7 Best PS Vita Platformer Games then jump high and crawl low

The PlayStation Vita is no stranger to action-platformers. There are a good number of them. Unfortunately, we can only feature a select number of them. Below are seven of the best platformers on the handheld supreme.

Best ps vita platformer games

7. LittleBigPlanet

Sony is not really known for platformers, that is Nintendo’s expertise. But they did try with LittleBigPlanet. This is the second portable installment of the popular level-editing platformer, where players control Sackboy, and jump (float) all over the place. The story revolves around an evil puppet master who has taken over a carnival-themed planet and brainwashed its residents. The protagonist is saved by Colonel Flounder and must undergo training to save the planet. 

The primary appeal of LittleBigPlanet is its creative potential and not necessarily its core gameplay. Players can customize their Sackperson and space pod extensively and utilize enhanced level creation tools to build virtually any scenario they can imagine. The online community provided a wealth of player-created levels to explore, and the game features a significant multiplayer component. This aspect is already given as done and gone, affecting its ranking in this list. Despite the multiplayer being kaput, LittleBigPlanet PS Vita remains a fantastic and magical journey of creativity, highly recommended for aspiring game developers and artistic minds.

6. Tearaway

Tearaway is a creative platformer set in a whimsical world made entirely of brightly colored paper, reminiscent of a scrapbooker's dream. The game follows Iota (or Atoi, depending on the player's preference) on a quest to deliver a special message to a face from the real world, represented by the player through the Vita's front-facing camera. The game's storyline features a unique interaction where the player's face becomes the sun, think of Teletubbies. 

Tearaway is pretty known for its innovative use of the Vita's touch controls. Players can push through paper obstacles using the rear touchpad, tap platforms to give Iota a lift, and pull at paper elements on the front screen to aid the Messenger on his journey. The game also includes a camera feature, enabling players to capture and restore color to in-game objects and unlock real-world papercraft templates. Customization plays a significant role, with players able to personalize Iota and other characters.

Tearaway offers a magical experience filled with exploration and creativity. The game's unique papercraft aesthetic and interactive controls create a delightful, child-like sense of wonder. While the main adventure can be completed quickly, the joy of discovering hidden collectibles and customizing the world provides a reason to return.

5. Sound Shapes 

This is one of the lost treasures of the platform. Sound Shapes is all about the smooth controls, fun levels, and an impressive soundtrack that couldn’t be experienced anywhere else. The game's graphics are simple yet visually appealing, using basic shapes and colors that remain engaging over extended play sessions. Dangerous elements are easily identifiable, and collecting notes creates a delightful auditory backdrop, making the game a visual and auditory pleasure. The various level sets each offer unique styles.

The sound design is exceptional, with each level's music evolving as players collect notes, creating a unique soundtrack for each playthrough. Designers have cleverly integrated sound into gameplay, with in-level obstacles adding to the musical experience. Notable contributions include levels by Beck and Jim Guthrie, which feature innovative uses of lyrics and beats. While the Vita's speakers are adequate, using high-quality headphones significantly enhances the auditory experience.

Gameplay in Sound Shapes is pretty straightforward, with players controlling a gelatinous blob that sticks to surfaces to navigate levels. The main campaign consists of five albums with 25 levels, each offering a fair challenge and well-designed obstacles. After completing the main campaign, additional content such as Beat School and Death Courses provide further challenges. The in-game editor and vibrant user-generated content community extend the game's replayability, making Sound Shapes a must-have for Vita owners who enjoy creative and musically integrated gameplay.

4. Axiom Verge

Axiom Verge is an indie title reminiscent of the classic Metroid series but with its unique personality. The game features a retro aesthetic with 8 and 16-bit visuals. Players control Trace, a scientist who, after an accident, finds himself in an unknown world filled with robotic beings and alien creatures. The game offers a rich, immersive story, enhanced by its soundtracks and sound effects, all created by Happ. With approximately 12-15 hours of gameplay, Axiom Verge provides significant replayability through collectibles, a Speedrun mode, and different ending sequences.

