We love 2D platformers. From Donkey Kong to Shovel Knight, it’s the genre that has changed the least over the last four decades, because it was basically perfect to begin with.

Imperfect Hero is the latest platformer to have arrived on our phones, and it’s a beauty, with simple controls, a timeless format, and a bracing level of difficulty for aficionados of the genre. 

The game casts you in the role of Beta, a robot charged with defending the planet from an imminent alien invasion. Given the importance of the task that has been entrusted to him, you’d naturally assume that Beta is an invincible killing machine.

Wrong. Beta’s major imperfection is that he’s an absolute wimp. A single glancing moment of contact with an alien or an obstacle results in instant death.

So it’s down to you to make up for Beta’s shortcomings. Imperfect Hero is full of hazards, from flying projectiles to spinning blades, and any one of them can snuff you out in the blink of an eye. Supreme skill is required. 

There are three different modes to play. In Campaign, you’ll march through 100 stages that get harder and harder as you progress. These are split across five worlds, including a slippery ice-scape and an underwater region where swimming takes the place of walking. 

In Survival, meanwhile, the aim is to collect orbs in order to stave off the inevitable death that comes when the countdown reaches zero. And Endless is a classic auto-runner set-up, placing you in random stages and forcing you to dodge, jump, and generally survive in a world that never stands still. There are five different regions – urban, underwater, desert, rainforest, and arctic – to choose from in this mode too.

Fortunately, there are power-ups to help you along the way, as well as ten different upgrades to collect. 

The version of Imperfect Hero that’s on the app stores right now is technically early access, though it looks pretty complete to us. Users have described it as “amazing” and “awesome”, among other things, and its rating is currently 4.3 across Android and iOS. It was even on the Top 3 Trending Games list on Google Play.

Download Imperfect Hero for free on Google Play and the App Store