Top 5 Super Nintendo Hidden Gems: Platform Games

Super-Nintendo-Top-5-Hidden-Gem-PlatformersThe Super Nintendo is home to some incredible platform games, Super Mario World, Mega Man X and Donkey Kong Country to name a few. But what about the other fantastic titles that remain shadowed by these iconic titles? RetroCollect investigates the hidden gems on the SNES.

With an impressive library of 532 confirmed releases in Europe, the Super Nintendo really does hold a wealth of classic titles. With the obvious ones previously mentioned, we felt it was time some other protagonists of these games got a share of the limelight in which Mario is often found comfortably perched in.

The share of hidden gems doesn't end with the European releases though, expect to see a few appearances from Japan as we look into these platformer hidden gems.

5. Ardy Lightfoot

Ardy Lightfoot is a young and brave adventurer accompanied by Pec, out to recover the 7 coloured gems of the shattered rainbow. Once the rainbow is back in safe hands, his beloved Nina can be rescued from the evil Visconty. 

Ardy Lightfoot was released in 1995, developed by ASCII and published by Titus in Europe. It holds traits that you'd expect to find in any 16bit platform game; a damsel in distress, cute characters, bright graphics, a sidekick and a fair share of character abilities. 

The game features a rather expansive world that should take a fair bit of work to get though, with a range of end of level bosses and new characters to meet on the way. With the built in password system, Ardy Lightfoot is one you can spend a bit of time with every now and then as you slowly gather remaining rainbow gems. But be warned, the final boss is not one to take lightly.

Link: View Ardy Lightfoot in the RetroCollect Rarity Guide & Release List Database

4. Jungle no Ouja Tarzan (Sekai Manyuu Dai Kakutou no Maki)

If there was ever a game to catch you off guard and make your jaw drop, it's Jungle no Ouja Tarzan. Within seconds of booting up the game, you're greeted to your fair share of Tarzan flexing his pixelated muscles. And if that wasn't enough, seconds later the title screen will also leave you rather puzzled. Holding up the logo to his own game, Tarzan is accompanied by the most bizarre looking woman imaginable, one who was never able to shake off the Big Head mode cheat from Goldeneye on the Nintendo 64. In a nut shell, this game is bonkers.

Released in 1994 by Bandai, Jungle no Ouja Tarzan loosely follows the story of Tarzan, as you take control to rid the jungle of gun bearing explorers. Featuring a fair few levels to explore, Tarzan has you swinging on vines and jumping between trees to advance further forward, in a fashion you'd expect from any jungle platformer.

The oddness previously seen in the introduction doesn't end there. Tarzan is equipped with nothing but his fists and feet, leaving you nothing but the ability to drop kick soldiers and punch them out of your way. But this ability soon becomes amusing, especially with the first end of level boss being a tank. So if you didn't get your fair share of beating up a car in the bonus level of Street Fighter II, now is your chance to smash another vehicle.

Sadly Jungle no Ouja Tarzan never made it's way out of Japan, but are you surprised?

3. Whirlo (Xandra no Daibouken)

To some, the name Whirlo might have already rung a few bells, especially the collectors. Whirlo not only has a rather high rarity tag to shout about, but a decent adventure with plenty of storyline too.

Only released in Spain, Italy and Japan, the European version of Whirlo is always in high demand with a rather hefty price tag. Whirlo was developed and released by Namco as a direct, but very different, sequel to their 1986 Nintendo Famicom game Valkyrie no Bouken. Whirlo, the main character in his Super Nintendo outing was a secondary character in the 1986 Famicom game, lucky enough to find his own release years later.

With rarities and history aside, Whirlo is a rather tricky at first, but enjoyable adventure once the controls are mastered. Featuring a good variety of levels and abilities to learn, Whirlo should keep any retro gamer occupied for quite some time. However one thing that should be noted is the difficulty curve. Should you enjoy a good tough platform game, then this is for you.

Link: View Whirlo in the RetroCollect Rarity Guide & Release List Database

2. DoReMi Fantasy: Milon's DokiDoki Adventure

DoReMi Fantasy developed and published by Hudson Soft is a sequel to their 1988 Nintendo NES game Milon's Secret Castle. DoReMi Fantasy was a Japanese exclusive released in 1996 before finally being made available worldwide on the Nintendo Wii Virtual Console in 2008.

DoReMi Fantasy features Milon in the most colourful platform game seen on the Super Nintendo, one that could even find anime fans overloaded with the visuals. Hudson Soft's choice of colour in every last pixel of the game is perfectly chosen, making DoReMi Fantasy a good contender for the most beautiful platform game on the Super Nintendo / Famicom.

Behind the visuals lies an adventure that is much easier than those previously mentioned above. The game features very simplistic controls and stages you'll finish rather quickly, but nevertheless is an incredibly enjoyable game worth picking up at any given chance.

1. Magical Pop'n

Released in 1995 by PolestarMagical Pop'n is easily one of the finest games to have never left Japan. Taking control of 'Princess', you must fight for your invaded kingdom by retrieving a gem stolen by the Demon King. Yet again, an expected storyline from the 90s, but one we have grown fondly familiar of.

The game features a highly enjoyable hack and slash approach to the platform genre, as you fight your way through the hordes of enemies in every level. As you progress through the game, you're gifted with many new spells and abilities to help you progress through the many challenges ahead. Magical Pop'n also houses a good selection of end of level bosses even Mega Man would be proud of.

Like many of the other games in this list, Magical Pop'n includes some fantastic visuals and animation. But more importantly a fantastic and memorable soundtrack which features throughout the entire adventure, making this one of the most enjoyable Super Nintendo / Famicom games available. Sadly, this game does not come cheap due to it's excessive demand, but is a worthy purchase regardless.

Last Updated ( 02 January 2011 )  


Better known as Adam offline, Cauterize is one of RetroCollect's final bosses with an unhealthy addiction to pixels. When he's not out searching the web for the latest retro gaming news or creating content for RetroCollect, he'll will most likely be found working on his Sensible Soccer skills.

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