I will be looking at other existing 2D platformer games
A very recent platformer which came out in January 2018. You play as a person called Madeline who she wants to climb a mountain. Along the way, you will meet the various character who you can interact with and goes along with the story.
Madeline controls are the usual left, right, jump and duck. She also has a climb and dash controls. The climb can be used to climb up walls to get onto other platforms be careful to not use it all at one go or Madeline will fall of the wall. The other is dashing which Madeline uses to get to the platforms. She can use the dash in eight directions and can only use one once and can reuse when touching the ground.
Level design and level mechanics:
These mechanics are used throughout the game for each different level. Examples of a level mechanic are interactive moving platforms to bubbles. All are added to the level to enhance level and difficulty. Each of the levels design shows it well thought out from the platform and mechanic placement.
The graphics use pixel art for its gameplay while keeping hud, menus, text and dialogue boxes in a more flat cartoon look without the graphics using pixel art. The pixel art is of it being semi-detailed where you will recognise the art style showing but keeping characters with no facial features.
Main colours are blues and whites shades to give the mood of it being cold and lonely just from the colours used in the levels.
The colours usage varies throughout each of the levels. Sometimes you get light colours with saturated yellows and oranges to portray the atmosphere of the sky while keeping the platforms and ground a dark purple to contrast well to make a great colour design. This also helps to see each of the platforms. When the ceiling or ground space isn’t used on screen it creates positive space of just using one colour so the player can focus on the area the player is at.
Colours use in other levels can be seen a use of darker colours if in the player inside a house or a cave. It has a darker mood to it while contrasting to the other bright colour levels.
The hud appears if you collect the collectables or other various actions. The hud has a smart flat font in white colour with a black outline which can be read well due to the game being darker in colour in most levels.
Extras in the game are mainly strawberries. Many can be found in the levels by exploring the level. The strawberries are usually found after doing a more difficult mission in the level by using what you learnt already in the level to use as your advantage.
Mighty Gunvolt Burst:
Sonic Mania was realised on 15 August 2017. It was a new throwback 2D platformer to the original retro games which where Sonic 1, Sonic CD, Sonic 2 and Sonic 3 and K. New zones were added while bringing older zones back to the game from past games and revamping the level to make them new and refreshing.
You can play up to three characters: Sonic, Tails and Knuckles which have mostly the same controls but their physics are different. Sonic can go left, right jump, become a ball to gain speed by going down hills, spin dash to create speed and the new drop dash. A spin dash is formed by pressing the jump buttons while pressing down on the stick/D-pad on the controller. Keep pressing the jump button to gain even more speed while still in a spin dash. A drop dash is performed by jumping in the air and pressing the other buttons to go down quickly and go fast forwards.
Tails dose the same as Sonic but can also hover in the air for a little while. Knuckles can do the same plus the functions to climb and glide while in the air but can’t drop dash and does not jump higher. These controls go well the level design and use the spin dash and drop dash in the game will help you to get through each level while keeping a good momentum speed.
Level design and level mechanics:
The level design works for Sonic. The levels are designed to be fast in from the various slopes, loops and platforms you can run and jump on. The design fits all three of the character’s playstyle as there are many things to explore in each of the zones.
Level mechanics are introduced into each of the levels. Each mechanic is show off usually at the start of the level by showing the player how it used. Various mechanics in the game are zip lines, bouncing liquid and gravity plasma balls which all fit with each of the themes of the level and introduce something new to the level to make it exciting.
Its visuals are a throwback to the original games art which was pixel art but was not called that back in the day due to technology being pushed to create all of these games. Sonic Mania visuals and animation show it is like the original games but improved on it to make the visuals for the game even better.
A big update is the character animations which have improved to give them more character which is shown in-game. Even some features of the level have been animated more or redone. All of the visuals were remade from scratch for this game.
Hud in the game shows time, rings and lives which are either in the top or bottom on the left side. The font is a pixel style and has white, blues and yellow colour which can be seen contrast well in front of the gameplay.
Each of the levels has a secret area you can go to from the big floating rings. These will put you in a minigame esc game where you have to race a ufo on this circuit map. You collect balls to speed up and getting rings to increases the time. You will be trying your best to get to the ufo before the time runs out while avoiding various obstacles.
Comparing the three games:
Each of the games I looked at is all pixel art but all take a different style of pixel art. Celeste takes a modern style of pixel art from colours and various forms of shapes, etc. GunVolt Burst and Sonic Mania all take more reference to the original MegaMan and Sonic games from the 80s and 90s.
Gameplay is different from the three games from Sonic Mania is a fast-paced 2D platformer, Gunvolt Burst being a slower 2D platformer shooter and Celeste being a more exploration climbing puzzle vibe 2D platformer. All are unique and different from their features. Celeste controls feel tight while Sonic Mania and Gunvolt Burst controls don’t feel as tight.
The difficulty is different in each game. Celeste being the hardest from its good level design from later in the game while Sonic Mania being the easiest but is still fun to play. Celeste and Gunvolt Burst has a more room to room style of gameplay where you go into a room do the level and continue to the next room. Sonic Mania has a more open level to the game where there are no rooms you just need to get through the level to the end.
Overall all three games are unique in there own way and are all enjoyable to play.