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Game Of The Year 2015: Best Platformer

Papercraft perfection.

There’s potentially nothing more synonymous with gaming as the platformer. For so many their first heady foray into the world was leading Mario or Sonic from left to right, bouncing on the heads of all who opposed them. Over the years the genre has certainly advanced and diversified, but the joy of a precise jump, of reaching the end of a tough level, hasn’t diminished at all.

This was one of the most hotly contested categories in this year’s competition, with only one vote separating our winner from its closest rivals, with the beautiful Ori and the Blind Forest and the creative Super Mario Maker just missing out on the top spot.

It’s interesting that despite cultural shifts, improvements in technology, and of course newer genres, there’s still a place in our heart for the humble platformer, with both indie developers and huge iconic companies continuing to put stock in it. It’s perhaps no surprise though that two of our finalists come from Nintendo, who have arguably shaped the genre since its inception, and with both Mario Maker and Yoshi’s Woolly World proving that they still have an eye for enhancement and evolution that other developers would kill for.

GOTY2015-Platformer

Despite the heated competition, it’s Tearaway Unfolded that comes away with the prize. Originally appearing on the PS Vita, the papercraft platformer Tearaway remains amongst the most innovative titles for the system, making incredible use of its myriad inputs to bring gamers into the game in ways that were never previously possible.

With the marvellous Dualshock 4, Tarsier Studios and Media Molecule were able to remake the game for PS4 and successfully translate that experience across thanks to the touchpad and internal gyroscope, while also introducing new features such as using the controller’s light bar to illuminate darkened areas.

Making the most of the technology available to them, players were also able to use the PS4 camera or the PlayStation App to input drawings or textures into the game. Alongside this, the developers were able to benefit from the much greater power of the system, which not only allowed for new elements such as the paper plane section, but also meant it was possible to hit those visual benchmarks of 1080p and 60fps.

But maybe, beyond impressive visuals and smart uses of technology, it’s the pure joy that Tearaway Unfolded can illicit, from both returning players and those new to the game’s world. From its joyful outlook to its magical soundtrack, there are few platformers that can come close to the adventures of Atoi or Iota.

Runners up in alphabetical order:

  • Grow Home
  • Ori and the Blind Forest
  • Super Mario Maker
  • Yoshi’s Woolly World
12 Comments
  1. bunimomike
    Member
    Since: Jul 2009

    Ah, lovely. I believe this little gem will be under the Christmas tree for me. :-)

    Comment posted on 21/12/2015 at 13:11.
  2. Tony Cawley
    Pint! Pint!
    Since: Feb 2009

    Excellent write up, I’m glad about this I got it for my son yesterday for Christmas, hopefully he’ll enjoy it.

    Comment posted on 21/12/2015 at 13:11.
  3. stigdu
    Member
    Since: Apr 2010

    How on earth did Grow Home get runner-up? It’s absolute rubbish. Tearaway was a worthy winner.

    Comment posted on 21/12/2015 at 15:17.
    • JR.
      Member
      Since: Apr 2013

      Grow home was amazing. To the naughty step with you!

      Comment posted on 21/12/2015 at 16:17.
      • Kennykazey
        Member
        Since: Mar 2010

        Amazingly unimpressive perhaps? :-P

        Comment posted on 21/12/2015 at 17:37.
      • JR.
        Member
        Since: Apr 2013

        We’re gonna need a bigger naughty step

        Comment posted on 21/12/2015 at 18:55.
  4. Kennykazey
    Member
    Since: Mar 2010

    Although I love Tearaway, I don’t concider it as a new game for this year. It’s an enhanced port and in my mind they don’t count unless given a separate category.

    I’d replace Grow Home with Shovel Knight Plague of Shadows if Tearaway counts. But oh well, opinions.

    Comment posted on 21/12/2015 at 17:36.
    • Avenger
      Member
      Since: Oct 2012

      I agree on Tearaway, it’s not an original game and Ori and the Blind Forest could’ve taken top spot.

      That said, I have just voted for Tearaway myself *facepalm*. I felt it was that distinctive enough in core mechanics to warrant some sort of congratulations. A bit of a cheat all round really, it pains me to reward an old game that’s been ripped away from a canabilised handheld console. It’s hardly fair to other games on the list either.

      Comment posted on 21/12/2015 at 17:49.
    • Stefan L
      Community Team
      Since: May 2009

      What helps Tearaway Unfolded stay outside of the Remasters category is that it does alter a lot of the game. The main story is still there, large parts of the world you explore are the same as well, but you have a lot of new ways to interact with the game world because of playing with the DS4 and there are additional areas that go beyond the original game.

      You really can’t say the same about Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection or Gears of War Ultimate Edition, regardless of how technically impressive they are.

      Comment posted on 22/12/2015 at 01:05.
  5. JR.
    Member
    Since: Apr 2013

    Tearaway should be my plaformer of the year but something about it just didnt connect with me. I liked it on the Vita but I think that was mostly down the Vita’s unique features, rather than the game itself. I found the actual story a chore to get through.

    I gave Unfolded a chance on the PS4 but I couldnt get past the first area without goving up. There’s something about that ‘made entirely out of paper’ world that I just find extremely dull. I cant fault the game on a technical level, I’m sure it seemed like a great idea on paper (ba dum tish) but my god is it drab.

    Comment posted on 21/12/2015 at 19:23.
    • Avenger
      Member
      Since: Oct 2012

      About that naughty step…

      Comment posted on 21/12/2015 at 20:14.
    • bigkingy
      Member
      Since: Jul 2010

      I felt the same, I wanted to love it ,and completed it on vita…..but never really got into it. It was a nice game, but I was always a bit puzzled about the rave reviews!

      Comment posted on 21/12/2015 at 20:47.

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