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Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure (Windows)

81
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
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Written by  :  Zovni (9384)
Written on  :  Oct 16, 2003
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

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Summary

Well produced but a tad generic.

The Good

Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure made quite a fuss when it got released because of it's early adoptation of Windows 95 and it's now common DirectX. This was a major deal back then and it definetively made the game stand apart from the competition. I remember how weird it was for the game to install on it's own and have nothing to configure except some screen settings, not to mention the way the game handled it's level selection and options via the now classic top command bar.

Anyway, on to the game... Pitfall is a remake/sequel of sorts to the original Atari hit, were you controlled a vaguely human-shaped block of pixels as he jumped over alligators and swinged around over (what else?) pits. That was eons ago however and by 1996 things have changed significantly, thus enter the Pitfall for the new millenium. You now take on the role of Pitfall Harry as he treks to the tepid jungles of latin america in search for his lost father and any treasure that lies in the way. Taking it's cues from classic platformer games, the new game moves beyond the "swinging from branch to branch" trick and takes you to large and detailed levels with multiple challenges that involve jumping around as well as battling enemies with boomerangs and jumping around, and uh... jumping around, and... well, you know how these games go, right?

The graphics and animations are particularly good, detailed and clean, perfectly capturing the "jungle adventure" feel of the game. The animations specially stand out to the point that they make the game feel like a cartoony Delphine game, complete with useless but cute animations like when Harry runs face-first into a wall or stands idle for a while. The sound department is equally perfect, with lots of clear and moody jungle tunes and sfx, overall the game has excellent production values and comes off extremely professional.

The Bad

Pitfall's only major flaw is that it's really... well... I guess the word is "lightweight". A rather simple level layout and a difficulty level that's novice at best, will make this game a temporary diversion with little to offer to the experienced player. Gameplay depth could have been spruced up, but the designers just went for the "generic platformer" feel that has you simply looking for the exit to the next level as you go.

The energy bar is hard to read also, presented as an croc's mouth behind the running image of Harry, all you know is that an open jaw is bad news, but not how bad!!

The Bottom Line

Polished and detailed product that simply lacks the value and gameplay depth to take it to true triple-A status. Still, not a bad investment at any rate. Platformer fans won't lose any sleep over it, but they will still enjoy it.