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A sample scrolling platformer by the Sample Projects Team.

A platformer or platform game is a popular video game genre characterized by jumping to and from suspended platforms or over obstacles. Most of the characters can perform actions similar to those possible in real life, such as jumping, rolling, walking, etc.[1] Platformers often have themes. For example, a popular platformer called "Don't Look Back" does not allow the player to move backwards. Many Scratchers have difficulty creating realistic platformers due to the complex mathematical programming and trigonometry involved.[2]

Elements of Platformers


Many platformers are coded to in such a way that the player interacts with areas of different colours. Often times the colour red is used to represent lava and must be avoided.[3][4] Colors can also be used for other items that affect the player, such as an extra bounce or being shrunk. Platforms, or the land that the character can stand on, are typically "ground" colors, such as green, brown or black. Besides, there are some other common colors like blue representing water.


Due to the need to move in a platformer, one must assign keys to the different directions. Popular keys to use are the WASD keys (W for up, A for left, S for down, and D for right) or the arrow keys ( for up, for down, for right, and for left). With the release of Scratch 3.0, Scratchers can now use Scratch on mobile devices. However, on mobile devices a keyboard cannot be used while viewing projects. Due to that reason, some users started making mobile-friendly platformers, enabling the use of the touchscreen to move the sprite.

Scrolling Platformers

See also: Scrolling Platformer Tutorial

Platformers can have scrolling for the smooth transition between locations as if the camera is following the player. This implies that the terrain/map would move to create space for more terrain. This means that the character sprite is always in one place of the screen. This is really useful as it can allow the creator to increase the level size, thus can give the user a more enjoyable time. However, this requires lots of testing and many costumes that have to fit together perfectly.


Static Platformers

Platformer levels can also be non-scrolling. The action of contacting the edge of the screen or reaching a goal triggers a transition to the next location. Static Platformers may be easier to code for some users due to their lack of a requirement for additional code to create the scrolling effect.


Pen Platformers

Platformer levels can also be created by pen. All or part of the platforms are coded with the pen blocks. Pen platformers can be scrolling or static. Pen Platformers would be the hardest to code out of those two mentioned above as it would require a lot of complicated coding and may be very confusing to some Scratchers.


See Also


  1. Wikipedia:Platform game
  2. topic:29793