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10 Best Plattformer & Jump’N’Run Games for iPad & iOS | 2024 Edition

Here are the top 10 jump’n’run and platformer games for the iPad. We think they are particularly well-suited for Super Mario fans!

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best jump'n'run games platformer for iPad

I don’t know about you, but when I hear “Jump’n’Run,” I inevitably think of my childhood and youth, where I passionately leaped through the Mushroom Kingdom with Super Mario for days, collecting coins and stars to once again save Princess Peach. I remember repeatedly defeating Bowser, only to do the same thing again in the next installment. Right after that, I recall the adventures I had with Donkey Kong and how I jumped through picturesque levels with Rayman. Thinking about that time gives me a cozy and warm feeling of nostalgia.

As you can tell – I’ve had a profound fondness for good Jump’n’Run games for a long time. I am even more grateful that there are now a variety of great games for the iPad. If you connect a controller to the tablet via Bluetooth, you can experience a true console feeling.

At this point, I want to share my favorite Jump’n’Run games for iPad with you and talk about what excites me about these games. The games on my list share the commonality of having great graphics and excellent gameplay. From SpongeBob to the Donkey Kong counterpart, I present to you 10 best games that make my Jump’n’Run heart beat faster. So, read on and then start hopping!

1. SpongeBob: Patty Pursuit

SpongeBob: Patty Pursuit

Attention, Jump’n’Run enthusiasts and SpongeBob fans: If you enjoy platformers and the yellow sponge head equally, you should definitely play SpongeBob: Patty Pursuit.

The latest game in the SpongeBob universe is available on Apple Arcade and is a very successful Jump’n’Run game.

If you want to explore the depths of Bikini Bottom on your iPad, “SpongeBob: Patty Pursuit” provides the ideal opportunity – childhood memories included.

Not that the story in a Jump’n’Run game is particularly important, but it is entertaining in this game nonetheless: The evil genius Sheldon J. Plankton is once again after the secret Krabby Patty recipe and has even kidnapped SpongeBob’s friends this time.

As a player, it is now your task to protect this recipe and free SpongeBob’s friends!

The game immerses you in the colorful world of Bikini Bottom and lets you explore familiar locations, from the Glove World to the Trash Can. You overcome obstacles, collect coins and spatulas to free your friends and defeat Plankton’s henchmen.

The charm of the game is primarily derived from the familiar characters of the series: Patrick, Sandy, and Squidward are just as involved as the villain Plankton.

SpongeBob gains new forms and abilities throughout the game, helping you solve puzzles and hop smoothly through the levels, reminiscent of Super Mario at his best.

The game offers six different parts of Bikini Bottom to explore, with each area having multiple levels and hidden items like coins and spatulas. To reveal all secrets and complete the levels entirely, you need to be skillful, keep your eyes open, and replay some sections.

Read: Best Strategy Games for iPad Tested

The graphics are beautiful, featuring loving details and smooth animations. Fans of SpongeBob will feel right at home. The original cast of voice actors is also cool.

The game can be played decently with just the iPad, but it feels really good with an external controller. I tested it with the PS5 controller, and it worked great. This way, you get a true console feeling.

The creative boss battles also impressed me, and thanks to the many hidden items in each level, “SpongeBob: Patty Pursuit” always provides enough motivation to return to Bikini Bottom.

Jump’n’Run fans who have subscribed to Apple Arcade should definitely give the yellow sponge head a chance.

Apple App Store: SpongeBob: Patty Pursuit

2. Castle of Illusion

Castle of Illusion

Castle of Illusion seeks to revive the magic of the Sega Drive classic, placing Mickey Mouse in the spotlight. Your mission is to rescue Minnie from the clutches of the evil witch Mizrabel, who has kidnapped her. It may sound a bit like the suspiciously familiar formula of “Super Mario saving Princess Peach,” but that doesn’t diminish the enjoyable gameplay of Castle of Illusion.

The game offers a mix of 2D and occasional 3D passages. You guide Mickey through beautifully designed worlds, collecting gems, cards, and apples. The latter can be thrown at enemies to defeat them. Gems can be obtained by defeating enemies or finding them hidden in the world. Each level also contains several pieces of cards that you can discover.

