What makes Platform Panic a cut above, though, is the huge number of rooms and hazards, their smart design, and how they're fired your way. Each room on your journey acts as a miniature puzzle to be bested and committed to memory. On encountering something new - pipes that suck you in and blow you out elsewhere; hero-frying lasers; huge spiked wheels - you'll likely be horribly killed. But the next time you face the room, you'll be ready for it and add a point to your tally - well, unless it's flipped the other way round, in which case you'll probably die again.
With rooms being presented broadly randomly, Platform Panic is endlessly replayable. It's also mobile-friendly, given that games are typically over inside a minute or so (unless you're a platform-game genius, in which case two minutes).
IAPs are lurking, but they're of the non-hateful variety. £1.49/$1.99 nukes the ads, and you can also buy coins, which can be spent on continues or characters. Three quid nets you 5,000, which is enough to buy every single character and still have change for a handful of continues. Alternatively, you can collect coins as you play, since each room has at least one. Craig Grannell
FREE | For iPad & iPhone (Universal) | App Store link
Run Sackboy! Run!
Run, Sackboy! Run! (free) is a mobile spinoff from the Sony game LittleBigPlanet, a four-player side-scrolling affair that builds upon the approachable Super Mario run-and-jump formula while also allowing players to build their own levels. It's certainly streamlined by comparison: it's a strictly single-player affair, lacks in-depth character customisation and level creation, and does away with manual player movement. In other words, it's an endless runner on a platform that has loads of them.
But Run, Sackboy! Run! has an ace in the hole: being ridiculously charming. Even a simplified, free-to-play take on the LBP series can bring wide smiles to your face as you leap across colourful chasms, collect bubbles and avoid the goofy-looking monster on your tail.
And despite the silly tone, it actually proves to be pretty challenging. You can jump and dash forward via taps and swipes, respectively, and you'll need to use both at times to overcome long stretches of spikes, or to recover when you're about to hit an enemy. As the speed picks up, it becomes harder to anticipate obstacles ahead, which amps up the difficulty level.
And it's free, of course. And and so long as you're cool with probably never unlocking some of the pricier costumes - which cost an extravagant amount of in-game currency - there's plenty of entertainment to be had here without spending a penny. Andrew Hayward
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.