You! Floating jelly brain! Tell everyone that Metroid is coming!
January 8, 2012 11:35 AM   Subscribe

(VideoGameFilter): Painterly platformers. Canonical examples: Aquaria (PC/Mac), Muramasa: The Demon Blade (Wii).

I'm looking for games of a particular kind — platformers with richly detailed environments that encourage exploration. Plusses if
  • the environment reacts to the player in ways that are more than just game mechanics: plants sway, draperies flutter, etc.
  • music is intermittent or mostly composed of natural sounds
  • gameplay is branching and puts much of the game world at the player's disposal from the start
Games of all eras and platforms are welcome. Strict platformers are not a requirement, but it seems that games in this genre is the likeliest to fit these criteria.

Note: I am not just looking for Metroidvanias. Thanks for your suggestions!
posted by Nomyte to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (19 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
have u played Okami? its much more zelda-like, but i believe its from the same developers as muramasa...also, as far as 'painterly' it cant be use the wii controller as a paintbrush...paint a bomb (a circle and a line) and things explode, and etc...great fun!
posted by sexyrobot at 11:41 AM on January 8, 2012

Rayman Origins.

Currently $20 at Toys R' Us for Xbox360/PS3/Wii

Highly recommend either the 360 or PS3 as the artwork is gorgeous HD 2d.

Also recommend El Shaddai, although it's much more linear.
posted by Oktober at 11:43 AM on January 8, 2012

Response by poster: Let's assume I already know about Okami.
posted by Nomyte at 11:44 AM on January 8, 2012

Trine and Trine2? They both have demos.
posted by Wossname at 11:56 AM on January 8, 2012

Have you played Bastion ? it's a platformer RPG, where the story is narrated - the narrator's story adapts to your actions.
posted by motdiem2 at 11:58 AM on January 8, 2012

posted by pmcp at 12:18 PM on January 8, 2012

Response by poster: Wow, you people are basically reading titles off my "game shelf": a previous draft of the question listed Rayman 1 as one of the canonical examples (I edited it out because I was afraid people would just start naming colorful platformers), and I have Trine, Bastion, and Samorost/Machinarium (and look forward to Botanicula).

What I really need is some lateral thinking to name games I wouldn't think of, as well as similar games from the 64/32/16-bit eras.
posted by Nomyte at 12:30 PM on January 8, 2012

Blueberry Garden (Steam/PC) seems to match all of your requirements (it's unfortunately rather short).

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet (XBLA) - I haven't played it, so I don't know if it's exploratory (it might be entirely linear) but the visual style is worth mentioning.
posted by subject_verb_remainder at 12:33 PM on January 8, 2012

All of Vanillaware's other games are just as beautiful as Muramasa.

There are a few platformers that are oriented more (or entirely) toward exploration than actual gameplay, for instance Seiklus and Kyntt. Not sure if those meet your criteria.
posted by marakesh at 12:39 PM on January 8, 2012

Machinarium is on Steam for Mac and PC.

Also Eden and Flower on PS3 network are less like platformers, but would fit the other criteria.
posted by fontophilic at 2:10 PM on January 8, 2012

The Bitmap Brothers' awesome 1991 game Gods is a good example of most of your points. Video of the Amiga version here. Apparently it works with DOSBox.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 2:22 PM on January 8, 2012

Endless Ocean and especially it's sequel (much better) on the wii.
posted by smoke at 3:34 PM on January 8, 2012

posted by smoke at 3:35 PM on January 8, 2012

You have almost certainly played Knytt and Knytt Stories, right?
posted by en forme de poire at 4:50 PM on January 8, 2012

If you have a Wii and a Club Nintendo membership, they're basically giving away the WiiWare game Fluidity for 150 "coins" (earned by registering other games and answering surveys) until January 10th.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:34 PM on January 8, 2012

Braid is another obvious one, and Eufloria is painterly but not a platformer.
posted by mismatched at 10:41 PM on January 8, 2012

P.S., if you haven't played Shadow Complex on XBLA yet, it's the best metroidvania since, SOTN.
posted by Oktober at 7:50 AM on January 9, 2012

Dark Souls

Its not casual (its ridiculously difficult)
Its not a platformer (3d, uses Havok Engine)

However, It does fit your other criteria. And, at least for me finally exceded the experience of Castlevania:SOTN and felt like "a spiritual successor" to it.

Simply my favorite game since SOTN.

Also Terraria is a pretty cool 2d platformer/minecraft mash up, its worth checking out.
posted by rickim at 8:50 AM on January 9, 2012

I'm trying to think of something older, but it's probably still fairly obvious but how about flashback? It's not quite painterly but its lovingly created vector graphics still look great now and there is definitely a version around that runs on modern PCs.
posted by pmcp at 2:55 PM on January 9, 2012

« Older The Shutter Island rat scene   |   Ham of unknown origin Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.