Let’s Look At… Indie 3D Platformers!

When it comes to 3D platformers, it’s easy to think the genre is on its last legs. Rare have given up on Banjo-Kazooie. Nintendo has slowly gotten rid of any real exploration in their 3D Mario platformers. And heck, even the likes of Crash Bandicoot and Spyro are now wasting away in the Skylanders franchise instead of headlining their own games. So who’s even left now?

Well, quite a few games really! Because thanks to all those kids growing up playing the N64 and PS1, a whole host of indie developers have now taken on the role of trying to resurrect the 3D platformer. From Banjo-Kazooie successors like Yooka-Laylee and A Hat in Time to linear Crash Bandicoot successors like Tiny Knight, it seems the 3D platformer is just about to make a long awaited comeback!

So let’s look at them. Let’s look at the many indie 3D platformers that have been in development over the last three years or so. And the list begins with…

Active Projects

A Hat in Time

Systems: Microsoft Windows, OSX
Developer: Gears for Breakfast

With a game pretty much everyone knows about by now. A Hat in Time is an upcoming 3D platformer by a company called Gears for Breakfast, which plays like a mixture of Mario 64, Banjo-Kazooie and the 3D Legend of Zelda titles.

The game stars an interstellar traveller called Hat Girl, whose spaceship is apparently broken into by the Mafia (from the first world of the game). This results in all her spaceship’s fuel (called Time Pieces) being scattered across the world and a trip across the world to get them all in order to stop her enemy Mustache Girl from taking them and time being broken as a result.

Either way, it’s a game we’ve covered a lot here before, so we won’t go into too much detail here. Instead, look at its features in our comparison article, and the marvel at how professional this game really looks.

And people knew that. Why? Because the game did really well on Kickstarter, raising a whopping $296,000 in total. That’s impressive for an indie game by a team with no chosen track record, don’t you think?

But hey, enough about that one. Now onto something a few less people have heard about…

Armillo

Systems: Wii U eShop
Developer: Fuzzy Wuzzy Games

Namely, Armillo for the Nintendo eShop. This 3D platformer has a strange style of gameplay reminiscent of cross between Mario 64 and Super Monkey Ball, with our hero rolling around various worlds in a ball and jumping across platforms and solving puzzles in the process.

It’s not quite as a big a title as A Hat in Time or Yooka-Laylee, but it’s a decent enough title anyway (with a 72% average at Metacritic), and possibly one worth checking out if you want a 3D platformer for the Wii U without waiting for 2017 (when the other such games are being released).

Clive n’ Wrench

Systems: Windows, Linux, Wii U, OSX
Developer: Rob Wass

However, while the other games mentioned so far were loosely inspired by Banjo-Kazooie, there are actually some other indie platformers which are a bit more… blatant. Like Clive n’ Wrench, a Banjo-Kazooie style collectathon starring a humanoid rabbit and a monkey who act much like their bear and bird brethren. In this title, they have to journey across various time periods to save the world from the evil Dr Daucus and his world dominating scheme. While doing this, they have to collect the Watches and Ancient Stones to open up new eras and stop Daucus from collecting the fabled Bunny Medals and becoming immortal in the process. And well, dodging the doctor’s minions in the process.

In other words? It’s basically Banjo-Kazooie with Clive standing in for Banjo, Wrench for Kazooie, Dr Daucus for Gruntilda and the collectables for the Jiggies and Notes.

Unfortunately for the team behind it, the project didn’t do too hot on Kickstarter. This is partly because Yooka-Laylee was basically the same concept with better aesthetics and more ‘star power’ behind it, and partly because well, the trailer was absolutely terrible:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43RA8Cw62_4

Yeah, it’s not exactly something that inspires you to back the game, is it? The narrator alone was pretty obnoxious, and that’s all without getting into the actual game footage and how it was presented. As a result, it made about $2000 of a $25,000 goal on Kickstarter and ended its campaign in failure.

Still, there is some positive news to come from this. Namely, the Kickstarter failure didn’t actually lead to the end of the project, with the game’s team continuing development regardless of the Kickstarter’s outcome. So development is currently continuing, and the game will be available to play one day.

