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The Best iOS Games For Mario Fans

Platformers have generated some of the most popular characters in the history of video games including Mario, Sonic, and more. These games are defined by running along a world, jumping over gaps, bouncing on enemies, and traveling from level to level on to bosses. There are also sub genres on iOS including the classic retro style, one touch iOS specific challenges, and puzzle based adventures. Mario defines the genre, and if you want that style on iOS, there are a lot of great choices.

Super Mario Run
Mr. Crab 2
King Rabbit

The Official Mario For iOS

Nintendo has brought an official version of Mario to iOS. If you want Mario, then there's no better place to start. The game doesn't mimic any of the console brethren, and instead is made with iOS in mind. Super Mario Run is a one touch platformer in which you just tap the screen to jump, and Mario runs automatically. The game features a distinct level set up as well as head to head online challenges.

Super Mario Run

Mario runs onto iOS

Super Mario Run

Run, Mario, Run!

For anyone who has been waiting for Super Mario on iOS.

In Super Mario Run, players use simple one-touch tap controls to guide Mario through familiar courses. The goal of the game is to collect the coins and reach the end of the course, as indicated by the traditional flag pole at the end. You'll encounter familiar bosses, like Bowser, along the way, and have to outsmart them to reach the end. There is also Toad Rally battle mode, where you race against the ghost of an online friend. Every coin you collect and Toad you befriend can be used in building your very own Mushroom Kingdom. Super Mario Run is free to download with a single in-app purchase to unlock the full experience.

Why we love it

The latest edition of Super Mario Run adds a feature those short on time will love. In Remix 10 mode, you rush through short, bite-sized courses to earn bonus coins and try to find Princess Daisy. You need a Rally Ticket to play, and the courses change every time you enter Remix 10 mode. There are new items you can collect to decorate your Mushroom Kingdom. If you play through enough Remix 10 levels, you'll unlock Princess Daisy as a playable character. She features the double-jump ability, which can be handy for tall obstacles or lines of coins.

Classic Platformer Style

There's nothing like the classic Platformer style of Mario, Sonic, and more. The App Store has its own great Platformers that take cues from the past. You're usually given on screen controls to jump over gaps, hop on enemies, and reach the finish line.

Mikey Shorts

Mikey Shorts is what platformer speed run dreams are made of.

Mikey Shorts

Be fast

For those who enjoy classic platformers in every sense.

Mikey Shorts is the best speed run platformer there is on the App Store. It has a retro aesthetic, awesome chiptune music and sound effects, and the controls are super responsive and customizable. You need to be fast from the starting gate to the end, while collecting all of the gold coins and avoiding baddies along the way. You can compete with your own ghost to see if your time improves, and there are a ton of hats to collect.

Why we love it

If you are into old-school platformers and like to see how fast you are, then this is the perfect game for that.

Super Phantom Cat 2

The classic inspired platformer returns with a sequel of its own.

