A request for help

So… I would like to compile a chronology of the 2D platformer. It’s always been my favorite genre, even in the days when that style of game became bloated and complacent, oozing across store shelves with the perfunctory laziness of a format in desperate need of a shakeup. I want to put together an honest-to-god chronicle of the format from its beginnings up ’til today — both the legitimate entries in the genre and their antecedents.

I’ve thrown together a wiki page in which to build this list and removed the password protection on it, so please contribute! And please be nice. Edits are tracked by IP address, and I don’t want to have to hunt you down and kill you for vandalism. But I totally will.

16 thoughts on “A request for help

    • Absolutely not! Didn’t you see Set Set Willy on there? The only place I’m putting my foot down is on crappy iOS games. Unless it’s genuinely notable (something like Hook Champ) we don’t need to include it and clutter up the list.

  1. Hey Jeremy,

    just one question: You really want to chronicle all of them, right? Do obscure Master System games that were only released in Brazil and Europe count as well? And what about ports? For example, in the case of Sonic The Hedgehog, the Master System and Game Gear versions share some design outlines with their “big brothers”, but are games in their own right. Should they be included separately on the list?

    You can probably see already that you managed to get me interested ;-) It’s one of my favourite genres too.

    • It is better to over-compile and cull the excess afterwards than to miss things. List it if you think it merits being listed.

      • Thanks for the quick reply! I added about 40 games, and those are just the ones I have in my own collection o_O Thanks for reminding me how much of a nerd I am…

        …oh well, back to compiling more platformers, I guess ;-)

    • If they involve jumping in a 2D plane, yes. Zelda II definitely counts — getting to the Great Temple involves some nasty platforming.

  2. I’m super busy today between prepping for the E3 trip and having to go to my day job, but tomorrow’s my day off and packing will take like a half hour at most. After that I will turn this already impressive list into a veritable tome of 2D platforming lore.

  3. I’ve got you covered for long-forgotten (but awesome) PC shareware games like Monster Bash and Cosmo’s Cosmic Adventure. :)

    Must say I’m a little sad that someone put up Commander Keen but not the original Duke Nukem. They’re like peanut butter and chocolate!

  4. I think ‘Astro Boy: Omega Factor’ counts. It’s a stellar game either way, try it if you still have a GBA lying around.

  5. I included a few flash games I thought were noteworthy because of their influence, parody, or sheer inventiveness. The creative groundswell of flash games in the past six or so years have had a huge hand in shaping the current downloadable and indie game scene.

    Feel free to remove any that don’t seem relevant.

  6. Can’t you get the list from somewhere like MobyGames? Platformers is already one of their genre categories, you’d have to figure out how to intersect the results with the relevant “perspectives and viewpoints” genres.

  7. Is Moon Patrol really a 2D platformer? I mean I can understand City Connection….definately.

    And are there any limits? There were A LOT of platform games on the C64 and Sinclair Spectrum. This list just wouldn’t be complete without Impossible Mission, Manic Miner and Chuckie Egg!

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