But for now? Let’s look at a different type of game. One that seems to have been released, albeit while dropping off the radar immediately afterwards.

Distro Horizons vs Galaximo’s Army

Systems: Windows, OSX, Linux, Ouya, Wii U
Developer: Kitatus Studios

And by dropped of the radar, I mean absolutely no information seems to be present online about this game or what actually happened to it. It’s got a GameFAQs page with a release date of February 24th 2014, but there’s no actual information there about any of the game’s content.

There’s a few links on IndieDB implying it was on Steam Greenlight at one point, but it seems to have been taken down in the last few years or so. A Mac games store used to have it, but currently says its out of stock and has no idea when more copies will be available to buy. And with IndieDB saying it’s not in development any more, it’s a bit of a mystery what exactly happened to this title.

Was the one released an alpha? Cause that’s the only version that any reviews exist for. Was it really so unpopular that no one made a single video or forum topic about it before the game went down?

Honestly, I don’t think we’ll ever really know. It’s a shame given the intriguing ideas included in the game’s storyline (like how in your escape from an alien prison, you find portals to new worlds and save them from the alien overlords as well), or the original art style (it seems to be cel shaded), but hey, problems happen, and companies go bankrupt.

It’s just a shame that this game ended up mostly lost to history because of it.

Electric Adventures of Watt

Systems: PC, OSX, Linux
Developer: Called Shot LLC

Which unfortunately, seems to be the roughly the same thing that occurred with the ‘Electric Adventures of Watt’ game too. Set on a dark planet involved in a war between the forces of light and dark, this game had you take one of two sides and destroy your enemies with powers related to the side you chose. In other words, it was a ‘head to head’ platformer inspired by Conker’s Bad Fur Day, Psychonauts and Limbo.

Which on the face of it, sounds like a pretty good idea. However, the Electric Adventures of Watt did not do well in getting funding. Even with an (extremely low) goal of $14,000, the game barely reached $1,335, a paltry amount barely made acceptable by the ‘flexible funding’ on the Indiegogo site.

And that was obviously nowhere near enough for the team, since all development on the project stopped dead in late 2013. So what went wrong here?

Well, in a nutshell, they showed no game footage. They had a campaign sure, but it was entirely concept art based with a lot of story and character details instead of any actual proof the game had started development. That’s not a good thing when raising funds. Remember, people don’t want mock-ups and visions of a product, they want proof there’s an actual product being worked on right now and that the creators are the people who can realise it.

The Electric Adventures of Watt had none of that. So like many other crowd funded games, it’s interesting ideas were wasted as the project sank without a trace.

Firewing 64

Systems: PC
Developer: Studio Besus

But that’s not a fate that Firewing 64 will likely share! Why? Because unlike the Electric Adventures of Watt, Firewing 64 actually has a real trailer showing the game in action! Here it is:

As you can see, it’s a 3D platformer very much inspired by the Spyro series from the original PlayStation. You play as a dragon (presumably called Firewing), run around collecting items and stomping on bad guys and get various extra abilities like the power to fly through the air in the process.
Heck, there’s even apparently a kart racing section!

Also interestingly here, the game doesn’t seem to be on any crowdfunding sites. Instead, each of the versions/demos can be downloaded from the official site or IndieDB as the game gets updated. So yeah, it seems like the folks at ‘Studio Besus’ are just outright making their dream game there and then rather than expecting people to pay them thousands of dollars to do so. Talk about a smart move in today’s day and age!

Oh, and talking of games you can get already…

FreezeMe

Systems: PC, Wii U
Developer: Rainy Night Creations

There’s FreezeMe, a Mario 64 successor for the Wii U. Originally launched on Kickstarter in early 2015, the game had a lot of trouble getting funded and fell short of its goal by more than $10,000.

But developers Rainy Night Creations fortunately didn’t let that stop them! Oh no, they kept developing the game, kept improving it for a few months and then managed to release the whole thing on the Wii U eShop by February 2016! That’s extremely impressive, especially given how ambitious the title was and the sheer scale of the worlds you explore in this game.

