Even for those with tight budgets the genre has a lot to offer. Some of the best platform adventure games are completely free, perhaps the two best examples being the unmissable Cave Story (which can be downloaded here) and the sublime Knytt and Knytt Stories (downloadable here and here). And that's before we come to the slew of platform adventure games that can be played in your browser, the ten best of which (at least in our opinion) we have listed below.
1 Elephant Quest
You will probably remember Armor Games' John Cooney for brilliant games like platform actioner Exit Path, business sim Corporation Inc and dinosaur torture game Treadmillasaurus Rex. Elephant Quest is John's first foray into the role-playing style of game. But don't expect to be playing as an elf, dwarf or human in this game. John loves nothing more than reinventing game genres and has foregone the traditional RPG fantasy setting, opting instead for a world of cute elephants, one of whom you play.
Elephant Quest is a joyous adventure game spilling over with innovative features. It brilliantly combines RPG, action and platformer game-play. You won't want to miss this game. Play Elephant Quest here.
Created for the Ludum Dare game competition, Endeavor is a retro-style platform game with an emphasis on exploration and discovery. You play a dwarf on a quest to find the family treasure hidden somewhere in the surrounding land. Initially, you are a wee creature with little strength or guile, incapable of defeating the many obstacles that stand in your way.
But as you explore, you find power-ups that boost your jumping ability and endurance. Endeavor is a great platform adventure game offering a vast game world, multiple endings, interactive (usually in a sarcastic way) NPCs and loads of creatures to kill. It should keep you entertained for a good few hours. Play Endeavor here.
The robot in this clever platform game wakes up with blurry vision and problems walking straight. Now, I know what you're thinking: Mr Robot overdid the engine oil cocktails the previous evening. Actually, no. Something far more serious is afoot for our android. The reason his vision is blurry is because his optical circuits have fallen out. And he can't walk straight because his legs have gone physically missing. If that were not bad enough, there's a whole load of nasty critters out to get him. Still, things could be worse. At least his mum is there to offer helpful advice... KOLM is a thoughtful and initially slow-moving game that if you are into these you will probably love but it might not be for everyone. Play the game here.
4 Robot Wants Ice Cream
The Robot wants... series of games by Hamumu Software are consistently rated highly by online casual gamers, and it is easy to see why. Their cute eight-bit style graphics and polished platform adventure gaming action and puzzles make for a lot of fun. Plus, of course, you get to play as a cute robot, and there are few things more enjoyable than that.
The latest game in the series - Robot Wants Ice Cream - is slightly different from its predecessors in that the robot has an in-game companion - a puppy - from the start. In pretty much all other respects, it is identical to its forbears in the series. You have to explore the platform-based environment, gaining the power-ups and tools you need to find something. In this case, it is an icecream you are after. In earlier iterations of the game it was a fish, a cat and a puppy that piqued your interest.
5 Scary Girl
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. The game's developer, Nathan Jurevicius, deserves a lot of credit for the art direction in this game. Scary Girl can be played here.
Finwick is a beautiful platform adventure game that was released about a year ago by Jackson Lewis. It is also the name of the central character in the game. Finwick, the character, is a rookie postman learning the ropes. He is set all sorts of platform-style puzzles to solve in order to get the post delivered on time. Not only that, there are some fearsome monsters for him to battle along the way, and we're not just talking postie's arch nemesis, the dog, here. Play Finwick here.
7 Level up
Half platformer, half RPG adventure game, 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 is one of the best looking platformers on the web. It can be played here.
8 Heart of Ice
The Heart of Ice might not bring any wildly new game-play mechanics or fancy new interactivity to the platform genre but it is brilliantly produced, features an intriguing storyline and is blessed with some of the best graphics and physics we have seen in a flash platformer. The way the hero is reflected against the shiny rocks is particularly impressive. Kudos to the developer, Eddy Larkin.
You play a little guy in what appears to be a diving suit who has taken on a mission to hunt down an evildoer hiding out in the forest. His quest to find the bad guy takes him far beneath the surface, into caves where razor-sharp crystals, miasmic fumes and vicious creatures eat up his life-force. But there are even great threats to come... Play The Heart of Ice here.
9 The Great Gatsby For NES
You don’t have to have read F Scott Fitzgerald's legendary novel of the same name to enjoy this game. In fact, having not read it is probably an advantage, because the plot does not, to say the least, bear much similarity to the original. But let's not get into a debate about the merit's of accuracy here. Let's instead talk about how The Great Gatsby For NES is a great fun platform adventure game with a brilliant retro feel. The game won't take you long to complete but the time you spend playing it will be rewarding and highly enjoyable. Go play it here.
We finish off with a cute little alien-themed game. Insidia is not particularly innovative. However, it more than makes up for that with its arty graphics, appealing protagonist and fun adventure gaming. You play as a little orange extraterrestrial forced to crash land on an alien planet after his space ship ran into trouble.
You need to collect ten repair kits that are scattered around the world to make your craft space worthy again. No easy task this, as some of the kits are in very tricky to access areas. But if you keep your eyes peeled for power-ups, you should soon find yourself in possession of all the repair gear you need.
Don't forget to look out for hidden areas - find all ten hidden areas and you will be presented with an alternative ending. Insidia can be played here.
As usual, if you think we have missed any great platformer adventure games from this list, please tell us all about them in the comments section below.