It would be really easy to
spend the majority of this review discussing the merits and wonders of the original
Pitfall. The hours I spent swinging over crocodiles, avoiding quicksand, and jumping over
scorpions were some of the most rewarding gaming hours Ive ever spent. Pitfall was
revolutionary in its approach to platform gaming on the console; it changed gamers
expectations. Without a doubt, Pitfall was Activisions crown jewel. About seven or
eight years ago, Activision revisited Pitfall on the SNES, with Pitfall: The Mayan
Adventure. It only made sense for them to capitalize on great name brand recognition.
Although not revolutionary, it was good fun all around. Majesco has decided to port the
SNES game to the Game Boy Advance. Theyve done a great job recreating the console
experience without acknowledging some inherent differences in console and handheld
The controls for the Pitfall: the Mayan Adventure are comfortable and
responsive enough to let you focus on the gameplay. The designers make pretty good use of
the button layout on the GBA. To fire your grenades, however, you need to combine one of
the shoulder buttons with the select button. It takes a little getting used to. It would
have been easier to use both shoulder buttons at the same time. Also, this is a very
pretty game to look at. I enjoyed the character animations and the level design. There are
some wonderful small details like falling leaves in the jungle that really add to the
overall experience. The bright colors are easy to make out on the small screen and they
really work to make this a fun gaming experience.
For as much fun as the original was, it did tend to get a little repetitive.
Mayan Adventure spices things up with a wide variety in its level design. My favorite
addition to the Pitfall mythos are the bungee vines, but the ziplines and web trampolines
are also nice touches. I really enjoyed playing this game. It is a nice homage to the
spirit of the original version without being constrained by the doggedly linear design.
only place where this game drops the ball is with the lack of a level save or password
access. I am a firm believer in the idea that Game Boy Games are for gaming on the go. You
need to be able to play for a few minutes and then turn it off. People dont plan
their day around their Game Boys in the same way they plan their day around their PS2s. I
resent the fact that this game wont let you progress a little here and a little
there. With Pitfall, its all or nothing. There is no password to access higher
levels and no battery save to retain your progress. If you want to play through the game,
you need to do it from start to finish in one sitting. I dont know about you, but
thats more time than Im willing to invest in my Game Boy.
I have to admit that Im a little unclear as to why Majesco chose to
publish Earthworm Jim and Pitfall at the same time. The games are so similar in terms of
design and play that it seems like they would cannibalize one anothers sales. So, my
one other caution about this game is that if youve already invested in Earthworm
Jim, you may want to wait until Sonic makes his debut on the GBA, because Pitfall is more
of the same.
its quite entertaining, theres nothing to recommend this game if youve
already played through it in another incarnation. But if youve havent had the
chance, and have an afternoon to kill you could find worse games to lavish your attentions