The next entry in the Marathon, Nimbus (also available on Desura), was originally released back in 2010, but I didn’t pick it up until it appeared in the first Indie Royale bundle the following year. And, before I go any farther, let’s get this out of the way: many people will not consider Nimbus to be a platformer. The playable character in the game is some sort of flying craft, and it tends to avoid platforms rather than jump on them. While it’s tempting to respond to these people by stating that this is my blog and I can do whatever I want, in this case I think I’m legitimately justified. Nimbus really does feel like a platformer, even if it doesn’t play like a traditional one. Levels are brightly-colored, physically impossible configurations of floating platforms, peppered with bounce pads, color-coded switches, keys that must be collected to open doors, and rotatable cannons for propelling the ship, just like the barrels in Donkey Kong Country. Oh, and spikes. Lots and lots of spikes. Sound like any platformers you know? The levels are even connected to one another via a map that’s straight out of Super Mario World, complete with level names like “World 1-4” and “World 3-3”. And of course there are secret exits in certain levels leading to bonus levels or alternate paths. Even the (extremely limited) story recalls the Mario games: a big evil thing kidnaps your spaceship friend! Go rescue it!

Essentially, Nimbus asks a question that we have all asked ourselves at some point in our lives: what if Mario were a spaceship?