Let me guess, some of your best childhood memories involve games. And now that you have kids of your own, wouldn’t it be fun to spend some of that all-important family bonding time playing games together? Whether you’ve got your own sprog or think you’re the best game auntie or uncle in the world, check out our list of great indie platformers.
So give Sonic and Mario a chance to take off their shoes and catch their breath. Most of the games listed below are in the £5-10 range and in my opinion, represent excellent value for money. Take a walk on the indie side and have some fun with the kids – take turns playing different levels or challenge each other for the top score!
Macrotis: A Mother’s Journey
Created by Istanbul-based Proud Dinosaurs, Macrotis: A Mother’s Journey will provide hours of heartwarming family fun time. You play as Mother Bilby who has been separated from her children after a devastating flood. With your help in beautifully-rendered but dangerous environments, Mother Bilby slowly gains magical abilities while searching for her children.
This lovely 2.5D puzzle-platformer offers an emotional journey underground and its soundtrack is charming. There are plenty of puzzles to solve together as Mother Bilby will have to gnaw her way through obstacles or climb walls numerous times. Pssst, she can also phase through walls. By the way, in case the kids ask you what “macrotis” means, you can tell them Mother Bilby and her family are desert-dwelling marsupial omnivores.
Bubbles The Cat
The newest kid on the block (or on this list anyway), Bubbles The Cat is a super cute one-button platformer. With over 125 levels to explore across 6 different worlds, Bubbles The Cat will provide hours of exciting gameplay. Whether you and your little ones are new to platformers or looking for a fun challenge, you might like to know that the difficulty of Bubbles The Cat can be freely modified as you progress.
Bubbles will auto-run and, with your guidance, jump for tasty fishy treats. By pressing the button whilst in mid-air, you can create a magic bubble for Bubbles to bounce off. As the game progresses, Bubbles will gain more power-ups including the ability to float and the ability to blast obstacles (very satisfying). Just so you know, Bubbles can be customised with dozens of hats, colours and trails – you can be Doge Kitty for the day if you so want!
I loved playing Candleman and kept rooting for the protagonist the whole way through no matter how dark (I mean, literally) the game sometimes became. With only ten seconds of illumination on each level, you’ll have use your time wisely. Luckily, you can light other candles you find.
Candleman remains one of the most gorgeous platformers I’ve ever played. I still can’t decide which bits I liked best – climbing staircases made of books, the beautiful but dangerous spiky flowers that bloomed in the presence of light, or floating along a stream in the darkness on a flower ‘boat’. It just felt so magical the whole way through. Listen carefully and you might hear our waxy little hero’s brass feet go tap-tap-tap on his journey.
Ori And The Blind Forest
Ori And The Blind Forest is a brilliant action platformer set in the dying forest of Nibel. You play as the newly-orphaned Ori who must go on a journey to save his home. The game features beautiful hand-painted artwork and its fully orchestrated score is one of my favourite game soundtracks ever.
It can be challenging at times (the bit where you have to escape rising water took me ages) but nevertheless, will provide plenty of fun, enchantment, and hope. If you enjoy playing this, look out for its sequel, Ori and The Will of the Wisps, set to be released in 2019.
Mable And The Wood
Okay, so this one’s not been released just yet. However, it’s coming out in 2019 and is definitely one to keep an eye on. Mable And The Wood is a metroidvania where you don’t have to kill to win. Also, you can’t run or jump. Yeah, it’s really not your standard metroidvania.
As the newly-resurrected Mable who has the ability to shapeshift, you’ll just have to find out what’s going on in a world that is falling apart from the overuse of magic, and figure out how you’re going to save it. Get ready to meet great big beasts, adults who don’t take you seriously and, of course, the cult that resurrected Mable.
Looking at the list above again makes me want to play a couple of the games once more with the kids. If you play any of our recommendations or think there’s an indie platformer we should know about, let us know in the comments below.
In the meantime, have fun!