Super Phantom Cat 2

Upgrade your base

Visually, Super Phantom Cat 2 follows in the footsteps of the original. The game features a somewhat blocky, 2D world that is bright and colorful. The game gives off an old-school, retro aesthetic that reminds me of Super Mario Bros., which is not a bad thing — I love nostalgia. The protagonist, Ari, along with all of the other cats and other critters, have unique and distinctive appearances that are endearing and hard to resist. The color palette is eye-catching, as it has a fantastic mix of soft pastels, vibrant bolds, and even dark shades to represent night and darkness. The game runs smoothly on my iPhone 7, so the animation is fluid. The game has a quirky and whimsical soundtrack, with lovable sound effects. Overall, Veewo has done another excellent job with this sequel in terms of visual and audio design. Like the original game, as well as many other platformers, the game is level-based. This means players go through each chapter and stage in chronological order before they're able to move on to the next area. The goal in each stage is to make your way to the portal at the end, but there's many things that get in the way before that happens. You'll encounter many different enemies, obstacles, treasure chests with prizes, and many other hidden secrets of the Phantom World. Fortunately, Ari gains access to some super awesome magical phantom powers on his journey, which help him achieve the impossible. The controls in Super Phantom Cat 2 are simple and intuitive. In the bottom left corner are your buttons for horizontal directional movement. The bottom right corner has your button for jumping — tap-and-hold on it to do longer jumps. As you come across Phantom Powers in levels, you'll get another button adjacent to the jump. This lets you activate those powers, which include growing vines for climbing, turning unbreakable bricks into crushable blue blocks, jumping higher, freezing enemies, turning invisible, and more. If you've ever played platformer games before, then you'll know that secret rooms could be anywhere. It's recommended to hug all of the walls if you can, because you never know what you'll find! Plus, you earn "Discovery" points if you find secrets, and there's plenty to find on each stage. On each stage, players can earn up to three stars: one for completing it, another for finding the star, and one more for opening a chest. The first two are completely manageable if you take the time to explore thoroughly, but the last one can be a bit tricky. Some chests are free to open, but others may require keys, which you buy with the premium currency. They give you some freebies in the beginning, but after that, you're on your own. As you complete stages, you gain experience points. Leveling up gives you access to new buildings that you can build at your base, such as locksmiths for keys, a brewery for elixirs (let you continue if you run out of hearts and die), and more. To create these items, you have to spend some gold coins and also wait for a timer, which can be annoying. If you're impatient, you can spend blue gems to speed it up. Since Super Phantom Cat 2 is a free game, it has an energy system and occasional ads. This is disappointing, considering the fact that the original game was premium, allowing you to play as much as you want. During my time with the game so far, I have yet to encounter an ad, though, so at least it's non-intrusive. While players start off with Ari, there are other heroes that you can play as later on. To unlock new playable characters, you must collect the necessary amount of hero fragments (found in chests), or reach certain points in the game. While most of the heroes are merely cosmetic, some of them (like Alpha), have special abilities, like getting hero fragments each time you play. To add to the game's high replay value, there are also quests that can be completed for even more rewards. These are accessed in the "Quests" tab, and they have various objectives to complete. If you fail to do the objective, then it's game over and you'll need to try again. These keep things fresh and interesting, so if you want a break from the regular levels, the Quests provide even more challenge.

Cat Bird!

Jump as a cat, fly as a bird, and try to complete retro inspired platformer levels.

Cat Bird!

Watch out for dangers

Visually, Cat Bird! features a gorgeous retro pixel art aesthetic that is delightful and nostalgic. The game is rendered in 2D with lush environments and endearing character sprites that are distinctive. Cat Bird! has a nice color palette that consists of soft and muted earthy tones as well as bright and vibrant colors when needed. The animations are smooth and fluid, so there was no lag on my iPhone 7. As far as audio goes, Cat Bird! has a nice chiptune soundtrack that's fun to listen to, and the sound effects are quirky. For the developer's first release, they did a pretty good job with the visual and audio design. Since Cat Bird! is a platformer, it's split up into several different worlds that contain a good amount of levels each. To get to the next stage, you'll have to clear the previous one first. The goal in this game is to help your flying cat friend reach the portal at the end of each level so he can get home. While it seems easy enough at first, things get trickier when you encounter more dangerous hazards, such as spikes, pits, saw blades, and various critters. Controls in Cat Bird! are simple enough. In the bottom left corner are two buttons for moving left and right. On the other side, there's a single button for jumping. You also long-press this button to have your cat flap his arms to fly and hover. The catch is the fact that your cat can only jump and hover once, at least until he touches ground. When this happens, he is able to do it again. Because of this game mechanic, it's all about timing when it comes to successfully completing stages in Cat Bird. You'll have to be precise with your jumps and time them correctly to get past tough obstacles. Later stages also take up more sections on the screen and sometimes keys are needed to gain access to the portal, so exploration is mixed in with the platforming action. I've only just started Cat Bird! today, but it's proving to be an enjoyable experience. The game is free to download and play, so there are ads that pop up between levels every now and then. However, it allows players to play several stages at a time before they pop up, so it's not overly intrusive. An option to get rid of ads is available as a $1.99 in-app purchase.

