A sample scrolling platformer by the Sample Projects Team.

A platformer or platform game is a popular video game genre characterized by jumping to and from suspended platforms or over obstacles. Most of the characters can perform actions similar to those possible in real life, such as jumping, rolling, walking, etc.[1] Platformers often have themes. For example, a popular platformer called "Don't Look Back" does not allow the player to move backwards. Many Scratchers have difficulty creating realistic platformers due to the complex mathematical programming and trigonometry involved.[2]

Elements of Platformers


Many platformers are coded to in such a way that the player interacts with areas of different colors. The color red is often used to represent hazardous objects like lava and spikes, which are intended to be avoided.[3][4] Colors can also be used for other items that affect the player, such as an extra bounce or being shrunk. Platforms, or the land that the character can stand on, are typically "ground" colors, such as green, brown or black. There are also some other common colors like blue representing water.


Due to the need to move in a platformer, one must assign keys to the different directions. Popular keys to use are the WASD keys (W for up, A for left, S for down, and D for right) or the arrow keys ( for up, for down, for right, and for left). With the release of Scratch 3.0, Scratchers can now use Scratch on mobile devices. However, on mobile devices, a keyboard cannot be used while viewing projects. Due to that reason, some users started making mobile-friendly platformers, enabling the use of the touchscreen to move the sprite.


Wall-jumping is a popular element used in many platformers, including pen platformers, scrolling platformers, and static platformers. Wall-jumping can be characterized by the act of climbing up walls. While many Scratchers think it is a fun element to add to their project, [citation needed] some also choose to exclude wall-jumping due to the fact that it makes the game unrealistic[citation needed] - especially if it is being made into a realistic platformer.

Scrolling Platformers

See also: Scrolling Platformer Tutorial

Platformers can have scrolling for the smooth transition between locations as if the camera is following the player. The character sprite is always in one place on the screen. This is very useful as it can allow the creator to increase the level size and create a more realistic view. However, this type of platformer usually requires more work than non-scrolling platformers.


Static or Non-Scrolling Platformers

Platformers can also be non-scrolling. The action of contacting the edge of the screen or reaching a goal triggers a transition to the next or previous location. Usually it is the level to the right of the current level the player is on. Static platformers may be easier to code for some users due to their lack of a requirement for additional code to create the scrolling effect.


Pen Platformers

Platformers can be created by pen. All or part of the platforms and the ground are coded with the pen blocks. Pen platformers can be scrolling or static. Pen platformers are usually more complicated to code out of the two mentioned above as it would usually require a lot of intricate coding.


360° Platformers

Platformers can also scroll in a circular motion, eventually moving 360 degrees. Completing the circle will then start a new level, sometimes in a new world, like from the Moon to Mars. As mentioned above, this kind of platformer is similar to scrolling platformers in the way that the player moves through the game. As in traditional scrolling platformers, spikes and other dangers will start the player over at the beginning of the level.


See Also

Giga See Inside.png You can create one of these! A tutorial is available here.