Side-scrolling games have always been a staple in gaming. From the very first Super Mario game to masterpieces like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and the Metroid series, there’s always been an undeniable charm about playing 2D (or 2.5D) games, jumping from platform to platform, and taking out a few enemies along the way. It’s no surprise then that mobile games have likewise adopted this genre, giving players access to both original and ported titles on their screens.
If you’re looking to try some of these games for the first time, or just want to relive some good-old side-scrolling mayhem, then join us as we check out these highly-entertaining games on the Playstore. Let’s get started!
One of the newer titles on the Playstore, Dead Cells is an action side-scroller that incorporates swift combat and rogue-like elements for some fast-paced gameplay. You gain abilities and weapons, and we have to admit that jumping around and slashing down enemies never gets old. The game is regularly updated, and while you can purchase the full game, there’s also optional DLC which you can check out in case you want a bit more action.
The game has also been released for other consoles, and while it’s been tailored to work with a touch screen, the Android port offers support for external third-party controllers.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
You might have noticed that we mentioned this game at the beginning of this article – Castlevania Symphony of the Night (aka SOTN) is one of the games responsible for the term “Metroidvania” (the other game being Nintendo’s Metroid). Simply put, while it’s mostly an action-adventure game, SOTN features role-playing elements such as a leveling system, customizable gear, and some meaty in-game exploration, meaning that you’ll spend a lot of time going back and forth through the massive in-game world. You play as Alucard, tasked to take down his father Dracula (if you’ve seen the Netflix series, then this should be familiar) in his large, sprawling castle.
Originally released for the Sony PlayStation, SOTN also supports both touch controls and external controllers, so you can easily pair a wireless controller to your smartphone and get started with all the action. The pixelated graphics work well on smartphone displays, and anyone looking to revisit this classic or experience it for the first time will have a blast with this port.
Up next on this list is Grimvalor. Originally designed for mobile platforms and later ported to the Nintendo Switch, Grimvalor is an award-winning hack and slash title, that pits you – a combat-trained warrior – against hordes of brooding monsters that have no earthly business prancing around on your smartphone’s screen. Grimvalor takes some metroidvania-style exploration and combines them with elements from the popular “Souls” games. The game also features slick combat controls, as well as good-looking graphics and voice-acting.
In case you’re not too keen on using touchscreen controls, Grimvalor is compatible with third-party controllers as well, giving you a much better handle on all the action going around.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
Considered as a spiritual successor to the Castlevania series (which has been quite dormant for a while now), Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night offers similar gameplay to its predecessor, thanks to mastermind developer Koji Igarashi, who was largely responsible for Symphony of the Night’s success during his time in KONAMI. This time around, Bloodstained puts you in the shoes of Miriam, an orphan girl with fighting abilities and untapped power. Long-time fans of the Castlevania games will find lots to love with Bloodstained, and the game offers a solid metroidvania adventure alongside great-looking graphics.
So far, the only gripe we have with this game is the somewhat awkward-feeling touchscreen controls, although like the other games on this list, you can use a third-party controller for a better gameplay experience.
Super Mario Run
If you’re after something more light-hearted and simple, then Nintendo’s Super Mario Run is a great game to look into. Nintendo has slowly been bringing its franchises to mobile platforms, and it’s not surprising that Mario would make the transition from the Switch and DS to smartphone devices. While it is technically a Mario game, Super Mario Run changes things up a bit by locking the game in a portrait-style orientation, and gives Mario a control scheme similar to those “endless runner” games like Temple Run and whatnot, albeit in a 2D view.
As far as controls are concerned, there’s no complicated platforming involved here. All you have to do is get Mario from point A to point B using tap controls, and for casual mobile gamers and Mario fans looking to burn a bit of time, then Super Mario Run is worth checking out.