Castle of Illusion’s gameplay is genuinely fun, although some sections feel a bit unbalanced and require a lot of precision. Precise jumping is best achieved with an external controller. Using touch controls, I sometimes found the necessary sensitivity lacking. You move Mickey by swiping on the left side of the screen and make him jump by tapping on the right side. What bothers me is the tiny red button for throwing apples, which seems a bit awkwardly placed. As mentioned, using a proper controller makes the whole experience much more precise.

The spongy touch controls can be frustrating at times, especially in boss fights. Moreover, the game is not for casual gamers, despite its cute appearance. The later levels are quite challenging, reminiscent of the difficulty levels of old console games from the 80s and 90s.

However, the graphics are excellent and contribute to the fantastic atmosphere of the game. The animations of Mickey and his enemies are also fantastic.

A drawback is the game’s brevity. Even if you complete the game 100% with all collectibles, it’s over in a few hours. To play through, you’ll only need two to three hours. If you want to discover and collect everything, it takes a bit longer.

Overall, “Castle of Illusion” offers entertaining gameplay and a great visual experience. Only the somewhat imprecise touch controls and the limited content slightly tarnish the overall impression. We strongly recommend playing the game with an external controller. This way, the fun gameplay unfolds, and you can master even the challenging later levels without tossing the iPad in frustration.

“Castle of Illusion” costs a one-time fee of 5.99 euros on the Apple App Store. The game does not include in-app purchases.

Apple App Store: Castle of Illusion

3. Rayman Mini

Rayman Mini

Rayman Mini succeeds in bringing the charm of the Rayman series into the present as an Apple Arcade game.

Visually, it stays true to the typical Rayman style, including cute characters with buttery-smooth animations and beautifully hand-drawn backgrounds.

Rayman Mini also offers a humorous story. Rayman has been shrunk to the size of an ant, and to reverse this spell, you must navigate through a world of insects, mushrooms, and leaves to ultimately regain healing.

I find it unfortunate that Rayman automatically runs forward in this version, and you can only execute jumps or attacks. Additionally, the touchscreen controls don’t always feel 100% precise, although I find them generally well-executed. Again, I recommend using a controller for the best gameplay experience.

Rayman Mini also presents itself in a child-friendly manner but has a pretty challenging difficulty level. Every missed jump or attack forces you to start the level from the beginning. It’s about finding the perfect rhythm, aided by the dynamically adapting musical accompaniment. You need good reflexes and may have to complete some sections multiple times to progress.

Commendable is the game’s scope, featuring 48 levels divided into six worlds. There’s also plenty of collectibles like Lums, cards, and costumes. Additionally, you can choose between three characters.

Personally, the brisk, fast-paced rhythmic gameplay keeps inviting me to hop and slide through the levels in Rayman Mini. The great visuals combined with dynamically adapting music and smooth gameplay are just fun.

Apple App Store: Rayman Mini

4. Sonic Dream Team

Sonic Dream Team

Sonic Dream Team catapults the popular blue hedgehog back onto the iPad. You experience a fast-paced adventure and race through different dream worlds. There are six different characters with unique abilities.

Sonic Dream Team is an exclusive 3D Jump’n’Run for iOS and iPadOS. The story revolves around Eggman’s attempt to harness the power of an ancient artifact to realize his world domination ambitions. Sure, it sounds somewhat trivial, but Sonic fans surely don’t expect Shakespearean drama.

The game is divided into four zones, each with three sections. Each act is packed with challenges to collect Dream Orbs, which in turn advance the progress and the story.

Read: These are the best free games for iPad

There are various characters with their own abilities, including Amy Rose, Knuckles The Echidna, Tails, Rouge The Bat, Cream The Rabbit, and of course, Sonic The Hedgehog.

I like the level design in this Sonic installment. Nevertheless, Sonic Dream Team, like other 3D Sonic games, is not without its typical issues, such as unclear paths or sometimes unexpected deaths. Even with this game, we strongly recommend using a controller because the fast-paced gameplay can be quite overwhelming when using touch controls. Honestly, it sometimes overwhelms me even with a controller, but it’s still a lot of fun.

Graphically and acoustically, the game is well-executed and offers console-level quality on your iPad. Unfortunately, Sonic Dream Team is relatively short. Despite collectibles, the replay value is limited. For me, it felt like I was just getting into it, and the game was already over. Dear developers, please make more of this.

