Platform games task you with getting from point A to point B. The world you journey through is usually based on different levels, and populated with enemies, switches and lifts to be negotiated. As you work through each level you pick up various collectables that accrue score, special abilities and access to hidden areas.
Although the term refers to the vertical and horizontal platform found in early examples of these games, the genre now includes games that have moved on from the straight forward running and jumping play style. Some platform games, such as Super Mario DS and Pac n' Roll DS allow the player to navigate a 3D space. Other platform games such as LittleBigPlanet PS3 provide other additional ways to interact with the environment that extend the experience beyond the left to right progression.
After much speculation and rumour, today Activision drew back the curatin on the next iteration of their toys-to-life genre, Skylanders: Swap Force. The game introduces new Swap Force characters that seperate at the waist and can be mixed and matched for different combinations of abilities... watch now
The Nintendo Wii U is now here! To our amazement, one of our resident gaming families had not previously heard of the new console or the features it offers. In this Family Gamer TV, we put them in control of Nintendo Land and New Super Mario Bros U to gauge their reaction... watch now
Paper Mario Sticker Star is a different approach to the Mario franchise, with turn-based battles, stickers to collect and a deeper adventure to uncover. In this FamilyGamerTV, we ask for the opinion of our kids, to see if this deeper adventure still appeals to young players... watch now
Lego City Undercover is an own-brand, WiiU exclusive game which explores new ground for the Lego series and makes innovative use of the new WiiU controller. In this FamilyGamerTV, we get the chance to play the game for ourselves and see how the WiiU innovations stack up... watch now
Epic Mickey: The Power of 2 is a sequel to 2010's Epic Mickey, this time for all major consoles. In this episode, we talk to the Studio Director, Paul Weaver, to find out how the new game became shaped the way it is... watch now
Deadlight is a new Zombie survival game, this time eschewing the guns and machismo for running, escape, and survival. In this FamilyGamerTV, we talk to game developer Tequila Works' CEO to find out all we can about this new spin on the Zombie adventure... watch now
Alan Wake is a survival horror adventure on the Xbox 360. You control Wake, an ill-fated writer, as he journeys into the collapsing nether-world of his imagination. If this doesn't sound like your cup of tea, hold judgement a moment as I felt just the same before playing... read now
Mutant Mudds is a retro-style platform game, with wonderfully pixelated visuals being given an up-to-date twist with the 3D visual effect of the 3DS. It's a striking mix of the old and new and promises a great collection of characters and fun... read now
LittleBigPlanet on the PS Vita offers a step up from previous handheld versions of the world-building and platforming hybrid game. We look at how our family responds to the creative side of the game on the new PS Vita console... watch now
Papo and Yo wears its more-than-entertainment credentials on its sleeve. It's a game about the fear and pain of growing up with an abusive and alcoholic father. Unlike other games I've reviewed here, I know this to be so not because of what I've read into the experience but because that's what creator Vander Caballero has been vocal about in the build up to release... read now
Paper Mario: Sticker Star is part of a series that feels like an alternative universe Mario platform. Bravely mixing roleplaying elements and combat with traditionally addictive Mario platforming, Paper Mario: Sticker Star promises a unique adventure... read now
The Internet has the unique ability to polarise humanity. Even a cursory visit to its virtual shores will turn up endearing stories of human sacrifice and love right alongside an underbelly of darkness and pain... read now
Platform videogames concoct a mix of precision jumping, running, ladder climbing, puzzle solving and exploration. Mario, Sonic, Manic Miner and Jet Set Willy have delivered this kind of entertainment over the last 30 years... read now
With a range of new Skylanders figures set to storm our shores, Family Gamer TV takes a look at the hints available for new figures incoming and speculates what may appear in the future. We discuss new Giants, new Lightcore figures as well as whole new Skylanders characters and a range of re-posed figures for Skylanders series two... watch now
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
What sort of gamer are you?
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: