There’s a new fashion in rewriting old video games and turning them into something new. Activision’s Pitfall is one of these titles that has had the new treatment and made into an altogether new game for the mobile gaming world we now live in. They’ve thrown away the old gameplay mechanics and fashioned yet another endless running game.
There are of course so many endless running games now that to stand out from the crowd the game has to be really special. Luckily for Pitfall, it has a solid foundation to fall back on, and using stylized graphics and an overall theme of the original game from the early 1980’s, Pitfall is a welcome addition to the overcrowded market place.
Just like other games if the genre, Pitfall has your character endlessly running forward in an attempt to get as far as you can through the landscape. Using swipe gestures, your character can slide, jump, move quickly from side to side and use his whip to kill oncoming snakes, scorpions and crocodiles. In addition to these control mechanics the player also tilts his mobile device left or right in order for the on-screen character to move left or right.
The playing area is what separates Pitfall from so many other if the games. The landscapes are vast with different sections such as jungle, caves and more. The gameplay will rotate from standard third-person view to an almost two-dimensional view, all the while the gameplay flowing smoothly without the player ever wondering what is going on.
Along the players journey are gold bars to pick up which can be used to buy numerous extras, from different costumes through to extra energy for your player and so much more. Its a technique that’s used in almost every free endless running game these days, but works well in Pitfall as you don’t feel the need to spend any real money while playing the game.
From the very outset you realize that Pitfall is trying to look like a modern version of its ancient 8-bit counterpart. Its a look and feel that works very well, with some brilliant animations and a primary color palette that looks beautiful in its simplicity. The backdrops are expansive and feel a lot more organic than many other mobile games. The scrolling is silky smooth throughout, and obstacles coming towards you are simple to pick out and are easy to maneuver if your reflexes are quick enough. Presentation of the game is similarly impressive, with an easy to use menu system the option of a couple of different gameplay options. The style and presentation is suitable for both adults and children alike, without it being offensive to either age group.
The developers of Pitfall have taken a lot of time with the sound of the game. There is a fantastic Indiana Jones-esque theme tune that plays through the game, plus some brilliant speech samples. Sound effects in the game are also just as impressive as the tune and speech, and great care has obviously gone into the sound of the cracking whip.
Pitfall is more than just another endless runner. Its a well designed and well executed master-class in how a modern endless runner game should be. There are plenty of options in the game to give it a lasting appeal and considering it can be picked up for very little money (or free in some territories) its a brilliant addition to anyone’s iPad collection.