Platformebruary 2019: The Authoritative Collection
Platformebruary 2019 has ended! Scroll down past the big list to find our final recommendation categories and wrap-up!
You know as well as I do we don’t do February around here, we do PLATFORMEBRUARY! There are literally thousands of platformers kicking around on Steam, with more added almost daily, and someone needs to dig in there and find the ones that are worth checking out. That’s why every year, I devote our shortest month to one of my biggest series, reviewing one platformer every single day. And this is the first year we’ve had serious support from developers, allowing us to look at a LOT more big-name titles than ever before!
Reviews will be posted on the website every day at 8am PST, and appear on the list below shortly thereafter. You’ll also find them listed on our Steam curator page, for easier store perusal. I’ve been streaming the titles we’ll be covering every Wednesday for the last few weeks, and I’ll be continuing to do so through the end of February, if you’d like to see live impressions and gameplay. Pop over to our Twitch channel and give us a follow to watch live, or check out our YouTube channel and subscribe to see everything we’ve played through so far.
First review goes up tomorrow at 8am, and it’s a sweet one! We’re going to hit these platformers running!
11. Pocket Kingdom
14. External Visions
16. Pharaoh Rebirth+
18. Ghost 1.0
20. Super Cloudbuilt
24. Alwa’s Awakening
25. Aura of Worlds
Now that the month-plus is over, let’s break this list down into the easy recommendations.
THE TOP FIVE
- Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon
- Sundered: Eldritch Edition
- Momodora: Reverie Under The Moonlight
Pity any game that gets stuck on a list with Celeste, because there are few titles that can match what a perfect challenge platformer experience it is. Bloodstained honestly exceeded my expectations for its retro stylings and creativity, and similarly Sundered is way more fun and engaging than I had come to expect. Cuphead can’t be left off thanks to its incredible art style, though the challenge does seem a bit steep for general audiences. Finally, I have to highlight Momodora for being one of the most memorable of the metroidvanias I played this year, thanks to a combination of great art, atmosphere, and mechanics.
THE GOOD STUFF
- Grapple Force Rena
- The Floor is Jelly
- Pocket Kingdom
- Ghost 1.0
- Super Cloudbuilt
- Slain: Back from Hell
- Alwa’s Awakening
- Aura of Worlds
- Tiny Dangerous Dungeon
You’ve got your choice for fine platforming across several different subgenres here! The metroidvanias range from light and fluffy with Catmaze and Rabi-Ribi to the silly with Ghost 1.0 and then into the tougher stuff with Alwa’s Awakening and Unworthy. There are smaller, more puzzley games like Pocket Kingdom and Tiny Dangerous Dungeon, and ones with fantastic movement like Grapple Force Rena, The Floor is Jelly, Super Cloudbuilt, and Aura of Worlds. And if you just want to coat yourself in the blood of your enemies, you can choose from sci-fi stylings in BUTCHER or the death metal fantasy version in Slain.
THE LESS GOOD STUFF
- Spark the Electric Jester
- Environmental Station Alpha
- Pharaoh Rebirth+
- Superfighters Deluxe
- Viking: Sigurd’s Adventure
As always, we had a few titles that are probably worth a look but may be too flawed to really appeal. Spark is trying super hard to be a new Sonic and makes a good show of it, but has serious balance issues to contend with. I personally like ESA a lot, but I can’t deny it has frustrated me in ways games like Cuphead and Unworthy have not. Pharaoh is a bit of a hot mess all over, while Superfighters is fine if you have the energy or friends to invest in it. Pinstripe might just be a personal thing; it’ll be a decent little adventure as long as the details don’t rub you the wrong way. Finally, Viking is not what I’d call a great or even good game but I can’t really knock a mobile port when it ends up being above average for what it is.
THE NOT REALLY VERY GOOD AT ALL IF WE’RE BEING HONEST HERE STUFF
- Until I Have You
- Forward to the Sky
- External Visions
- Cybarian: The Time Travelling Warrior
There are always going to be games that fail to live up to their promises or potential, and this year at least we only had a few of them. I won’t break down the specifics here but I encourage you to check out these reviews to see where things went wrong for me. Maybe they wouldn’t bother you the same way, or maybe they’re things that should be avoided across the genre in the future. Either way, we can make this a learning experience.
At last, we draw the curtain on Platformebruary 2019. Once again I’d like to thank everyone who has read along, joined the streams, and supported this little event even as it broke free of it’s prescribed month. Hopefully you found something new to delve into, or found a reason to jump back into a title in your backlog. As always, I’ll be here looking for more platforming gold and getting ready for next year… after playing many, many, many things that are not platformers for awhile.