Platform games

The best platform game for Android is...SUPER CAT BROS (FREE/₹370)

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 finding his siblings who’ve ended up stranded on a mysterious island.

The short levels are ideally suited to mobile play, but the best bit is the two-thumb controls. Rather than a horrible virtual D-pad, you just get left and right arrows, which it turns out is enough for dashing, leaps, wall jumps, and cartoonish braking. The system takes time to click, but when it does, your speedruns will approach purr-fection. (Sorry.)

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MUSHROOM 11 (₹340)

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.

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We know: this isn’t a proper Mario game. This one’s an auto-runner, which you can play entirely with one thumb. Horrors! Only, this is Nintendo, so you’re not being short-changed – instead, you’re getting Mario reimagined for touch.

So, yes, the controls have been radically simplified: a sole digit activating in-context actions. but the 24 courses are deviously designed, packed with unique features and new tricks for Mario to learn, such as pause tiles, and arrows that hurl Mario backwards towards otherwise inaccessible areas.

If you’re resolutely against mobile, you’ll blaze through the game in a few hours and grumble. But if you want to properly complete the game, collecting all the special coins, you’re going to need to learn every step of the 24 courses, and have perfect timing for all those leaps, ninja-like wall-jumps, and floaty mid-air spins.

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ICYCLE (₹190)

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.

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SUZY CUBE (₹250)

Super Mario Run suggests we won’t see ‘proper’ Mario on Android any time soon, but Suzy Cube is a decent alternative. Set in a land of cubes and squares, the evil Skulls have nicked all the gold, and you have to get it back. Cue: lots of jumping on heads, collecting bling, and finding secrets dotted about the place.

There are echoes of Super Mario 3D Land as the fixed camera shifts perspective, depending on the game’s needs. You may scoot about a pyramid’s innards in side-on 2D but later switch between sliding down icy hills on your bum and tense overhead leaps between platforms floating above the abyss. With tight controls and loads to do, this platformer shows Android can cut it in console-style gaming where it counts.

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