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Cinematic Platform Game

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A subgenre of platform games.

One main way in which cinematic platformers are distinguished from other platform games is that their game mechanics and visual style have a greater degree of realism, closer to that of Beat 'em Up games than other platform games. Some examples of this:

  • Human characters will have realistic proportions, unlike the Super-Deformed characters in (for example) Super Mario Bros..
  • Many such games had their character animation made by Rotoscoping.
  • Characters cannot instantly stop moving or instantly accelerate to their maximum walking/running speed; it takes time for them to decelerate or accelerate. Nor can they make an Instant 180-Degree Turn.
  • Characters have a maximum jump height that is about the same as that of real people, unlike in (again) Super Mario Bros. where characters can jump higher than they are tall. This means that the way to get to higher places might involve walking up steps, climbing up ropes, or clambering up ledges, since simply jumping up there is not an option.
  • A sufficiently long fall will kill a character.
  • Characters cannot change their direction of motion while they are in midair.
  • In combat, both the player and enemies will use weapons or punches/kicks, rather than game mechanics like Goomba Stomp or Collision Damage.
  • When the player character collects an item, the game will show the character reaching for it and picking it up with their hand. By contrast, items in other platform games tend to just disappear when collided with by the player character.

Other typical characteristics of the genre include:

  • The gameplay screen will have few or no user interface elements, such as points, time counters, level numbers, character stats, etc.
  • Gameplay is usually linear, especially compared to that of Metroidvanias.
  • Usually screen-flipping is used, instead of scrolling.
  • Although such games usually include action sequences, most commonly involving one-on-one combat, their gameplay also includes level-exploration and puzzle-solving.
  • Generally use Le Parkour.
  • Characters have to draw their sword or gun before attacking, and then their movement is limited until they sheath it again.


Alternative Title(s): Cinematic Platformer