The Platform Game
is a concept common to many old school video game
s. In such a game, the world is generally composed of platform
s of varying widths and heights. The player typically moves between these platforms by running, jumping, climbing ladders, or through others devices such as ramp
s or springboard
s. The gameplay centers around attempting to reach the end of the level
by moving between platforms, while eliminating or avoiding enemies
or other hazards
that populate the level. Gameplay skill is tied to the ability to time jumps between moving platforms, performing accurate running/jumping combos and shooting or avoiding enemies while doing so.
Platform games often involve a common design paradigms known as forced scrolling, where the screen can be scrolled in only the "forward" direction and the player cannot return in the direction they came from. In forced scrolling, platforms that have disappeared off screen are gone and cannot be returned to. In vertically scrolling games, missing a jump to an adjacent platform often results in falling to the bottom of the screen where death occurs (see Kid Icarus or Contra on the Nintendo NES).
Platform games are very common on older 8 and 16-bit consoles, such as the NES and Super NES, likely due to the ease at which tiled backgrounds could be scrolled on the hardware. The platform game genre is fading away, however game designers often implement some platform-like designs in now popular 3D games.