When it comes to platform games, you won’t find a more classic, well-loved title than Super Mario Bros. It’s a game that changed the world, and it still holds up today.
Of course, you can only officially play Nintendo games on Nintendo consoles, so if you don’t have a compatible system and you’re hankering for some Mario, you’re out of luck. Sure, you could play them online, but that’s not ideal for when you’re on-the-go. Plenty of copycat games have popped up on Android that try to give you your Mario fix, but are they any good?
Stick around until the end for some alternatives that are less copycat-like but much better games.
Our first stop on this journey is Wacky World, and unfortunately, it’s a rather poor beginning. At first glance, the game looks okay:
However, before you can even start, a mountain of ads is unleashed on you. There’s a persistent ad in the top-left of the game the entire time you play, and every time you complete a level you have to watch a video ad.
Another video ad plays before you can click “start”, and when you exit the game, it has to show you one more ad. Even worse, once a day the game dumps an ad into your notification bar telling you to play. If you encounter any app that does this, Chris has detailed how to remove these nuisances.
The worst problem aside from the ads is the controls: there’s a sort of delay when you press any on-screen buttons. This extends to the entire game, making it dreadful to control. Having to hold the button to perform an action like this makes the entire experience laggy and tough to control.
Aside from the controls, the game is just plain bad. The music is generic and loops frequently, the sound effects sound like they were recorded from another game, and stupid signs are scattered throughout the game that don’t have any relevance to anything.
There’s no reason to even try this game; it’s a huge mess and is a disgrace to Mario fans. Avoid this game, and it’s identical copycat Mike’s World, at all costs. Treat these games as you would biohazardous material: stay far, far away.
In this copycat, you still have to view an ad before you start and every time you die or beat a level, but they’re not video ads so it’s not as big of a deal. However, the game still suffers from stock music, lame sound effects, and bland backgrounds that barely change between levels.
Some minor issues that might bother you are the inability to pause, as well as the fact that you can’t quit out of a level you’ve already cleared. This wouldn’t be too much of a problem, but the game inexplicably sends you back a level on the map when you die.
The controls are a slight improvement over Wacky World, but the game overall feels slippery, almost like every level is an ice stage. Touch controls aren’t ideal for platformers, but you wouldn’t expect it to be this bad. Otherwise, the enemies in the game are dull; they look like Microsoft Paint copies of traditional Mario enemies.
When you die, you get a Game Over and restart… with a single life. Why couldn’t they give you five lives to start over, like in most platformers? It makes trying to get through hard levels irritating.
On the plus side, Andrio World requires no permissions other than Internet Access to display ads, meaning that it isn’t spying on your personal information. It’s a better game than Wacky World, but not by much.
In this game, you collect coins and use them to buy power-ups like projectiles to shoot at enemies, or diamonds to revive when you die. You can either use the coins that you earn in-game to purchase these, or perform stupid tasks like downloading junky apps or watching advertisements to earn coins the “easy” way.
Additionally, the sound effect that plays when you hit a block is the ring sound effect from the Sonic games, a total rip-off. That’s not the only sound crime, though: the character makes an annoying “Heh!” noise every single time you jump.
Overall, Super Adventurer plays like a bad bootleg of Mario. It’s almost there, but the enemies again look like cheap copies, the controls are extremely slippery, and it really doesn’t offer anything special. Unfortunately, this one gets a big pass too.
Unlike the other copycats, the ads in Lep’s World are non-intrusive. You won’t encounter ads during gameplay, and after you clear a level a small ad appears on the screen, but it doesn’t take up the whole screen, which is a nice touch.
It has a few more permissions than Andrio World, but none of them are cause for alarm. Overall, Lep’s World has much more polish than any other platformer covered so far. It seems like a decent effort went into the title, so you won’t see shoddy menu screens or atrocious controls.
The music is one of the weakest points, but it’s passable. The sound effects are okay as well — at least in Lep’s World the effects sound original and fresh. It’s decent; not an amazing platformer by any means, but a solid mobile game that gives the best feeling of Super Mario Bros.
The game spawned two sequels: Lep’s World 2 and 3. They’re similar to the original, but they definitely improve on it. You’ll find more power-ups and enemies, as well as in-app purchases to change your character or add more abilities.
The third game is updated the most frequently, so you may want to skip right to that one. Of the ones I tried, Lep’s World is the best overall clone of Super Mario Bros. on Android.
The ads in the free version are fairly relaxed, but you can get the paid version to remove them. However, there are in-app purchases in both versions of the game, and they’re the bad kind.
When you would normally lose your last life, the game interrupts and offers you a chance to buy your way out of it. This could quickly get expensive, of course, so it’s best to ignore it. On the positive side, the permissions for this game are just fine.
However, the screen seems too zoomed out, or maybe the characters are just tiny. Either way, you feel like you almost need a microscope while playing. The controls are decent; the arrows even allow you to run at two different speeds depending on where you press them.
The game allows you to begin with the first level or play a random stage. This is a nice touch if you have trouble clearing a stage, and there are plenty of different levels to experience, as the game says there are over a thousand that are randomly generated. In the game, though, the music is boring and will get repetitive.
This game isn’t as enjoyable or polished as Lep’s World, but it could be a lot worse. It’s a bit bland, but worth a try. Just be sure to ignore the in-app purchases.
Meganoid comes from developer OrangePixel, makers of awesome retro-themed games for Android and iOS. In Meganoid, you’ll jump your way through short, focused levels full of danger.
Each level is tiny, but will likely take you multiple tries to beat. The developers claim it’s the closest you can get to Super Meat Boy, a super-tough game, on Android. It’s definitely not a cakewalk.
Plenty of content is available to play through, with 300 levels and counting available, and it’s all accessible in the free version. If you opt for the paid edition, you’re able to skip levels and won’t have to see ads. With good controls, fun gameplay, and multiple optional objectives in each level, Meganoid is one of the best platforming experiences on Android.
If you like Meganoid, there’s also a second game, Meganoid 2, available in free or paid ($2.50) flavors. It’s a lot like the first one, although it takes place in a cave environment unlike the first game’s futuristic setting. As a bonus, neither game has any malicious permissions. Why not download both?
Stardash, also from OrangePixel, is another retro-themed platformer. Instead of the short levels of Meganoid, this game offers more of a traditional experience. Its graphics are very similar to the original Game Boy, and the game itself looks like Super Mario Land.
Each level offers three stars: one for collecting all the coins, one for beating the target time, and one for clearing the level in reverse, which can be tougher than it sounds. When you die, you restart quickly so there’s no waiting for another try. There’s also a secret to find in each level, which unlocks the super-tough Temple levels. This is a near-perfect mobile platformer that could have been right at home on the Game Boy.
The paid version removes the ads, just like in Meganoid. The free game does not limit you in any way, and there’s no permissions to worry about in either edition. If there’s one Android game I would recommend for platformer fans, it’s this one.
League of Evil comes from a different developer, Noodlecake Studios, and it’s a solid platforming title. Your mission is to destroy a band of scientists who are coming together to create weapons of mass destruction — known as the League of Evil. You’ll run, jump, and wall-kick to get around in this game.
You’re able to attack at any time, which makes this slightly less like Mario, but you should enjoy it just the same. The game has over 150 levels, and they’re all accessible in the free version. It’s a perfect on-the-go title, due to its great controls and short levels, and is easily among the best on Android. Give it a try; you won’t be disappointed.
What Is The Best Platformer On Android?
While none of the Mario copycat titles proved to be anything above average, thankfully there are games on the Play Store that are worth your time. It may take a bit of digging, and make sure that you don’t take ratings at face value, but there are awesome platformers to play.