So what’s the game actually about? Well apparently, it’s about a photographer called R who can freeze time by taking pictures with her camera. She’s on the trailer of her best friend ‘M’, who’s been kidnapped by the main villain ‘Fat the Cat’ as part of his plan to create a ‘Dog-Free-World’. It’s not exactly a complex storyline, but it’s a decent enough excuse plot regardless.

And as far as quality? Apparently it’s pretty good according to the reviews I’ve read. Nothing on the level of Mario 64 or Banjo (or the upcoming Yooka-Laylee), but a decent enough experience that might keep a die hard 3D platformer fan satisfied while waiting for the bigger budget titles to come out in 2017 or so.

Funk Unplugged

Systems: PC
Developer: Vamped Games

Moving onto another title now, with the oddly titled ‘Funk Unplugged’ game. Starring a living amplifier called ‘Ampy’, this game has him ‘repairing a broken world with the power of good vibes’. Or in other words, saving his world with music.

In other words, it’s a fairly typical 3D platformer in the style of those from the N64 era. But it seems to be a decent enough take on the genre none the less, to the point the title managed to both reach its funding goal on Kickstarter and get greenlit over on Steam, It’s in active development too, with a new demo released just months ago and the latest trailer being uploaded last week.

Definitely a title that could be worth checking out when it’s completed!

Gnomes vs Fairies: Greckel’s Quest

Systems: Windows, OSX, Linux, Oculus Rift
Developer: Prismic Studios

Just like this one, which is now available to buy in full right now! Gnomes vs Fairies: Greckel’s Quest is another one of those unique genre blending indie titles that likely comes across as ten times more complex in the description. A ‘Hack n slash-action RPG platformer’ set in a magical land, the title has your gnome protagonist trying to take back the land of Ventocia from the evil fairies, who’ve taken over your home, captured your friends and who are now ruling the world with an iron fist. So it’s your job to fight back, with everything from weapons to magical spells! A pretty neat concept, especially given how much depth this stuff might add to the platformer gameplay.

Either way, it’s out, it’s available on Steam and it might be a decent time killer while waiting for the likes of Yooka-Laylee and Lobodestroyo to get finished.

Go and check it out if you’re a bit bored.

Griff the Winged Lion

Systems: PC
Developer: Breaker Box Studios

But back to Kickstarter campaigns now, with Griff the Winged Lion. Inspired by Spyro and Crash Bandicoot, the game has a winged lion called Griff save various realms from the forces of evil by beating up mythological creatures and turning things into gold with your magical powers. It’s fairly typical 3D platforming stuff for the most part, and you can see its influences right there and crystal clear.

Like say, with a Crash Bandicoot style chase section, various boxes that give you money when shattered and the obvious ability to glide large distances with your wings.

But hey, at least it’s more inspired by PS1 games than N64 games this time around, and it does look nice enough to be worth playing in the future. Well, if it reaches its funding goal anyway, since it’s only at $906 of $15,000 with two days left to go.

Another potentially decent choice here.

Happy Hell

Systems: PC, OSX, Linux
Developer: Occultimate Games

Continuing the 3D platformer line up, we now have perhaps the most awkwardly named N64 throwback you can possibly think of. Aka, ‘Spooky Poo’s Happy Hell’, a name which simultaneously manages to put off both kids and parents at the exact same time!

Still, the game itself seems like it’s better than the name lets on. I mean, how many other collectathons have your protagonist make a deal with the devil before the game begins, and then manages to have the whole game set in hell as a result? Pretty few, I’ll say that much!

And with new abilities gained by literally selling your soul and the areas based on hell in Dante’s Inferno, this game is certainly a little darker in terms of story themes!

So it seems like a cult classic in the making if you ask me. It reached its funding goal, but not by very much. It looks okay, but nowhere near as ‘good’ as a lot of its competitors in the space. And with a story and name like that one, it’s one of those titles a mainstream audience likely won’t buy barring a miracle.

It’ll probably be something you’ll see written about on Hardcore Gaming 101 at some point (assuming it’s released). But hey, it could be worth a shot, if you want something a little more unusual from your 3D platformer!

