Snake Pass has a lot in common with the platformers of the 90s, although it comes with a unique twist. As you might expect, you play as a snake named Noodle. However, the physics of the game are entirely built around your movement. You won’t be jumping your way across platforms this time, instead you’ll be slithering up areas and using momentum to propel yourself.
The entire crux of Snake Pass is actually built around finding collectibles. There are 15 levels spread out across four themed worlds, and in each level you’ll have to collect three sets of hidden collectibles. These get increasingly more difficult as the game goes on, and you’ll need to use all of your wits to find them. It may be a bit different from the platformers you’re used to and the controls take some adjustment, but after that you’ll find a fun collect-a-thon experience unlike any others.
Shovel Knight is one of the finest retro homages we’ve ever seen, perfectly evoking the careful platforming of older titles while introducing modern design concepts like checkpoints and a detailed inventory system. It plays a bit like a Mega Man game as each level is themed after one of the memorable bosses you’ll be facing down. Shovel Knight’s unique skills are essential to making it through, as you can dig and jump downwards on the shovel to jump farther and damage enemies.
Of course, Shovel Knight also brings the nostalgia by giving you a bunch of collectibles to nab, both in the main campaign and DLC. Shovel Knight and Plague Knight have music sheets they can collect across each level. Bringing these back to the bard in the village will reward you with gold, while the bard regales you with the song. Alternatively, Specter Knight’s campaign has a bunch of red skulls you can collect, which can be turned in later for useful new abilities. Each campaign is great on its own, but trying to collect everything only adds to the overall challenge.
Most games in the Rayman series put the mascot in 3D environments, but Rayman Legends and its predecessor Origins put the character in a beautiful, lush 2D world. Rayman Legends is truly a gorgeous game at every turn, with wildly varied locations and some tight platforming gameplay. The game has some smart level design that’s truly challenging, and there’s also some fun multiplayer options allowing you to play co-op in the main campaign.
Of course, the good news is there’s also a ton to collect on your adventure. You’ve got a host of power-ups like Hearts, Blue Punches, and Bubbles that provide temporary boosts. On top of that, there’s a whopping 700 of the creatures named Tensies to find across the game. That’s certainly going to keep you occupied for a while.
Super Mario 3D World
Pretty much every Mario game gives you a ton of collectibles to mop up, this time with the help of up to three friends. This gorgeous co-op title is an absolute blast to play whether alone or with friends, with new power-ups like the wall-climbing cat suit or the cherry that gives you a body double. You can either help your friends along the way or choose to throw them off a cliff, allowing for some intense co-op play.
Like most Mario titles, advancing further in the game is themed around collecting a number of stars. There’s a total of 380 green stars in Super Mario 3D World, as well as 85 stamps to collect. You’ll need to get each to unlock different areas within the game, so you’ve definitely got your work cut out with this one. Just make sure to bring a few friends along for the ride.
Yoshi’s Woolly World
Yoshi’s Woolly World is easily one of the most adorable games ever made, lovingly created in a vibrant yarn art style. Everything in its world is based around arts and crafts, Yoshi throws yarn balls and you’re able to interact with the environment by doing things like pulling on a thread to reveal a new path. With the 3DS version of the game, you also get a host of side-scrolling levels that let you control Poochy as he runs forward.
There’s a few fun collectibles to be had in Yoshi’s Woolly World as well, some of which can be unlocked with amiibo. Each level in the game has five Wonder Wools, and if you collect all of them, you’ll be rewarded with a costume. There’s also five Smiley Flowers that reward you with a bonus stage, and five Stamp Patches that’ll give you a stamp to use in the Miiverse.
Lego City Undercover
LEGO games are always loaded with collectibles, and LEGO City Undercover certainly doesn’t disappoint in that regard. The title focuses on an undercover cop named Chase McCain, and actually satirizes quite a few action movies. It presents players with one of the most expansive LEGO worlds yet, explorable by foot and vehicle, as you track down criminals and help citizens with their everyday problems.
Of course, the main collectible of LEGO City Undercover is bricks, which you’ll need to unlock things like new characters and vehicles to play with. There’s even a whopping 450 Gold Bricks and 40 Red Bricks, which will grant you different bonuses for collecting. There’s certainly no shortage of things to do in LEGO City.
Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time
Ratchet & Clank is one of the longest-running franchises on PlayStation, and the duo has become two of the main mascots for the brand. A Crack in Time is the follow-up to the previous two titles on PS3, retaining many of the same gameplay elements. One variation for the title, however, lets Ratchet pilot his ship between planets, landing on moons and other areas to complete optional objectives.
Holding to Ratchet & Clank tradition, you’ve also got a few items to pick up along the way. The pair will want to collect Gold Bolts scattered across the universe, netting you a nice trophy as well as some bonus items to help you on your adventure.
Paper Mario: Color Splash
Paper Mario returned on the Wii U with a vibrant new art style, and gameplay themed around restoring color to an island that had been sapped of it. Combat this time around is more active, focusing on precise button presses instead of the more traditional turn-based combat. You’ve also got a flashy new option in battle that even functions as a new collectible. Thing Cards as they’re called are special items scattered around Color Splash’s world that can be drained of their color and obtained for use in battle. These are easy to spot, as they look like real-world items and stick out like a sore thumb.
In addition to special Thing Cards, you’ll be collecting plenty of regular cards and coins to buy even more items. On top of this, you’ll be grabbing Paint Stars to keep advancing in the game, and keep an eye out for Hammer Scraps, which will boost the amount of paint you can carry at one time.
Sonic Generations is the meeting between both old and new Sonic, quite literally. The game features the older chubbier version of Sonic, as well as the edgier, more modern version. To go along with this, Sonic Generations features both 2D side-scrolling gameplay and third-person speed-running. It’s loaded with references to previous Sonic games, and each stage featured will be familiar to longtime fans.
There’s also a unique collectible system featured in the game that gives you a ton of new abilities to use. You’ll gain these by beating levels and bosses, as well as collecting Red Star Rings. Both classic and modern Sonic have a bunch of different items you can gain. For example, the Power Sneakers make you run faster, while Direct Jump increases the speed of your wall jump. Now you have an extra incentive to grabbing those collectibles.
Kirby: Triple Deluxe
Kirby has made quite a splash on the 3DS, with both Triple Deluxe and Planet Robobot. The first title brought a colorful platforming world onto Nintendo’s handheld, as Kirby tries to figure out what’s happened to Dreamland after a strange beanstalk rips the world apart. The game even uses its 3D mechanics smartly to pop Kirby into the background or foreground of certain areas.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Kirby game without plenty of collectibles to pick up. Each level in the game has a certain number of Sunstones to collect, which you’ll need to keep unlocking subsequent levels. On top of that, you have a bunch of Deluxe Keychains which you can view in-game. You certainly won’t mind picking up everything you can, as you navigate the adorable puffball through this vibrant world.