Super Cat Tales

A Super Mario World inspired platformer challenge with cute cats.

Super Cat Tales

For those who like classic 2D platformers.

Super Cat Tales heavily relies on the great platformers of the past when it comes to art style and level design. The game still provides a fresh challenge with six different cats to play as, and each one has its own special ability. There are also touch specific controls allowing you to run, jump, swim, climb, and more with just two thumbs on either side of the screen.

Le Parker: Sous Chef Extraordinaire

Le Parker: Sous Chef Extraordinaire is One Sweet Platformer

Le Parker: Sous Chef Extraordinaire

Sweet platforming action

For anyone who loves sweets and platformers.

Le Parker: Sous Chef Extraordinaire ($2.99) by Play Pretend LLC is a challenging platformer that serves as a fantastic tribute to the classics. If you enjoy tough-as-nails games and love a test of your platforming skills, then Le Parker is one that you must check out. If you liked games like VVVVVV (http://appadvice.com/review/quickadvice-vvvvvv) and RunGunJumpGun (http://appadvice.com/review/rungunjumpgun), then you will love what Le Parker: Sous Chef Extraordinaire brings to the genre. As a ‘90s kid, I pretty much grew up with the classic platformers that everyone knows nowadays. This includes the Super Mario Bros. games and even Sonic the Hedgehog, which was a personal favorite. Even though I wasn’t the fastest at completing stages, I still thoroughly enjoyed platformer games because of the challenges that they usually bring when it comes to complex levels and epic boss fights. It took me several tries to complete a stage, but I always had fun doing it when it eventually happens. I’ve always had a soft spot for platformers since a kid, so naturally I’m inclined to try out any new platformer game on iOS when it comes up, even though the controls can be rather tricky to get right with touch screens (the Mikey Shorts (http://appadvice.com/appnn/tag/mikey-shorts) games are the only ones that have nailed it). When I saw Le Parker: Sous Chef Extraordinaire on the App Store, I was intrigued, mostly because of my affinity for all sweet things (literally) and the awesome art style. Needless to say, I was not disappointed with this one. Visually, Le Parker: Sous Chef Extraordinaire is stunning and beautiful. The game features a retro aesthetic that makes you feel right at home if you grew up with the classic consoles back in the day. While it’s a pixelated art style, Le Parker: Sous Chef Extraordinaire still packs in an incredible amount of detail, from the serene backdrops to textured environments in the foreground to the delectable macarons that you’ll want to collect, and all of the character sprites, including Le Parker himself and the various critters that you’ll come across, are rendered nicely and bubbling with charm. The game consists of a fantastically rich color palette that ranges from soft pastels to bolder and vibrant hues, and there are some nice lighting effects, including day and night times, that make the game appear to be like a dreamscape. Animations are buttery smooth and fluid with no lag on my iPhone 7, and the completely original soundtrack is rather atmospheric and soothing, fully pulling you into Le Parker’s world. Sound effects are also delightful to listen to as you collect sweet treats and stomp enemies. However, the only thing that bothers me is the fact that the game overrides any other audio you have in the background. Hopefully the developer can change that in the future. Otherwise, Play Pretend has knocked it out of the park in terms of visuals and audio. Like many platformer games, Le Parker: Sous Chef Extraordinaire is split up into various worlds that have a unique setting, and each chapter features eight levels, with the final stage being an epic boss battle. The game holds up to three save files at once, so multiple people can play the game on a single device if needed. The story of the game goes like this: Le Parker is a sous chef who can craft the lightest meringue of them all, which is so light that it literally floats. However, the recipe is with the Princess, but the King and his men have raided the chambers of the Princess and stolen the recipe, using the power of the meringue for evil and banishes Parker from the kingdom. The objective in the game is to help guide Parker on a quest to rescue the Princess, gather up all of his necessary culinary utensils, and then defeat the King once and for all. Each stage has a storage unit at the end to signify the goal, but getting there is the hard part — there will be numerous enemies that will try to stop you, and there are also plenty of environmental obstacles that you’ll want to avoid if you want to complete the objective. On top of the main goal, there are secondary objectives for every level as well: Time Attack (finish as fast as possible), Macaron Collection (get them all), and Secret Kitchen Utensils that are scattered about and it’s up to you to find them. These add a nice layer of replay value to the game if you are a completionist. Each game starts you off with three lives, and you lose a life if you get hit or fall. You can earn extra lives for every 100 macarons you collect, so make sure to grab those sweet French cookies when you see them! Controls in Le Parker: Sous Chef Extraordinaire are simple and intuitive, though the positioning could be a bit better. In the bottom left will be directional buttons for moving left and right, and then there is an “A” button in the bottom right for making Parker jump. You can do a light tap for a hop, hold down the button for a longer jump, and tap it twice for a double jump. While the controls do work alright for the most part, I did find that sometimes my thumb would be slightly off on the directional buttons so I wouldn’t move as I intended to. There is an option to turn off the visibility of the buttons though, which may work better if you’re a bit finicky about the positioning like I am. Fortunately, though, the game has full support for MFi controllers (http://appadvice.com/appnn/tag/mfi-controller), so if you have one of those around, you can use it with Le Parker: Sous Chef Extraordinaire for the optimal platformer experience. I’ve played a ton of platformers on iOS during my time here at AppAdvice, but Le Parker: Sous Chef Extraordinaire is one of the better ones I’ve found. The game is absolutely gorgeous with dreamy landscapes and endearing character models, plus the music and sounds are fun to listen to. The controls work well enough, and the game is fairly challenging, even for seasoned platformer veterans. Le Parker: Sous Chef Extraordinaire is definitely one of the better games I’ve picked up on iOS this year. I highly recommend giving Le Parker: Sous Chef Extraordinaire a try if you are in the mood for a sweet and challenging platformer treat. Le Parker: Sous Chef Extraordinaire is available on the App Store as a universal download for your iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV for just $2.99 (http://getapp.cc/app/956251102). There are no in-app purchases.