Kind of like the next game really…

I, Hope

Systems: ?
Developer: Gamechanger

Which has one of the most heart-warming concepts in a video game to date. Why? Because this game is being developed to support various charities helping kids suffering from cancer, that’s why. Set in an island world, the game follows the adventure of a girl named Hope who’s life is ‘turned upside down’ by a mysterious monster called Cancer that falls from the sky and lands on her island home. So like you do in these games, she has to travel to the neighbouring islands to collect items that make her more powerful in order to prepare for the ultimate fight to defeat the monster and save her world.

It’s one of those games that actually makes you proud to be a gamer, especially when you realise that the team behind it created the title so kids in hospitals could feel stronger and more courageous about their real life fight with cancer after defeating the similar monster in the game.

And unlike a lot of educational or emotional games (like those awful, awful SNES games about diabetes or dental hygiene), this one seems like it’ll be a solid game in its own right, with the message communicated via a trek through interesting worlds that everyone can appreciate on a game design level as well as an emotional one.

Sadly though, it seems this wasn’t enough for the Indiegogo campaign to hit its target, with the campaign only raising $1,707 out of its $20,000 goal. And while that didn’t lead its cancellation like with so many other projects on crowdfunding sites, it still meant the title’s potential is likely not going to be realised as well as it could have been.

It’s a creative looking platformer which could have sent a positive message as well. Which is sadly a bit of a far cry from the next title on the list.

Kewpie-Jazzy

Systems: Windows, OSX, Linux
Developer: DokyCamp

Aka, the Yooka-Laylee clone that originally advertised Grant Kirkhope as the composer, then had the bad luck of him leaving the team immediately afterwards.

There are some awkward character designs, like a female protagonist that seems like she’s straight out a Sonic fan game. There are some questionable levels (like the haunted house one with all those narrow corridors and precision jumps). And before a recent change, it even directly copied Yooka-Laylee’s Kickstarter page design.

It’s got some interesting stuff (like swappable partners), but for the most part, it seems like Yooka-Laylee 1.5 with a less experienced team.

Lobodestroyo

Systems: PC, Max, Linux, Wii U, Ouya, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Developer: Lefthanded Studios

Which is fortunately not something you can say about this title. Covered heavily on Gaming Reinvented already, Lobodestroyo (or The Legend of el Lobodestroyo Vs. la Liga de los Villanos in full) has luchador wolf Mutt trying to rescue his captured friends and defeat the evil villains who’ve taken over parts of the world.
Here’s the Kickstarter video, in case you’ve forgotten about it:

Either way, we’ve covered it a fair amount in the past already, so read up on the game in our interview, or in our comparison between this, A Hat in Time and Yooka-Laylee. For now though, we’ll just move onto the next title in line…

Monkey Land 3D: Reaper Rush

Systems: iOS, Android
Developer: Matt Matte

Which is perhaps one of the only collectathon type platformers available for smartphones. And well, despite the obvious limited hardware, it actually looks pretty good for a game of its genre. It’s got all the typical moves you can expect, it’s got giant worlds to run around in with lots of platforming to do… basically, it’s kind of like Banjo-Kazooie on an iPhone.

Definitely a unique choice in terms of 3D platformers, and one which has a lot of good reviews over on the iOS store. Possibly one worth checking out if you want to play a Rare style platformer on the bus to work.

Moon Boing

Systems: iOS, Android
Developer: Space Hat Games

And talking of smartphone games, that brings us to this little number. Aka Moon Boing, a strange 3D platformer involving an astronaut who explores the moon like a character in a traditional 3D platformer.

It’s a unique concept that could make quite a fun game playing experience. Unfortunately, there’s just one problem.

Support for the game has mostly vanished. The iOS listings are down. Official sites are nowhere to be seen any more. And there’s no indication of what happened to the team behind the game.

So unless you have an Android phone, there’s now no way to experience this title for yourself. A shame really, given how neat the game seems like it could have been.

