featuring a wonderfully captivating protaganist, beautiful animations and some of the fastest action platformers have to offer, Fancy Pants 1 and its even better sequel Fancy Pants 2 remain head and shoulders above the competition. Come on flash developers, it really is time they got knocked off their pedestal. Play Fancy Pants 1 here. Fancy Pants 2 can be played here.
Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. Small Worlds does not feature a deep story line. Your character does not have any special powers or weapons. You don't even get to collect any coins or stars. And the graphics are pretty basic. And yet, Small Worlds is one of the most brilliant casual games to come out this year. As much art as game, Small Worlds challenges you to explore its multiple worlds in all their beautiful detail. The game can be played here.
Super Karoshi takes the standard platform objective of surviving at all costs and turns it on its head. Your aim in this platform game is to die and your task is to find ever more difficult and inventive ways of doing so. Great music, jet black wit and fiendish puzzles make this game - in its many incarnations - a joy to play. Play Super Karoshi here. Other versions of the game can be found here.
4 Meat Boy
Some game designers pride themselves in creating charming, captivating characters. Not the creators of this game, however. Their hero is a slab of meat who leaves a trail of gooey slime in his wake. But, boy, can he move. Blessed with agility that other platform protagonists can only dream of, Meat Boy is perfectly equipped to avoid the saws and spikes that stand between him and his loved one (yes, chunks of meat do fall in love, it seems). Brilliant game play has made Meat Boy - and its many follow-ups - among the most successful platformers of all time. Play Meat Boy here.
This game is scary - not in its game play or design - but in how superbly produced it is. Seriously, why spend money on a games console when you can play games of this quality in your browser. Sublime graphics, great music and a captivating story. Is it really a platform game? I am not entirely sure - but it features a lot of platform style game-play and it is seriously brilliant. Scary Girl can be played here.
"Hey man, I have an amaazzzing idea. Why not make a tower defence style game but instead of towers we have platforms. Yeah man, that's cool, and why don't we stick a great big monster in the the middle of the game. Man, that's briiiiilliant. We're gonna be squillionaires." Maybe not, but the combination of tower defence and platformer makes for great game play. Trap Master can be played here.
7The Company of Myself
Bend time in this sad, philosophical platformer to solve the puzzles. The game play is tricky and challenging but it is the story and introspective ambience that really make this game. Play The Company of Myself here.
If you can measure a game's worth by the number of versions that have been made, then Shift is undoubtedly a great platform game. It is currently in its 4th incarnation. But, then, they made six Rocky films and most of them were crap. Shift, actually, is pretty cool. Invert the world by pressing 'shift' to solve the puzzles. Play the shifts here: Shift 1, 2, 3, 4.
If we were to order this list by the most imaginative idea for a platform game, then game designers Edmund McMillen and Eli Piilonen and their outrageous game Spewer would probably be in first place. In this game, you play the part of a vomiting blob. Rather than jumping over gaps in the platform, you fill the gap with vomit, and when you have navigated the gap, you suck all that vomit back in. Disgusting but also genius. Play Spewer here.
A Dickensian setting, a magnificently nasty central character and dark, brooding game play makes Orphan Feast a truly unique platform experience. Guide your Fagan-esque anti-hero around the slums of Victorian London, bagging orphans for later ingestion and avoiding aggressive plump housewives and diligent policemen. Some of the best graphics you will find in a casual game. Play Orphan Feast here.
Half platformer, half RPG, Level Up will keep you gripped for hours. Your aim in the game is to develop as a person by chatting to the tons of game characters and exploring the lush worlds. Oh, and you also get to do all the standard platforming stuff of jewel collection, running and jumping. Level Up can be played here.
12Where is 2010
Mateusz Skutnik is one of my all-time favourite game developers, and Where is 2010 is arguably his best ever platformer. If you like your platformers to be more intellectual challenge than constant fighting, then this game might be for you. Play Where is 2010 here.
Another game by Edmund McMillen of Spewer fame, Time KUFC is described by its author as a "puzzle adventure about finding logic in irrelevance". I don't know what that means either but it is an interesting game. Play Time KUFC here.
16Don't look back
This game apparently inspired the creation of the Fancy Pants games. Despite being a good few years old now, it still looks good and plays well. Deserves being on the list for its part in the Fancy Pants legacy. (Hat tip to meman32 for bringing this game to my attention). You can play N here.
If you like your platformers to be ridiculously hard, then this game is for you. You have no health system so if you make a mistake, you are dead. Bit like real life, I suppose. Play Underworld Trip here.
19Mirrors Edge 2D
An action platformer based on the console game of the same name. Slick graphics and fast-paced game play make for a lot of fun. Click here to play Mirrors Edge 2D.
A retro look but with modern game-play, Blasting Agent is a fast and furious plaform action game. Your task is to single-handedly defeat a secret terrorist organisation based in the heart of a volcano, fighting several boss battles along the way. Play Blasting Agent here.
Apparently developed in under a week, Hats has an inventive game play mechanic that sets it apart from your average platformer: your character can switch between a variety of different modes by wearing different hats. One hat makes you invisible for a short time. Another hat allows you to shoot bolts of magic... you get the idea. Hats can be played here.
In this impressive platformer, you can manipulate the environment (by clicking it) in order to get your character to its objective. Very inventive and definitely worth playing. Play Push here.
You have to complete the level before the platform disappears. Fast action platformer featuring a 2-player mode. Play Cave Chaos here.
This platform game is huge, featuring an enormous number of levels and puzzles to solve. As its name suggests, the game's goal is to collect as much money as possible. Do so here.
This game features a similar mechanic to Braid in that you need to manipulate time in order to complete the levels. Not as pretty as Braid but nonetheless features some great game play and puzzles. Chronotron can be played here.
I am bound to have missed out some great browser platform games. If I have, please whinge about it in the comments section below.