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Cross the platforms with jumps and climbs

Continue through the levels

The platform video game is a sub-genre of action video games. The game mechanics mainly consist of crossing levels arranged on several floors. The player-controlled character moves to these platforms and passes between them by jumping and using ladders. The first experiments date back to 1980 when they developed the games. Traditionally, these video games are on a single fixed screen with a two-dimensional side view. The hero can jump, climb and descend stairs, avoid obstacles, fight enemies and collect objects. Subsequently, the genre expanded with scrolling and subsequently 3D environments. The title generally recognized as the first platform video game was the arcade Space Panic in 1980. One year later, Donkey Kong was the first to have a huge success.

The first games were on a fixed screen

The first platform games were in profile because they had a fixed view. In 1980, Universal released Space Panic, the first platform game. The player can fall but not jump, so the game does not meet the modern criteria of the genre. However, it influenced the genre, with a game mode focused on climbing stairs between different floors, a common element in many early platforms. Space Panic was a challenging game and remained little known as an arcade. Still, the unofficial 1981 clone Apple Panic was a hit on home computers. Another precursor to the 1980 genre is Nichibutsu’s Crazy Climber, which tackles the concept of climbing vertically scrolling skyscrapers. Donkey Kong is an arcade game created by Nintendo and released in July 1981. Although it was the first game to allow players to jump over obstacles and holes, it made the first true platform.

Grab the object at the top of the screen

The term platform is somewhat imprecise, particularly when referring to games that predate the international spread of the term. The concept was initially different from how we use it now. After Donkey Kong, games with a similar style emerged, featuring floors connected by stairs in profile. Canguro, Ponpoko, Canyon Climber, Miner 2049er, Lode Runner, and Jumpman. These games have the same goal: reach the top of the screen and collect an object. The terms platform game have since gained widespread use in North America and Europe. The concept has evolved since early services, particularly as the genre peaked in popularity during the early 1990s.

The first sliding platform arrives

In 1984 Pac-Land was released, recognized as the first scrolling platform. The following year Super Mario Bros comes out for the NES. The video game’s success stood out from others for various colors and settings. The innovative gameplay and increasing difficulty were so radical that they paved the way for new titles like Gods, DuckTales, etc. In 1991 Sega released the Sonic the Hedgehog game for Sega Mega Drive to compete with Mario’s popularity, thus kicking off the console war of the early 1990s. Yet the plumber and the hedgehog are two of the most influential characters in video game history. Kirby’s Dream Land came out in 1992, Donkey Kong Country and Earthworm Jim in 1994.

3D made it easy to go in different directions

The first three-dimensional platformers used isometric and 2.5D perspective to represent flat platforms, walkable in multiple directions and not just horizontally. Early examples are Q * Bert, Congo Bongo, and Marble Madness. True 3D has established itself in the gaming world with the advent of the sixth generation, but apart from a few attempts like Jumping Flash! and Floating Runner. The first true 3D platformer was Super Mario 64 for the Nintendo 64 in 1996. From Super Mario 64 onwards, the 3D platforming genre has been hugely successful. In addition, Crash Bandicoot came out for PlayStation that year. The first game sees open levels more than the second, which incites exploration, thus marking a real turning point in the genre.

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