Saturday, October 17, 2009

Retro Game of the Day! Pitfall

Retro Game of the Day! Pitfall!

Pitfall! by Activision, released 1982 on Atari 2600.

Deveoped by Activision co-founder (and Atari "refugee") David Crane, Pitfall! is credited as being the great-grandaddy of scrolling platformer games (the most popular one being, of course, Super Mario Bros.) The game places you in the boots of one Pitfall Harry, jungle explorer extraordinaire, in his quest for treasures hidden in the jungle - and also, for survival.

Harry can run, swing on a vine, climb on ladders, and jump over obstacles. Pitfall! was probably the "must-have" game on the console it originally debuted on, Atari 2600 - though the version I had was for the next-generation Atari 400, which was quite similar.

There's not too much to relate on Pitfall! - it's such an early and primitive game, but it is so important for introducing so many revolutionary gaming concepts. Up to this point, you didn't really see this kind of "character action game," much less one that involved multiple screens (scrolling playfields were not introduced until later). The terrain hazards were all unique and interesting - the quicksand pit (growing and shrinking), the rolling logs, the alligators whose eyeballs could be stood upon.

Pitfall! is definitely what one would file under "an oldie but goodie," a timeless videogame icon which has stood the test of time and is fondly remembered by multiple older gamers for being quite mind-blowing upon it's release. Still a challenge to play today, and an enjoyable one at that!

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