Oliver & Spike: Dimension Jumpers

Systems: Windows, OSX, Linux, iOS, Android, Facebook
Developer: Rock Pocket Games

But enough negativity, onto a game that seems like it has quite a few creative ideas of its own. Cause Oliver & Spike, is 100% not a plain Banjo-Kazooie clone. Instead, the dimension jumping thing is a huge part of the game, with each level having three parallel dimensions the characters must travel between to solve puzzles and find items. In other words, imagine The Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past, except as a 3D platformer with three parallel worlds to travel through instead of two.

Oh, and these worlds have different laws of physics too. Which is certainly a new twist on the parallel universe concept!

It’s also a game which is completely different depending on the platform. On PCs and consoles, it’s a 3D platformer. On smartphones, it’s a mini game collection based on said platformer. And on Facebook? It’s apparently a social game like Farmville.

So yes, it’s an interesting little title which provides yet another new take on the 3D platformer formula. Let’s hope this one actually gets completed at some point in the foreseeable future!

Poi

Systems: Windows, Wii U
Developer: PolyKid

But back to PC 3D platformers now, with PolyKid’s Poi game. So what’s Poi? Well, it’s a lot like Mario 64 and other such games mentioned earlier, except with a kid explorer navigating the levels and solving the challenges rather than an Italian American plumber or bear and bird team.

And honestly, it looks pretty good from the videos. The mechanics are interesting, with things like gliding on a sail cloth being a feature long before Breath of the Wild. The world’s look nice and interesting, with fairly well done graphics and plenty of things to see and do. And based on the Steam reviews, it’s just a solid game in general, with its reception being pretty much entirely positive on its store page.

Which makes it all the more baffling that its Kickstarter campaign actually failed outright. Indeed, while it got a bit more money than others on this list (with more than $27,000 being raised by over 700 backers), it was still well short of its $80,000 goal.

But hey, the team at PolyKid kept working on it regardless, and eventually the game was released for Steam Early Access, so I guess crowdfunding isn’t the be all and end all factor in a game’s future success. It’s in active development too, with multiple updates in the last month as well.

So yeah, Poi seems to be another good 3D platformer that might be worth trying out.

Tiny Knight

Systems: PC, OSX, Linux
Developer: Convex Games

Just like Tiny Knight, another interesting little 3D platformer/action adventure hybrid you can get on Steam. In this title, your hero sees his village home destroyed by a mysterious attacker, who he the has to hunt down over everything from dense forests to dungeons and snowy peaks.

It’s a fairly typical plot, and the game itself seems like a typical Croc style linear 3D platformer. But do you know what’s really interesting?

Just how far Tiny Knight came in development. Because the one on Steam… that’s not the only build of the game that exists. Oh no, the developers previously had another one that they were trying to raise money for Indiegogo under the name ‘Demon Games’. And wow, look how rough around the edges this prototype was:

Look at it! That dull level design that just goes endless onwards with little variation. The uninteresting 3D models straight from an online asset store. The plodding, absolutely uninteresting puzzle solving and action that would put any normal gamer to sleep.

It’s no wonder that one didn’t raise any money on Indiegogo.

But the new one? It’s a million miles better and actually looks like an enjoyable game from the PS2 era. And yet it’s the exact same team. With both versions of the game shown just 1 year apart.

Hence in that small time frame, the game has gone from looking like an ugly asset test to a PS2 quality game with a unique art style, more interesting level design and ten times more personality in every regard. See Sonic Boom team? That’s games should change in their development!

It’s a great little game, and an example of how even the worst crowdfunding campaign can lead to something amazing if the creators don’t give up after their initial failure.

Voxel Boy

Systems: Windows, OSX, Linux, Web
Developer: Leon Rigsby

Another game aiming to recapture some of people’s nostalgia for the N64 days, Voxel Boy is a collectathon platformer where Voxel Boy has to explore different worlds in search of coins. It’s fairly typical for a game of the genre (you can jump on things, push and pull objects, pick and throw items, etc), but differentiated by a really odd art style.

What do I mean by odd?

