Thursday, July 24, 2014

Jump Up And Get Down: 5 Critical Moments in Platform Game History

Jeremy Parish has a long history of insightful writing and analysis of video games, especially action-platformers. His work as editor at's continues this tradition with a fascinating article examining five of what he calls "Critical Moments In Platform Game History". For example, here is an excerpt from that article talking about Pitfall! and what it brought to the genre:
Pitfall! feels admittedly primitive compared to latter-day platformers, with flip-screen scrolling and simple two-level world design, yet it marked an important moment not only for the genre but for the medium at large. It introduced the idea that fast-paced action games could take place in settings rather than simply exist as isolated scenarios. Pitfall!'s quest dropped players into a jungle maze, one whose simple visuals belied structural complexity (traveling underground took you along a different route than going overland) and required both twitch skill and mental discipline to master.
The entire article is a fascinating read and traces the crucial moments of the platform genre of video games, from Donkey Kong to the debt that Super Mario Brothers owes Pac-Land! Check it out!

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