When I heard about this game, I thought “oh no, not ANOTHER platformer” my my was I SO wrong. There are so many good things about this game, and very little wrong.

So tie ya boot laces up, grab ya favourite clothes to muck about in, and slick your hair back and get ready for jungle fever, Pitfall style!

You play Harry, Pitfall Harry, a young witty explorer, and when I say witty, I mean it. He flirts with the ‘ladies’, reeks foolish confidence and when people start acting up, tells them “I’ll get a squirrel… you guys are nuts”

His general actions are comedic too, he slips and slides in danger, arms flailing when he dashes, bumps his head on low ceilings, and whacks his head jump trying to climb down a ladder. You’ll meet a group of other explorers on the way, good and bad, a talking wild cat, and even a few fine ladies to chat up, all are voiced well, and bring the jokes flying along fast.

The game starts you off with in a jungle not far from a plane crash, and with little on screen hints, you easily pick up the usual jump, crouch, attack and camera rotation buttons. This is normal of most games, but as you progress through the game you get new moves, and objects you can use and it helps to break you in. You learn fast how to swing on vines to swimming (normally away from a crocodile). The control system works well with an easy to use item system, just use the pad to select what you want to use, and it appears in your hand. The one unusual control is that the right thumb stick controls your right hand, you really only use this to grab items instead of just walking into them, or waving your torch about! There are other controls such as sneak but are rarely used overall.

The energy system is new in that you have 5 health points, take a hit and you lose one, but if you ‘die’ i.e. take a huge fall into gaming ‘darkness’ you will be put back onto solid ground again losing only one unit, so no lives, just these simple to gauge health/life system. It works well and you find yourself not dieing all the time. There are magic health pools around that bump your energy back to full, and one of the items you gain is a canteen that holds an extra 5, which can also be refilled in the pools. The way you escape death explains it better, if you are eaten by a crocodile, you see poor old Harry, pry the jaws apart with his legs and suddenly he’s out and back to safety, it feels better than just dieing and the screen go black, and suddenly your back at a restart point. One thing that bugs me with some platformers is the precision jumps you have to take to avoid you constantly die, you have no worries in Pitfall, I’m not the best gamer but I can easily tell how far I can and cannot jump in this game, but I’m not saying it’s easy, just forgiving.

As stated before you progress the game gaining items which include sling shot, shield, flame torch, although they are needed to progress at certain parts i.e. flame torch to burn spiders webs, each has a separate use or too, to scare bats away, or light the way.

The levels range from green jungles with waterfalls in the distance, to dark damp caves with surprising round each corner. Aztec villages and lava lakes. This is typical of most platform games really; they all have a safe haven, and a dark fire level, ice world too. The enemies consist of Aztec villagers hiding in tall grass ready to spring out of you and various animals from crocodiles and monkeys. All very colourful and a shame to have to knock out the little blighters.

The map and pause screen is cleverly done as you see Harry’s book in front of you, he flicks the pages to save, load, look up hints, and look at the world map.

Hidden within the game are the original Pitfall, and its 2nd outing, both are ya basic side scrolling simple one screen after the other ‘spectrum looking’ game. It’ll keep you busy for all of maybe 5 minutes. It’ll take longer actually unlocking them than playing them.

Oh and by the way, if you don’t get this game “I will kill you” (those of you who DO buy this game will get this joke).

I will say this is my favourite platformer at the moment, and I am very particular with certain games, and can lose interest when the ‘gimmicks’ become old hat, but there is something about this game what grabbed me, and has squeezed the life out of my free time. It looks great, sounds good, and is fantastic (my opinion anyway)

Pitfall: The Lost Expedition

8

Rating

8.0/10

Pros

  • Engaging Character
  • Intuitive Control System
  • Diverse Environments

Cons

  • Underused Mechanics
  • Simplistic Health System

Simon Pell

SIMON PELL is a self-taught PHOTOGRAPHER from NORTHAMPTONSHIRE.

Simon Pell has 11 posts and counting. See all posts by Simon Pell

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