Well, it looks like most of the objects are paper cut outs done in a slightly ugly cel shaded style, a bit like the Toad House in Super Mario 64: Last Impact. It’s an interesting aesthetic to go with, though I think a more traditional one may have looked a bit better here.

Either way, it seems like an okay game, but perhaps one that might struggle to stand out in a sea of competitors with slightly more unique ideas to offer.

Woodle Tree Adventures

Systems: Windows, OSX, Linux
Developer: Fabio Ferrara

Onto the next game now, and one which has something very few others on the list have managed.

Namely, a sequel. Yes, Woodle Tree Adventures did so well on Steam that the developers have actually started work on a second game and put it up to download in Early Access. That’s quite the accomplishment, given the vast majority of these ‘franchises’ don’t even last past their failed Kickstarter campaign.
But how about the game itself? What’s that like?

Well, it’s very, very cute. Woodle Tree Adventures is literally one of the brightest coloured, most ridiculously upbeat games ever made. Indeed, you know how above, I mentioned that Happy Hell was a kind of dark concept for a 3D platformer, and how some people might not be comfortable with it?

Well this one is the complete opposite. To put it simply, it’s the kind of game you could give to a three year old with the full knowledge that nothing in the game will scare them at all. Or perhaps the game you’d give a teenager if you want to see them get ruthlessly mocked through high school.

But it’s apparently actually a pretty damn good game none the less. Yeah, it stars a harmless looking sentient tree trunk who has to save his worlds with the magical powers of the water drops, and it has an art style that makes Kirby’s Woolly World look dark and morbid by comparison, but the reviews are pretty positive and it comes really cheap, so it might be worth looking at it if you’re really desperate for your 3D platformer fix.

Yooka-Laylee

Systems: Windows, OSX, Linux, Wii U, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Developer: Playtonic Games

Oh come on, you know what this game is like by now. It’s an amazing looking Banjo-Kazooie successor by many of the same team who made the original, and is on likely on track for high sales and good reviews across the board.

Here’s a trailer in case you’ve somehow forgotten:

Either way, moving onto a game most people haven’t already heard of…

Zissi’s Island

Systems: Windows
Developer: Ramon Mujica

Aka Zissi’s Island, the last 3D platformer on our list. Developed by Ramon Mujica and available on Steam, the title has Zissi (the main character) forget to bring her grandmother a birthday present. But she’s not happy going to the shops like a normal person. Oh no, instead she’s gonna travel the whole island to find pearls in order to make granny a pearl necklace for her birthday.

Yeah, it’s certainly a less serious storyline than most games on the list. No kidnappings, no homes being destroyed, no evil ruling the world… Nope, just a young girl exploring an island and looking for pearls to use in a necklace. Pretty low key, don’t you think?

It also has a weirdly high camera position for a 3D platformer too. What do I mean by that? Well usually, these 3D platformers have a camera that’s set quite low behind the main protagonist. Like in say, Super Mario 64 on the N64.

This game on the other hand has a camera view that’s a bit closer to that in Grunty’s Revenge on the GBA rather than the home console Banjo-Kazooie titles. It’s not bad, but it does certainly lose some of the ‘cinematic’ feel present in the earlier games on the list as a result.

Still, the gameplay is apparently good, and the characters do have some funny dialogue, so it might be worth a try if you’re looking a smaller scale 3D platformer. Or if you really liked Conker’s Pocket Tales and Grunty’s Revenge and wanted a spiritual successor to them.

And that ends our main list. But not all 3D platformers are lucky enough to see a release on Steam or any form of home console. Oh no, there are quite a few that get cancelled long before that point can ever come, as you can see in the secondary list below…

Cancelled/Shut Down Projects

Breeze in the Clouds

A (most likely cancelled) 3D platformer starring a humanoid corgi that ends up exploring a kingdom in the sky. After it miserably failed to get funding (read, $40 of a $5000 goal), the game ended up scrapped and various traces of its existence (like the Tumblr blog and YouTube trailer) were taken down soon after.

It’s a sad case, but with that little funding, there was no other way the game could go.