Why we love it

The graphics are gorgous, the music is amazing, controls work well enough but there is full MFi controller support, and the levels are challenging. Plus, the completionists will want to complete all of the optional objectives so the replay value is fairly high.

One Touch Platformers

These platformers have the familiar level based jumping set-up, but with one touch controls. Your character usually moves automatically, or one touch controls both movement and jumping. These are great games that have wider appeal to introduce more casual players to the platformer genre.

Mr. Crab 2

It's okay to be crabby

Mr. Crab 2

Jump and jive

For anyone who enjoyed the original Mr. Crab or is looking for a simple one-touch platformer game to check out in their spare time.

Mr. Crab 2 is the sequel to the original Mr. Crab that is sure to delight fans and newcomers alike. Help Mr. Crab jump to avoid obstacles as he scuttles upwards in an attempt to rescue the baby crabs and collect all of the shiny stars. The one-touch control scheme makes this a perfect game to play anywhere, anytime.

Why we love it

We're big fans of the original Mr. Crab game so we're happy that it has a sequel that is just as beautiful as the first game, but comes with even more crab-rescuing fun. The one-touch controls are perfectly responsive and the game itself is fun and challenging.

Chameleon Run

A challenging autorunner.

Chameleon Run

Be fast

For those who love speedrunners, platformers, and autorunners.

Chameleon Run is a gorgeous voxel-style autorunner where you must change the color of your character in order to land on the colored platforms. It sounds easy, but you have to be fast and have great reflexes in order to survive. There are objectives to meet and records to beat, so there's always a reason to come back for more.

Why we love it

It has a beautiful art style and the two-touch controls are intuitive and friendly enough for anyone. It's challenging though, and it will keep you coming back over and over.

Bean Dreams

Endless platform jumping

Bean Dreams

Minimize Jumps

For those who like platformers, but want an easier to control version with multiple objectives.

