God it was a good year to be a platforming fan. Sonic made a stellar return, Mario...well...was Mario, Donkey Kong came back to please the retro fans and then, of course, you had smaller but equally potent titles like Super Meat Boy rivalling the big boys for sheer addictiveness. Every single game on our shortlist in this category proved to be absolutely fantastic fun....or, as a number of them were titled, absolutely 'super'.
NB. Hit the thumbnail for price comps and the title for our full reviews where applicable.
Simple, effective, brilliant. Flight Control HD came out of nowhere to become one of our favourite titles of the year. Effortlessly making use of the Playstation Move, but finding a home on PC too, pushing tin in bright colours turned out to be one of the best things to do in 2010. It even supported 3D if you had it. Quite quite superb.
They just keep getting better and better. Travellers Tales were at it again this year, applying their unique brand of colourful, tongue-in-cheek LEGO-based brilliance to the Harry Potter franchise. As usual it was a complete knockout. Making a mediocre game, let alone a bad one, might be beyond them.
I've still not been quite as affected by any game this year more so than I was by Limbo. It wasn't just the shadowy, sinister, enormous arachnid that stalked my nameless avatar through the monochrome purgatory he found himself in, but all of the little details that added to the weighty atmosphere. Gorgeous to look at and challenging without ever over-staying it’s welcome, Limbo was a masterclass in moving minimalism.
The year 2010 will always hold some small degree of satisfaction in my heart for being the year that Sonic returned to doing what he does best - melting people's eyes. Sonic Colours was bright, blisteringly fast, brilliantly inventive and beautiful to behold. Best of all, there wasn't a were-hog in sight. A striking return to form./
We've been ragging a fair bit on Nintendo for lazily rehashing old franchises (there'll be more to come on that) but SMG2 managed to sidestep that by being really, really, REALLY good. The point's more or less moot as to whether or not the first or the second game is the better of the two, they're both brilliant, near-pearless examples of platforming at its best.
One of the finest platform titles of the year, Super Meat Boy was a throwback to punitive, punishing platforming. There was no room for simpering crybabies here, SMB took no prisoners and instead offered a simply sublime experience for the hardcore gamer. Dripping with retro charm, stuffed with some excellent level design and riddled with humour, it was utterly impossible not to love the square red fella.
Super Scribblenauts managed to better its predecessor in one simple move: by separating out the movement and selection controls. Of course throwing adjectives into the mix was a stroke of genius. Exploding traffic cones, poisonous ladders, nude Cthulhu...anything was possible!
Winner: Super Mario Galaxy 2
It was probably always going to be the plumber for this one really. Yes it was pretty much the same game as the original, albeit with an introduction of everyone's favourite boot-wearing, green dinosaur, but that didn't stop it from being brilliant. essentially Nintendo standing on their own shoulders to reach even more astronomical new heights of platforming perfection, SMG2 just delivered a call that was completely impossible to ignore. Landslide victory in the end.