The best platform game for Android is... Oddmar (free + £3.69)
If ever there’s a game that proves you can have console-quality platforming larks on mobile, it’s Oddmar. The backstory involves the kidnapping of your tribe, and ingesting magic mushrooms to attain ’special powers’ (uh-huh). Our beardy hero then sets out to save his kin.
From the start, it’s clear this is something special. Pitch-perfect gestural controls (on-screen buttons are available for luddites) enable you to work your way through lush, varied scenery. An early Indiana Jones escape from a determined rolling boulder, and then frantically fleeing from a screen-high troll, are merely indicators of the brilliance in store throughout Oddmar’s entire length. In short: buy it.
Super Cat Tales 2 (free/£5.49 without ads)
Like the excellent original, this adorable love letter to classic platformers looks like someone’s swapped out your Android device for a NES while you weren’t looking. It features a dinky cat scooting about, grabbing gold, avoiding monsters, and fending off an invasion of tin-pot aliens.
The short levels are ideally suited to mobile play, as are the two-thumb controls. Instead of a horrible virtual D-pad, you prod the left or right of the screen, which is enough for dashing, leaps, wall jumps, cartoonish braking, and trundling along in massive yellow tanks you sometimes worryingly find dotted about the place. It takes a while to click, but when that happens this game approaches purr-fection.
Mushroom 11 (£4.89)
Calling Mushroom 11 a platform game, while technically accurate, doesn’t get to the heart of it. In the glow of an irradiated wasteland, a self-multiplying blob of green gunk lurks. Touch one side of its mass and it’s burned away, quickly regrowing on the other side. Well done: you have discovered how to move.
But that’s just the beginning, in a game that forces you to jump between simple puzzles (slice up the blob, have one bit flick a switch, so the remaining part can squeeze through a gap) to intense boss battles.
It’s maddeningly difficult at times, although there are plenty of restart points. But Mushroom 11’s unconventional nature and touchscreen smarts nonetheless ensure it’s an essential purchase – especially for anyone bored of games featuring yet more humanoids leaping about and grabbing coins.
This one took its sweet time coming to Android, but now finally people without iThings can enjoy the eye-popping, terrifying journey of Dennis, a naked unicyclist battling his way through a surreal post-apocalyptic frozen wonderland.
Whether picking your way through mutating, spike-infested psychedelia, or struggling towards a puckered-up reverse mermaid, you’ll never tire of iCycle’s ceaselessly imaginative surroundings.
And the gameplay’s pretty good, too, with you having to master the tight choreography of each course in order to survive – let alone grab all the ice cubes, which can later be spent on bling like a trolley to ride in, or a woolly hat for Dennis’s presumably frozen and frazzled noggin.