Gamestar Project

But even that isn’t as sad as what happened to Gamestar Project. Cause you see, while the others on this list are very traditional 3D platformers, this one was a strange hybrid title which would have you travelling through a 2D video game world and a 3D one to figure out why the ‘2D civilisation’ died out.

In other words, it took the video game 3D leap and tried to explain it as an in universe occurrence. Complete with the possibility of the 2D and 3D civilisations going to war with each other over their differences.

Either way, there was a good team, great looking concept art, tons of references to every game you can think of… and then it kind of dropped off a cliff. The Indiegogo campaign said it moved to Kickstarter, Kickstarter doesn’t have any trace of the project, and the official site became non functional somewhere in early 2016. So presumably, the game got canned.

But while that project is disappointing, the next one is downright infuriating.

Project Roxivia

Because it’s the 3D platformer that never actually existed in the first place. The team set up a campaign, sure. They got funding, sure. But they never actually bothered to make said game. Instead, they took the money and ran, with the cash presumably being used on anything but game development. Like for example, the creator’s Twitch career.

God scammers suck, don’t they? Still, at least the next project was an honest attempt at a game.

Sandman: Escape From Dreamland

Because Sandman: Escape from Dreamland seemed to be an actual game that was being made at one point. Either way, it was a game based around a typical office worker who gets trapped in the world of dreams and has to help the Sandman regain his powers to give him a way to escape.

So hey, you’ve got an interesting theme, a neat title and a storyline that could make for a fun platformer. What went wrong?

Well, quality that’s what. Because Sandman: Escape from Dreamland looked dire:

I mean okay, it doesn’t look like the ugliest game in the world, and it doesn’t look like the physics are completely broken. But the basic level design and game structure just seems so dull and uninteresting that it’s kind of hard to be excited for it. Dreams are supposed to be crazy and exciting, with wacky aesthetics, fast paced action sequences and interesting enemies unlike anything you’d expect in the real world.

This game on the other hand was a bland, uninteresting PS1 style platformer. And I think the people on Indiegogo thought just the same thing. Why? Cause by the time the campaign ended, the game had raked in a miserable $80 of its $10,000 goal.

Either way, it wasn’t enough to continue the project. So like many others on the list, it’s been scapped and all official sites taken down or abandoned. Guess this is one dream you won’t be having any time soon!

Time Machine

Just like this game to be honest. You can probably guess what the title entailed, but basically you had to explore various time periods and find the pieces of a broken time machine to get back home. Standard enough plot, albeit one that could be quite interesting and enjoyable had the game ever gotten completed.
Above: Would have been better than Mario’s Time Machine, at any rate!

Alas, the game failed to reach its funding goal, and hence it seemingly got cancelled some time afterwards.

And so that ends our list of 3D platformers. It’s quite the selection of games, isn’t it?

Indeed, before writing this article, I pictured A Hat in Time, Lobodestroyo and Yooka-Laylee being the ONLY major collectathon platformers in development. I thought the genre had completely died by the Gamecube era and been replaced with nothing more than Call of Duty clones and New Super Mario Bros reskins.

But no, it seems I was wrong. 3D platformers are still around, they’re fairly common on Steam and tons of great new ones will be released in the next few months or so. Perhaps the ‘3D platformer revival’ has already begun!

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Kaynil
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This is is a great article. I will keep it in mind because platformers are a very nice genre I think deserves the attention it can get. Having some choices and even learning a bit of some that weren't as fortunate.

I did not know that the girl with the moustache was the villain or the rival. Haha.

I haven't keep track with it for a while. I definitely interested in this game.

I'd check out for the Freeze me one too.

Vince
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Vince

Forgot Skylar & Plux: Adventures on Clover Island and Macbat 64, but beyond that this is an amazing list! I heard of a good number of these before – Clive & Wrench, Oliver & Spike, Hat in Time, Yooka Laylee, Poi, even Happy Hell – but this is the first I’m hearing of most of them. Didn’t even know some were on Steam already! I genuinely feel bad for not knowing about something like Griff: The Winged Lion previously – I see it had, and bombed, a Kickstarter campaign and that is shocking to me. Literally no one talked about… Read more »