Pitfall from Activision is a complete makeover of the original game previously found on consoles and computers back in the 1980s. Released on the 30th anniversary of the original game, Pitfall has been redesigned as a full-3D escape/survival game in which you'll jump over chasms, swing across gaps, and speed through a lush jungle setting.
Before you start playing, Pitfall shows you the original 2D 8-bit game as an intro, before expanding outward into a great-looking 3D world. You play as the classic hero, Pitfall Harry, and start your journey running in a 3D sideways view. On your first run, the game shows you all the basic controls: swipe up to jump, swipe down to slide under objects, and swipe left or right to turn at intersections. People who have played Temple Run will immediately recognize the controls for movement. You also have the ability to crack your whip at the various snakes and other baddies that block your path. Also like Temple Run, you have tilt controls for picking up treasure when it appears on the left or right side of the path.
While Pitfall shares some of the gameplay found in Temple Run, there's a lot more to discover as you progress through the game. The 3D sideways view mentioned above quickly turns into an over-the-shoulder view as you jump over obstacles, slide under low bridges, and jump to swing across chasms. The game throws these obstacles at you quickly, so you'll always need to be ready for what's around the next corner. But you'll also occasionally find tokens that suddenly have you riding a jaguar, speeding on a motorbike, and other twists that keep the game interesting.
As you progress, you'll move through various environments, all of which are intricately detailed and look great on newer iPhones and iPads. The jungle setting is only the beginning; you'll also run through villages offering choices on the path you take, speed through dark caverns, and even jump into a mining cart to race down a deteriorating track over hot lava. The best part is you never know when the scene will change -- your path is randomly generated and you'll often be surprised by where the game takes you.
As the first version of the game out of the gate, Pitfall is not without problems. I noticed some laggy skipping in the action at certain points, but more importantly, there were also times that the swipe controls were less than completely accurate. For example, occasionally I would swipe down (no really, I did!) to slide under a bridge, but the game read my control input as a touch, cracking my whip as I slammed into the obstacle. It seems like the problems could be fixed fairly easily, so if you encounter the same issues, there will probably be an update shortly to clear them up.