GOGcom had a sale for platformers this week. In case you missed it, we are sharing the shortlist of the best games they had on the list for you below.
One of Tim Schafer’s finest creations, Psychonauts was underappreciated in its time, but has picked up a cult following since then. As Raz, you sneak into Whispering Rock, a covert spy agency training facility disguised as a summer camp. You discover the extent of Raz’s own psychic abilities, as you uncover Whispering Rock’s best kept secrets, and go through your own story of awakening and growing up.
Psychonauts is remembered for its strong blending of platformers and action games, as well as the often nightmarish nature of the levels. Raz himself has several psychic abilities to earn and level up, but also has the freedom to solve puzzles any way the player wishes. Buy Here Now
Spelunky is a vicious ode to the harsh platformers of old, revised with many of the ideas of today. Largely based on its namesake Spelunker, but also taking influence from La-Mulana and Rick Dangerous, you are an Indy-like adventurer, dropping down a series of caves to collect treasure, save damsels (which can be inverted to damsels saving spelunkers), and escaping the thorniest of traps. Spelunky’s levels also picks up elements from dungeon crawlers and roguelikes, such as randomly generated levels, including enemies and traps that can imperil you from anywhere. Buy Here Now
Dust: An Elysian Tail
Here we go again, with another game that’s so good we can’t not talk about it. Aside from everything we have said about this game before, Dust distinguishes itself from the pack with neatly executed combat mechanics that sits midway between classic games, and the deeper systems of newer games. With the help of Fidget, you can pull off some magical attacks, and many variations, but the game ultimately has no combo system. Some fans may find this lacking, but many reviewers also cite how it feels fluid and becomes freeform as a result. Buy Here Now
Teslagrad leans more on the puzzle end of the puzzle platformer spectrum, so if you are up for a combined action reflex and mental challenge, this is definitely the game you are looking for. You are a young boy, traversing the mysterious Tesla tower with your potent Teslamancer technology. The game revolves around electromagnetism and pattern recognition; magnetic objects are colored red and blue, and can repel or attract each other. You use this magnetism to get past wide gaps or scale tall walls, and even take out some bosses. Buy Here Now
Stick It To The Man!
Now this is one of the more unique platformer ideas in recent memory. Thanks to a bizarre accident, your playable character, Ray, becomes a mind reader, which manifests itself in a bizarre stretchy spaghetti hand at the back of his head. He can use this spaghetti hand to manipulate the game world, by sticking, removing, and replacing stickers. He uses his new abilities to get away from the man, accused of a crime he didn’t commit. It’s the sort of game you will realize you really like after you get to try it. Buy Here Now
Duke Nukem 1+2,
Now we’re getting some amazing value. The 1st Duke Nukem game by Apogee Software were a highlight for platforming on MS-DOSs, the same year we got Sonic The Hedgehog and Super Mario World, not to mention Amiga getting first dibs on Lemmings and Another World. Its immediate sequel was essentially more of the same type of game, with a lot of improvements layered on top. These games are fondly remembered by many PC gamers today as their first exposure to platforming. After years of legal limbo, Apogee is able to offer the first two Duke Nukem games together bundled and DRM-free. Buy Here Now
Volgarr the Viking
Speaking of manly protagonists, Volgarr the Viking harkens back to the brutal arcade platformers of old. Everything from the meticulously handmade pixel animations, barbarian story scenario, gigantic bosses, and simple controls screams Rastan, or Golden Axe or whatever grabs your fancy. Unlike those arcade outings, Volgarr is huge at a staggering 30 maps, and with enemies exhibiting as much as 30 different traits. Buy Here Now
This one is a little off of left field, but a fun little game nonetheless. The eponymous goat has been placed in the Prison of Agnes after being accused of witchcraft. Unfortunately, you do not have actual supernatural powers, but what you do have is a specialty in jumping twice and ramming into objects. Thankfully, you also have a mouse friend to enter smaller areas and help you find your way out. Escape Goat is a short, but hugely enjoyable experience, thanks to a masterfully tuned difficulty that makes sure you have mastered a special trick before you move forward. Buy Here Now
Giana Sisters: Rise of the Owlverlord
While the Giana Sisters reboot has proven itself worthwhile, when comparing the two games, I found it easier to recommend Rise of the Owlverlord over Twisted Dreams. Owlverlord is like a fun sized taste of the new Giana Sisters with seven levels to offer, with the same gameplay, better balanced difficulty, and a low asking price. Of course, if you click through, you can choose to get the original game with it too. Buy Here Now
Valdis Story: Abyssal City
We end this list with a surprisingly grimdark Metroidvania, and an outstanding take on that fine tradition. As Wyatt, you set out to find your father, but soon yourself get caught up in a battle between angels and demons, as you face the threat of Ferals. This game is as close to the essential Metroidvania formula as possible, with powerful attacks, skill trees, gut wrenching boss battles. Thankfully, they’ve taken out the exploration and fetch quests, making this one all about the action. Buy Here Now
Do you feel there was a game we failed to name here? Feel free to share your favorite GOGcom platformer in the comments below.