PITFALL!™ Review

By , on August 13, 2012

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4 out of 5


  • Gorgeous 3D presentation; luscious cell-shaded environments from forests to dank caves and lava-filled caverns.
  • Lots of goals to keep you busy; levels, achievements and unlockables provide plenty of incentive for replay.


  • Long load times.
  • Constant need to restart from 0m.


This isn't Pitfall as you may know it - in fact it's another Temple Run style title, but one that feels at home with Harry's perilous trip down the side of a mountain.

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For something like a 30th Anniversary you'd think Pitfall would be given a much larger 'hurrah' - the game has gone through differing types of 'remakes' over the years, but now the game has been reduce to an auto-runner. Don't get me wrong, it's a perfect match and ultimately works in Pitfall's favor, but with so many competitors it ran the risk of slipping under the radar.

I guess that's the power of a name like Pitfall for a company like Activision - you just can't help but bring attention to whatever it's attached to. Thankfully their approach to the Temple Run style gameplay is one that's also paired with a sense of progression, something we've taken a shining to for games like this. For every 2000 meters you run you'll activate a 'checkpoint' - should you have any tokens when you die you can respawn at the last checkpoint you passed, getting that little bit further each time.

For each new zone you conquer, be it the trap-filled forests; a native tribe's village; an underground cavern; or even a mine-cart ride, you'll be rewarded with plenty of treasure to pick up on the way. These, of course, go towards upgrading Harry and the potions he can purchase or unlocking checkpoints you've passed to use them in subsequent runs. Aside from these you can also spend your treasure on costumes to liven things up a bit.

There's a leveling system too, along with plenty of achievements. Through grinding, luck, and a smidgeon of skill you'll unlock these, being handed gems or silver in the process to go towards your unlocks - you're never really left for want even if the game is reluctant to hand out the silver while running.

The final kicker is the game's wonderful presentation - a cell-shaded look that gives the game an 'old school' appeal without being so lazy as to use pixel art or lo-fi graphics; each area is crafted perfectly, giving you plenty of time to react while not hesitating to throw a curve-ball or two if you're not familiar with it.

If there's a downside to Pitfall it's the regular need to reload the entire game, something that can take quite some time, and inevitably needing to start again from the very beginning despite leaving off near a checkpoint. Hopefully optimization will fix this in the future, but for now if you enjoy your auto-runners and you want something other than just a high-score challenge, this is for you.


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