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Genre: Explorable platformer / Metroidvania

Group Description

This group includes platform games that allow the player to move between interconnected areas rather than advance stage after stage in a linear fashion. Acquiring specific items and abilities is often needed to access new areas. Role-playing elements such as equipment management are also common, up to the point of featuring full-fledged RPG systems.

The genre was popularized by Metroid (1986) and Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (1987), which later led to the widely accepted portmanteau term Metroidvania, even though there exist earlier examples of this type of gameplay.

  • Interconnected areas and a considerable degree of non-linearity in exploration is the main requirement.
  • Only 2D platform games are allowed. Overhead games that fulfill the above requirement (such as most Zelda games) should not be part of the group. Games with 3D graphics can only be accepted if they imitate perspective and gameplay of 2D platformers.
  • Role-playing games are allowed as long as they answer the above requirements.
External links
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Game TitleYearPlatformPublishersorted in ascending orderMobyScore
Shape Shifter1992TurboGrafx CDTurbo Technologies, Inc.2.85
The Adventures of Captain Comic1988DOS, NESColor Dreams, Inc.3.07
Project Black Sun2011Linux, Macintosh, WindowsStarflower Games3.10
Guacamelee!: Gold Edition2013Linux, Macintosh, WindowsDrinkBox Studios Inc.3.17
Wake2010WindowsBoss Baddie3.20
Knytt Experiment2007Windows3.25
The Goonies II1987Arcade, NESKonami, Inc.3.28
Wonder Boy in Monster World1991Genesis, PlayStation 3, SEGA Master System, TurboGrafx CD, Wii, WindowsHudson Entertainment, Inc.3.34
Castlevania II: Simon's Quest1987NES, Nintendo 3DS, Wii, Wii UKonami, Inc.3.39
Shadow Complex2009Xbox 360Microsoft Game Studios3.44
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link1987Game Boy Advance, NES, Nintendo 3DS, Wii, Wii UNintendo of America Inc.3.49
Soul of Dracula2010Windows3.50
Akuji the Demon2002Windows3.50
Ys III: Wanderers from Ys1989Genesis, MSX, NES, PC-88, PC-98, Sharp X68000, SNES, TurboGrafx CDNEC Technologies, Inc.3.64
Legacy of the Wizard1987MSX, NESBrøderbund Software, Inc.3.67
Valdis Story: Abyssal City2013WindowsEndlessfluff Games3.67
Lunnye Devitsy2009WindowsBoss Baddie3.70
Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance2002Game Boy AdvanceKonami Corporation3.75
Super Adventure Island II1994SNES, WiiHudson Entertainment, Inc.3.76
Cave Story+2011Linux, Macintosh, WindowsNicalis, Inc.3.76
Turma da Mônica em: O Resgate1993SEGA Master SystemTec Toy Indústria de Brinquedos S.A.3.80
Castlevania: Circle of the Moon2001Game Boy Advance, Wii UKonami of America, Inc.3.84
Metroid II: Return of Samus1991Game Boy, Nintendo 3DSNintendo of America Inc.3.85
Cave Story2005Amiga, Dreamcast, GP2X, GP2X Wiz, Linux, Macintosh, Nintendo DSi, WindowsNicalis, Inc.3.85
Unepic2011Wii U, WindowsEnjoyUp Games3.89
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Selected Covers

Project Black Sun Linux Front Cover
Front cover for Project Black Sun
Wake Windows Front Cover
Front cover for Wake
Cave Story+ Linux Front Cover
Front cover for Cave Story+
Cave Story Windows Front Cover
Front cover for Cave Story

Selected Screenshots

Title screen
Screenshot from Project Black Sun
Main menu
Screenshot from Wake
Main menu
Screenshot from Knytt Experiment