Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure
Written by Shigamoto   
Saturday, 28 October 2006

Activision decided to dust off old Pitfall! and release it for Windows 95, will the classic live up to its reputation? Read on to find out.

In 1982 Activision developed a game called Pitfall! for Atari and Commodore computers. The fast paced platformer quickly became popular. In the game you are adventurer Pitfall Harry Jr in search of your father Pitfall Harry who has been kidnapped by the Mayan spirit in the South American jungles.

The game was released for Windows 95 in 1995. Pitfall was still a platform game but with enhanced graphics (using 256 colors and 32-bit graphics) and a few level enhancements. Most of the levels are obviously in the jungle, but there are a few cave and Mayan temple levels.

Pitfall has a pretty neat level design; much of the game is about grabbing vines to advance. But there are also mine car rides and some line dancing over crocodile waters. There are also a number of surprises, a mud hole might turn into something really dangerous for example. Pitfall actually manages to capture that adventure feel you get when watching the Indiana Jones movies.

Enemies’ ranges from snakes to evil Mayan warriors and jungle monsters. The snakes are quite hard to get rid off since you need to go prone and then attack them. To fight you have a number of weapons such as the whip, a slingshot, a boomerang and some bombs.

Controlling Pitfall might actually be a whole game itself. The controls are very imprecise especially if you use the keyboard. Harry Jr is hard to stop or get to jump at exactly the right time. It’s easier if using a joystick or game pad, but even then it’s not easy.

Activision made a big deal about the 256 color graphics when this game was released, and yes they are nice (even though we are used to millions these days). However the game has problems with resolutions, if you go full screen on a modern computer Pitfall will become grainy. It’s however possible to play in a smaller window, but it wrecks the experience.

Pitfall will be destined for the hall o fame among 80s games. The Windows version however lacks responsive controls to be the blast the previous games were. It’s still fun to play, but can also be very frustrating at times.

Related: Oddworld: Abe’s Exoddus, Loderunner
Developer: Activision
Website for Game: N/A
Publisher: Activision
O/S: Windows 95/98/ME/XP
Year of Release: 1995

486/33 MHz, 8 MB RAM, 256 color SVGA
Tested on:
Pentium 4 2.4 GHz, 512 MB RAM, ATI Radeon Graphics Card, Windows XP

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