Friday, November 6, 2009

Pitfall 2

The 2600 possesses sadly few Adventure games. Pitfall 2 fails to top the sublime excitement of ADVENTURE and lacks the charm or Pitfall!. Instead, the player explores bland caverns with the most annoying "battle system" mechanic that I've ever seen. The main difficulty comes from walking under bats and vultures with pixel-perfect precision. No ducking either, just walking. An attack should have been added, or the game should have retained the "jumping over" system from Pitfall! Sure, the scorpions return at times, but most of the monsters (about 95%) are bats and vultures. You'll be timing your walks under these guys for hours, have fun! Also included are: electric eels which provide no threat and frogs which guard some ladders.

To mediate this increased difficulty, the designers included checkpoints. You'll never "die"... you'll simply move slowly back to the checkpoint, flying through walls, eschewing all logic. You'll lose points while flying to the checkpoint. The entire point of the game is to collect a monkey, girl, and ring with as many points as possible (gold provides points as well) so getting hit runs quite counter to escaping from the South American drug dealers who stashed all this gold in a cavern at the heart of the Amazon.

The beginning sunset and snappy music only mislead the player into thinking the game will be fun. Quickly, this mistake descends into the great bland Caverns of Inanity.

However, the 2600 has precious few adventure games. After you've played ADVENTURE, Montezuma's Revenge, Pitfall! and H.E.R.O., you may as well check out Pitfall 2. It's definitely not bad by 2600 standards, but fails to provide any real amusement. The game fails on a basic input/output level. It requires intense ladder-climbing and walking skills, but does not reward the player with anything other than that same snappy tune heard when gold is grabbed. It is a pretty short game, however, and with the map provided you shouldn't have too much trouble finishing this one.

In a way, the game is like a simple Legacy of the Wizard (Part 1) and (Part 2). Except without the items, interesting graphics, different characters, battle system, secrets, magic, dragons, and fun.


Anonymous said...


The Dread Pirate Guy said...

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Del_Duio said...

First of all, awesome Exodus banner!

Secondly, I never played Pitfall 2 before but everywhere I've ever seen it mentioned they always talk about how good and advanced it was for the time. Still nothing beats the original Adventure, at least Atari-wise.

Matt Dickinson said...

Is Caverns of Khafka good? also Pharoah's Curse.

There was some exploratory game on the 800 where you get to play as a dragon. but i forget the name of it.