Bean Dreams is a fun and exciting platformer for iOS. With more than 70 different stages across 13 different dreamy worlds, the game distills the popular genre into one simple element: jumping. You’ll simply move left or right and attempt through each stage with beautiful art and a wonderful soundtrack.

Why we love it

Bean Dreams not only takes you through colorful, vibrant environments, but has quirky, upbeat music to go along with it. While the levels are challenging, they are not impossible, making the game enjoyable. If you like platformers then the easy controls, fun theme, and intuitive gameplay for Bean Dreams might be just the right mix for you.

Nory`s Escape

Nory's Escape is a delightfully charming auto-runner that is perfect for any time of the year.

Nory`s Escape

Don't get caught

Visually, Nory's Escape is beautiful with a 2.5D aesthetic that makes things pop. Everything is hand-drawn and it definitely shows. It's a pseudo-3D effect because while the graphics appear rendered in 3D, the game takes place on what appears to be a 2D plane, with blurry backgrounds and sharp foregrounds. The environments in Nory's Escape are gorgeous with the various Halloween-related decor like jack-o-lanterns, spooky vines, giant mushrooms, and more. The colors in Nory's Escape are bright and vibrant, so it definitely looks eye catching with the contrast. Animations are buttery smooth on my iPhone 8 Plus with no lag or choppiness in frame rate. Plus, the particle effects when you draw your paths are well done. There's a quirky and eerie soundtrack that's perfectly fitting considering the theme, and the sound effects are nicely done. Even though Nory's Escape is an auto-runner game, it's not infinite as you'd normally expect. Instead, the game is split up into levels, and there are 18 levels to get through. While this does not seem like a lot, the game is fairly difficult, and new game elements get added gradually as you go, so multiple attempts are required on some stages. Don't be fooled — this auto-runner requires fast thinking and reflexes to survive. So what is Nory's Escape, exactly? Players take the role of Nory, who is our spectacularly average hero — after all, he's just a kid! But a scary witch is chasing after him, and you must help him escape her evil wrath! In order to do this, you'll have to draw magical paths that Nory can run on in his attempt to outrun the witch. Controls in Nory's Escape are simple and intuitive. To draw a path for Nory, just swipe your finger on the screen where you want the path to be (this is a great use for Apple Pencil). Since Nory automatically runs forward on his own, you don't have to worry about that, just where he's going to end up. The game is clearly designed for touch screens, and it works well. However, each line you draw will only last for a brief amount of time, and once you draw another path, the previous one disappears. Timing is key with the paths, as you'll want to make sure Nory has a seamless path to escape the witch. Along the way, there are shiny green gems to collect. You'll want to try collecting all of them on each stage if you want to get the three stars. If you don't get them all, you'll only earn a fraction of the maximum stars. So acquiring all stars is a must if you're the perfectionist type. There's also three bonus stages that can be unlocked, given you have good enough skill level to gain access to them. While the game starts out easy enough, the witch gets trickier as you end up in later levels. In the beginning she will only be chasing after you, but eventually she'll start attacking, such as throwing magical spell balls at you and other tricks. This means you'll need to get Nory away safely while also making sure that he doesn't just run into a projectile launched by the witch.

Puzzle Platformers

You can play classic platformers or one touch platformers. Some times though, you want to think about the path forward. Puzzle Platformers require you to figure out how to push objects into place, pull switches, and interact with the environment to reach the finish.

Kalimba™

An action packed puzzle platformer in which you need to move two characters together.

