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Pitfall review:


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.

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Later in the game you'll ride a mine cart over lava. Though it looks fun, you'll need to keep on your toes to keep your run going. Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Like many games these days, Pitfall has an in-app purchase system, and is not shy about pointing out ways you can pay to get ahead. There are checkpoints you can pass in the game every 2,000 meters, and when you die after a checkpoint, you'll need to spend a "Macaw Token" to be flown to your last passed checkpoint. They give you a few to start, but soon you'll need to buy them from the store with your loot. Don't have enough? You can also pay real cash to get more tokens. While I generally find these tactics unsavory, it's important to note that you can still get just about everything in the store by continuing to play, and the game is fun enough that you may not mind grinding it out, slowly collecting treasure for new items and power-ups.

The in-game store also offers added extras like costume changes, potions for extra speed, and antidotes for when you're poisoned by the game's snakes and scorpions. The custom looks are a complete makeover for your character, with several silly options as well, such as the drunken pirate and one where Pitfall Harry wears a bear costume. As for the extra speed option, when I played, I never really wanted to go much faster, to be honest, because the obstacles come so quickly already.

While the new Pitfall won't really scratch the same itch as the classic for old-school gamers, Activision has managed to put together a very good escape runner with a lot to discover. If you like the idea of fast-paced running through multiple environments and giving it one more shot as Pitfall Harry, you should definitely check out this game.

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