Axiom Verge excels in exploration, encouraging players to navigate a vast, interconnected universe. The game's progression system is well-designed. Over 50 objects and upgrades are scattered throughout the game's numerous areas. The game also incorporates a sense of helplessness and uneasiness. This feeling gradually transforms into satisfaction as players discover new upgrades and progress through previously inaccessible areas.

The game pays tribute to Metroid with its multi-directional side-scrolling gameplay which involves intense exploration and action-packed combat. Players encounter various aliens and challenging boss battles that require memorization of attack patterns. Axiom Verge also includes elements of platforming and puzzle-solving, making it a well-rounded experience for fans of classic 2D adventure games. 

3. Spelunky

Spelunky challenges players to weigh the risks and rewards of their actions as they navigate through procedurally generated levels filled with treasure and deadly beasts. The game's premise is straightforward: survive each stage to progress further. However, its difficulty is both brutal and addictive, often requiring players to make tough decisions, like risking their progress for a valuable gold bar. The game's unique personality shines through its demanding gameplay, where players will frequently die, especially at the start, but gradually learn to overcome new dangers.

The game’s progression system is unforgiving, with players being sent back to the beginning upon losing all health, which can be particularly harsh initially. Traps and enemies are often unexpected but discovering and mastering these dangers is part of the appeal. Even with the steep learning curve, Spelunky rewards perseverance with endless new adventures and treasures in each freshly generated level. The game's loot system encourages players to balance risk and reward, making each decision crucial to survival and progress. Shops scattered throughout the game offer gear and items that can significantly aid in advancement.

Spelunky's gameplay is easy to grasp but difficult to master, with responsive controls that make platforming a joy. Players can perform basic actions like jumping, dashing, and whipping enemies, as well as interacting with the environment by picking up and throwing objects. The game features dynamic puzzles and increasingly complex areas, all punctuated by detailed sprite work and a captivating soundtrack. Spelunky’s intense, fast-paced gameplay suits short, engaging sessions, providing a satisfying experience for those willing to brave it's rough opening hours.

2. Rayman Origins

Rayman Origins stands out for its stunning visuals, perfectly showcasing the Vita's capabilities with detailed, colorful environments and smooth animations. Each level bursts with life, from the intricately designed backgrounds to the wacky character models. The sound design is equally impressive, featuring diverse soundtracks that match the pace and mood of the levels, enhancing the overall experience with catchy tunes and fitting sound effects.

Gameplay in Rayman Origins is top-notch, with a perfect blend of humor and challenge. The game offers a variety of worlds and levels, each with unique themes and mechanics that keep the experience fresh and exciting. Players unlock new skills as they progress, adding depth to the platforming and ensuring a steady stream of new challenges. The game’s balanced difficulty and well-placed checkpoints make it accessible while still providing a sense of accomplishment. With a plethora of collectibles and secrets, Rayman Origins boasts high replay value, making it a must-own for any Vita owner.

1. Fez

Controversy drowned this game due to its maker. Now it is time to separate the maker from his creation and totally not talk about him. Fez is a clever and charming puzzle platformer that stands out for its innovative gameplay mechanics and captivating world. The game’s protagonist, Gomez, discovers a new dimension and gains the ability to rotate his 2D world, unveiling previously hidden pathways and secrets. This unique mechanic is not only fun to use but also integral to solving the game’s numerous puzzles. The game's world is beautifully designed with vibrant visuals and an enchanting soundtrack that complements the exploration and puzzle-solving experience.

One of Fez's greatest strengths lies in its sense of exploration and discovery. The game provides players with a vast, interconnected world to explore with minimal guidance. Each area is filled with cleverly hidden secrets and puzzles, some of which require decoding a fictional language or solving complex riddles. This hands-off approach allows players to organically uncover the game’s mysteries, resulting in a highly rewarding experience when difficult puzzles are solved. The anti-cubes, in particular, offer some of the most challenging and satisfying puzzles.

The game’s incredible charm and ingenuity makes it one of the greatest indie games of all time, which also happened to be a platformer. Its unique concept, emphasis on exploration, and cleverly designed puzzles make it a memorable and enjoyable game that stands as one of the better puzzle-platformer experiences on the Vita and in every system it was released.