For Apple Arcade subscribers, Sonic Dream Team offers a fun journey into the world of the fastest hedgehog. Sonic Dream Team is definitely one of the better parts of the series, even though the game suffers from a somewhat limited scope.

Apple App Store: Sonic Dream Team

5. Banana Kong 2

Banana Kong 2

In this endless runner game, you jump, surf, and slide through forests, caves, treetops, and even the North Pole.

In the levels, you collect bananas and gold coins, which you can use to buy upgrades and more in the Jungle Shop.

You can compare your running distances with friends, which I find quite motivating. The levels are randomly generated, providing virtually endless challenges.

The controls are simple and work well via touchscreen, but using a controller makes it even more precise. The graphics seem cute and fitting. Playing the game often reminded me of how I used to play Donkey Kong on the SNES with my brother.

Motivating is that you constantly unlock new items and upgrades while playing.

Banana Kong 2 is free, but you can remove ads and unlock some additional benefits for a fee. Although the ads between runs can be annoying, you can still play the game without spending a single cent and still have fun.

Overall, Banana Kong 2 is a successful endless runner that evokes warm memories of blissful SNES times and Donkey Kong.

Apple App Store: Banana Kong 2

6. Subway Surfers

Subway Surfers

Subway Surfers is also an endless runner, offering colorful and vibrant cartoon graphics along with simple, entertaining gameplay.

The various cities you can explore are detailed and diverse, providing plenty to feast your eyes on.

The straightforward controls, which work excellently via the touchscreen, ensure that you’ll quickly get the hang of the game. In this case, there’s no need for a separate controller to enhance the fun. No finger acrobatics are necessary; simple swipe gestures are executed to control the character.

I also like Subway Surfers’ motivating reward system. As you jump, slide, and fly through different cities, you collect coins that you can invest in power-ups, characters, and new skateboards. This collectible system and the associated benefits provide long-term motivation to keep playing the game, unlocking new items periodically.

Subway Surfers is available for free on the Apple App Store. However, keep in mind that the game heavily relies on in-app purchases. To avoid accidental spending, it’s best to disable them in your iPad settings so you won’t be tempted. The game includes ads, but it’s still a lot of fun without spending any money. Advancing in Subway Surfers doesn’t necessarily require real money investment. 

Subway Surfers is one of my favorite endless runners in the Apple App Store and is suitable for players of all ages as a fun pastime.

Apple App Store: Subway Surfers

7. Doodle Jump

Doodle Jump

Doodle Jump appeared in the Apple App Store in March 2009 and has since been known for its simple and addictive gameplay mechanics.

While the game has been around for many years, it stays fresh with regular updates.

Doodle Jump is a truly addictive jump-and-run game, convincing players with its simultaneously simple and captivating gameplay. I also appreciate its straightforward hand-drawn design.

The controls are remarkably easy: you automatically jump and tilt the iPad gently left and right. As you ascend on an endlessly scrolling vertical screen, you navigate increasingly challenging environments with narrower platforms – including moving blue platforms, crumbling brown platforms, white platforms that disappear after a jump, and platforms with jump-boosting springs and jetpacks.

Occasionally, you must tap the screen to shoot the occasional monster or UFO blocking your path. Fortunately, the lively soundtrack warns you in time.

The basic game remains the same. You jump as high as possible to skyrocket your score, and your game ends if you misjudge a jump and fall off the bottom of the screen.

Read: Setting Up A New iPad: Our Simple Guide

The game also displays the names and heights of previous high scores – your own and those of Doodle Jump players worldwide. This drives the addiction spiral ever higher.

There is even a multiplayer mode now. Two players compete against each other, and the race ends when someone crosses the finish line or dies. The winner is the one who has survived longer or reached the finish line first.

Doodle Jump is one of those games that are easy to learn but difficult to master. For me, it’s the perfect game for a quick play session.

Apple App Store: Doodle Jump

7. Dare the Monkey: Go Bananas!

Dare the Monkey: Go Bananas!

Dare the Monkey: Go Bananas! is an addictive “one-touch platformer” aiming to capture the essence of classic arcade and console games from the 80s and 90s.

Similar to Doodle Jump, Dare the Monkey: Go Bananas! is easy to learn but challenging to master.

