Platformebruary 2020: Ultimate Collector’s Edition
PLATFORMEBRUARY has finally ended! Scroll down to see a recap of the month!
With 2,516 platformers on Steam (yes I checked), seems pretty likely that a few of them will be good, right? Actually more than a few of them are worth your time, which is why we spend a whole month every year checking them out. That’s right, PLATFORMEBRUARY is back for its fifth year, filling the otherwise mundane month of February with new platformer reviews every single day. And that’s 29 this year!
Reviews will appear here on the website at 8am PST daily, followed by them appearing on the list below, on Steam, and on our curator page soon after. I’m also showing off several of the month’s selections on our Twitch channel every Wednesday night, so pop over there and give us a follow if you want to see these games in action. And let us not forget that several of our platformers have been picked by the community through our Reader’s Choice and Patron Pick systems, which we organize over on our Patreon, which I heartily encourage you to support if you like what we do here or want a say in what games we cover.
With that all said and done, prepare to platform! First review goes up tomorrow at 8am!
2. Duck Souls
3. Dune Sea
5. Sonic Mania
10. Spirits Abyss
11. A Short Hike
14. Spark the Electric Jester 2
17. Umihara Kawase
19. Rain World
21. Wings of Vi
23. Total Party Kill
27. Ikeda: The Scrap Hunter E.P.
28. Tobari and the Night of the Curious Moon
29. Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove
I know I missed the end of February pretty hard, but I wanted to put a proper cap on this series for a couple reasons. So now that we’re done, let’s recap the titles I touched on in my tour of indie platformers.
The Best Stuff
- 1. Blasphemous
- 11. A Short Hike
- 29. Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove
We started and ended with two of the best games in the genre, Blasphemous if you’re into edgy metroidvanias and Shovel Knight if you have any nostalgia for the 8-bit era at all. I snuck A Short Hike in the middle though it’s only loosely a platformer, but it’s just so damn good and charming that you really can’t afford to miss it.
The Good Stuff
- 2. Duck Souls
- 4. A Robot Named Fight
- 5. Sonic Mania
- 7. MagiCat
- 10. Spirits Abyss
- 12. Super Time Force Ultra
- 13. Touhou Luna Nights
- 14. Spark the Electric Jester 2
- 18. Noita
- 22. MO:Astray
- 23. Total Party Kill
- 26. Skautfold: Usurper
It’s not that hard to find good platformers, but good comes in a lot of different flavors. For metroidvanias, you’ve got A Robot Named Fight, Touhou Luna Nights, and Usurper. More puzzley offerings include Super Time Force Ultra, Total Party Kill, and MO:Astray, though there’s a lot of difference between even those. Duck Souls and MagiCat are more baseline platforming experiences, Sonic is extremely Sonic, and Spark actually brings some 3D quality to a genre that doesn’t see much of it these days. And do not miss Spirits Abyss and Noita for all kinds of roguelike chaos.
The Might Be Good Stuff
- 15. Serious Scramblers
- 17. Umihara Kawase
- 24. Dandara
- 25. Potata
- 28. Tobari and the Night of the Curious Moon
We’ve always got games that straddle the line, but may very much appeal to you in their own special ways. Umihara and Tobari in particular are great, creative games that just have steep difficulty curves (and indie jank) to deal with. Potata isn’t hard but it’s definitely janky, and Dandara is a great game if you can handle its very finicky control scheme. And Serious Scramblers is just there for a simpler, more arcadey experience.
The Ungood Stuff
- 3. Dune Sea
- 6. Izeriya
- 8. Runner3
- 9. Harold
- 16. PONCHO
- 19. Rain World
- 20. 8BitBoy
- 21. Wings of Vi
- 27. Ikeda: The Scrap Hunter E.P.
There’s at least as many bad platformers as good, and all of these miss the mark somehow. Rain World is surely the most contentious in this list, because I know a lot of people love it, but after three hours of trying I just couldn’t find that magic. The other titles here are less debatable but you might get some mileage out of them. Or at least get a chuckle at how hard they flub what they’re trying to do.
So that’s it! A fourth year of running down indie platformers is done. Hopefully I mentioned something of interest to you, or at least something you’ve got tucked away in your backlog that you need a reminder to revisit. I’ve always enjoyed the variety of games these series summon up for me, but I do believe this is the last one I’ll be doing. I do a lot of streaming now, and while its mostly been a good fit with writing reviews, these review series just take too much time and effort to work through every few months. If you ever want to revisit the series I’ve done over the years, you can find them here. And as always, thanks for reading!