Video Review of Pitfall! for the Atari 2600

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Today’s video review is of the legendary Pitfall! for Atari 2600. This is one of the definitive titles for the Atari 2600 and a “must own” in my opinion. I have played nearly every game made for the system and Pitfall! by David Crane is always the game I come back to again and again. It is also the game I will give to people who have never played the 2600 before. So it is THE 8bit ambassador of fun.

The video format and all that fun stuff is a work in progress. If you have any video or animation skills though and would like to send me some advice or help with anything, please email me at retroist@retroist.com. You can subscribe to the Retroist YouTube channel here. More videos from people who are not me should be coming soon to the site, so keep watching.


12 Responses to Video Review of Pitfall! for the Atari 2600

  1. Doug says:

    Nice opening.

  2. Atari Adventure Square says:

    Indeed, the toppermost title to get the best taste of what the console has to offer.

    Still fresh after all these years, indeed the follow-ups didn’t hold the same appeal.

    After the Raiders Of The Lost Ark movie, I found more Indy thrills from Pitfall than the eponymous title on the console.

    And I heart David Crane as well.
    Though Mr. Robinett gets my first holiday card.

  3. Flack says:

    Nice quality, I like the format and the review. Pitfall is one of my “go to” games for the Atari 2600. Like you I’ve never achieved a perfect score, but unlike you, I’ve never even come close.

  4. Great mini-review. I like what you are doing with the videos so far. You could also expand the reviews to other retro things like toys, food items, etc.

    And I agree it is definitely a top-10 Atari game for me. Atari Adventure Square is right. This game filled the void between Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. If Raiders hadn’t been a hit I wonder if we would have gotten this game.

    And the Filmation opening is great. You definitely found your video calling card.

  5. The Retroist says:

    Dr. Quest and his pal Matt did the intro and I agree it is wonderful. I am slowly getting the hang of making these things and will slowly get more ambitious. I might try and get a second video out this week and it will not be a game review.

  6. Drahken says:

    Pitfall is an “ok” game, but I always found it very monotonous. Granted, all 2600 games are extremely repetitive, but somehow you just don’t notice it nearly as much on something where the only goal of the level is to clear the screen. With pitfall you just keep running & running and wondering “wtf am I running for??”. Part of the problem is that fact that it doesn’t have levels at all. With most other games you have an overall goal of getting the high score, but you also have intermediary goals of trying to get to the end of the level.

  7. The Retroist says:

    On the surface, and I think mostly because of the tech, it is not obvious that that the game is not exactly linear. Only by moving up and down can you “unlock” the full potential of the game in the allotted time.

    Of course, I did not realize this as a kid until I was laying on the couch watching someone else play the game when I realized that they had “Warped” or moved faster to an area further along by going underground. That got me mapping and thinking about the game a lot more intently.

  8. Drahken says:

    I have gone into the underground passages many times, but never “warped” or anything. If anything, 99.9% of the underground passages just seem to dead-end, leaving you to return to the surface & wonder why you wasted your time going underground in the first place.

    Granted, I got the game secondhand, without a box or manual, so there might be something there that I’m missing.

  9. The Retroist says:

    Yeah, it is REALLY not obvious where and how you have to go and in typical old school fashion, to figure it all out you have to take pen to paper and map where it all winds up, but when you move underground for 1 or 2 screens it can equal 5 or 6 above ground screens sometimes.

    You can google a map nowadays and see the entire layout to get a better idea.

  10. Flack says:

    Pitfall Manual:
    http://www.atariage.com/manual_html_page.html?SoftwareLabelID=360

    Pitfall Game Map:
    http://pitfallharry.tripod.com/MapRoom/PitfallMap.html

    Fun fact: Pitfall (at least the Atari 2600 version) contains 4k of code, which means it contains less code than some of the icons in this thread.

  11. Doug says:

    I tried to use this map a few months ago, but I didn’t get all the treasure. Now that I look at it, I don’t even think I was using it correctly.

  12. The Retroist says:

    It helps to have a wingman or caller if you are trying to use the map the first few times.

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