With the cute monkey Dare, you embark on fast-paced adventures in increasingly difficult levels. You jump, run, and roll, reminiscent of classic jump’n’run games like Donkey Kong or Super Mario World. The game also appeals to me visually, even if there are more graphically demanding games.

The gameplay, as hinted earlier, is remarkably simple: as the monkey continuously moves from left to right, you must use touch gestures to make it jump over obstacles and enemies, collecting as many coins as possible. There is both a campaign with various levels and an endless runner mode.

It’s amusing that you can even play Dare the Monkey: Go Bananas! on your Apple Watch.

Dare the Monkey: Go Bananas! is free, but new levels can be unlocked via in-app purchase, and you can disable ads.

Apple App Store: Dare the Monkey: Go Bananas!

9. Temple Run 2

Temple Run 2

Hardly anyone anticipated the mega success of Temple Run when it appeared in the Apple App Store in 2011. The endless runner from Imangi Studios shaped the genre like few other games. Gamers rewarded it with over 150 million downloads.

Two years later, Temple Run 2 was released, refining the gameplay. The sequel raised the bar and has now garnered an impressive 170 million downloads. The graphics and animations are even sleeker, featuring various characters, and the gameplay and level design have been further optimized.

You take on the role of Guy Dangerous, a red-haired Indiana Jones lookalike. Guy, who has snagged a valuable artifact, flees from giant demon monkeys in indoor and outdoor levels. Since the latest update, you run through a snowy Christmas world in line with the season. You move by tilting the iPad left and right to steer, swipe up to jump over chasms, and swipe down to slide under fallen trees. Occasionally, you also control a minecart or, in the current update, a sled (see image), and must also dodge obstacles with it.

The constant movement and the sense of speed in Temple Run 2 provide a real adrenaline rush while playing, making it our favorite endless runner alongside Subway Surfers.

Typical of the genre, randomly generated levels have no specific end – they only end when you make a mistake. This activates the addiction spiral because you always want to improve your high score, especially outperforming your friends. Of course, you can also share on social media how many points you’ve achieved, thus “provoking” or challenging your loved ones.

During the run, you collect coins that you can use to buy power-ups, such as durable shields.

However, some items are only available after unlocking additional characters. You can also buy new abilities like the coin magnet, which attracts coins to you as you run through the level.

Coins are not the only things you find during a run. Also, pay attention to gems – these serve to increase the effectiveness of your power-ups.

There are also in-app purchases to buy coins with real money. It’s not necessary, but it significantly accelerates the unlocking process.

In short, Temple Run 2 is fast-paced, hectic, and above all, loads of fun. So channel your inner Indiana Jones and plunge into the adventure.

Apple App Store: Temple Run 2

10. Leo’s Fortune

Leo’s Fortune

Leo’s Fortune is a visually impressive platform adventure that offers a humorous story and polished gameplay with challenging puzzles. The fantastic art design, challenging levels, and creative storyline make Leo’s Fortune a very well-rounded package and one of the best platformers in the Apple App Store.

As a player, you embark on Leo’s journey, a mustachioed furball aiming to reclaim his lost fortune. You traverse lovingly designed worlds and encounter various relatives in cutscenes, each seemingly having their reasons to claim Leo’s fortune for themselves.

The game features 24 levels filled with tricky traps and physics-based puzzles. Although Leo’s Fortune has some traditional platformer elements, it increasingly focuses on “physical” puzzles later in the game, making it pleasantly diverse.

The combination of skill-based sections and “puzzle-solving” appeals to me tremendously.

Leo’s Fortune impresses not least visually with its detailed backgrounds, fantastic weather effects, and a unique, fairytale-like art design.

Read: The Best iPad Alternatives You Should Check Out Now

Each level is meticulously crafted, offering a beautiful aesthetic that few other games in the Apple App Store can match.

A bit challenging is that some traps are sometimes challenging to spot, occasionally leading to frustration when Leo unexpectedly dies.

Leo’s control is also relatively unconventional. On the ground, his movement feels somewhat “floaty.” Nevertheless, once you get used to it, the controls work well. Touch controls function well, but even in this game, I prefer using a controller for a more precise gaming experience.

Overall, Leo’s Fortune is an excellent jump’n’run, shining particularly with its impressive graphics and challenging puzzles.

Apple App Store: Leo’s Fortune

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