Kalimba™

Control the totems

Visually, Kalimba is gorgeous. The game features an aesthetically pleasing minimalist design that is full of geometric shapes that come to life. Everything is rendered in 2-D with bright and vibrant colors and amazing textures. The totems and narrator have distinctive appearances so it’s always easy to tell each character apart from one another. Environments dynamically change once the toggles get activated, and it’s all done in a seamless transition that’s rather mesmerizing with particle effects. Animations in Kalimba are buttery smooth and fluid, with zero lag on my iPhone 7. There’s also voice acting through the narration, and it’s incredibly well done. A quirky soundtrack plays in the background, which fits in with the overall quirky theme of the game. Overall, Kalimba is beautifully designed inside and out in terms of visual and audio. Like many other puzzle platformers, Kalimba is level-based, and players must progress through the game one stage at a time. The story of Kalimba involves a good and evil shaman, with the latter overcoming the former and spreading darkness throughout the land. But the spirit of the good shaman is able to possess totems in order to restore the light to the land. And that’s where the player comes in. To help the shaman with the ultimate goal, one must help guide the two totems simultaneously through treacherous environments to rebuild the original totem pole. Your score on each stage is determined by the number of pickups you’ve collected, and any deaths will deduct from that. Otherwise, there are no stars to collect, and no time limit, so you can enjoy Kalimba at your own pace. The controls in Kalimba are easy and intuitive. In the bottom left corner are directional buttons that let the totem pieces move left and right. On the other side are the action buttons, letting players make the totem pieces jump and swap places. Remember — the totems move together simultaneously, so when you need one to jump, the other one does too. And sometimes only one totem can pass through a specific colored barrier, so the timing of swapping is key. My testing of the game was with my iPhone. But for iPad players, there’s an iPad-only co-op mode where two players can work together on one device. I wasn’t able to test this out, but the developers say it can “make or break any friendship,” so take heed! The real challenge with Kalimba is collecting all of the golden totems. These elusive totems are only earned by collecting all pickups on a stage without dying. Considering the difficulty of the game as you go, this is much easier said than done. To keep players coming back, there are secret challenge rooms too, in case you’re looking for more replay value.

King Rabbit

King Rabbit is an action-packed puzzle game.

King Rabbit

Rescue bunnies

For those who enjoy platformers, and like a one touch iOS centric edition.

King Rabbit is a cute action puzzle game where you must help rescue the bunnies who have been caged up by a dark foe. Hop your way through the grids, collect the gold coins, keys, and diamonds, and reach your friends. And use those diamonds for stylish death animations so you can go out in style.

Why we love it

It's a challenging and cute puzzle game that is friendly enough for everyone.

Mimpi Dreams

A charming puzzle platformer.

Mimpi Dreams

Platforming action

For those who like cute platformer games.

Mimpi Dreams is a puzzle platformer that is more of a casual game so that it is friendly enough for everyone to play. Help Mimpi the dog navigate his dream worlds, meet new friends, and help them out with their problems before settling in for a nap. Collect the bones and avoid the dangers as you solve puzzles.

Why we love it

It's a beautiful game that has some challenging puzzles and platforming action but it is not frustrating and is fun to play. It's a great addition for the entire family.

Telepaint

A cute and charming portal puzzle game.

Telepaint

It gets complicated and challenging

For anyone who enjoys puzzle platformer games with portals.

Telepaint is a charming and challenging portal puzzle game. Help the paint bucket get to the paint brush through the use of portals and keys. As you pass through the portals, watch as colorful paint explosions are left behind you. Create a colorful trail and find more complicated puzzles as you go.

Why we love it

Telepaint has a unique visual style that looks and runs great, and the rhythm-based gameplay is challenging. This is a must-have for any puzzle fan.

Heart Star

Journey through parallel worlds and solve puzzles

Heart Star

Work together

For anyone who enjoys solving puzzles and likes platformer mechanics.

Heart Star is a beautifully retro puzzle platformer that involves two characters in parallel worlds that must work together to overcome challenging puzzles. Players will be switching back and forth between Heart and Star to help the other reach places that they could not reach by themselves. The game is all about problem solving and teamwork, and there is plenty of content to keep one busy and it never pushes for in-app purchases, so you can enjoy the game without paying anything.

Why we love it

Heart Star has awesome vintage graphics that take us back to the old days of gaming, and the chiptune soundtrack is an absolute delight. The controls are simple and work well, and the puzzles have proven to be quite challenging.