Pitfall (Atari 2600)

If any kid out there didn’t want to be an adventurer (more accurately, Indiana Jones, I mean , come on this was the 80’s!) they were lying.   To travel the world and trudge through swamps, swing from vines and avoid traps; it was the bee’s knees.  Well, Pitfall delivered all of that to you in a great package.

This game was so simple; yet not.  If you got the pattern down, you could master Pitfall.  The timing with the crocodiles, the pits opening below you while a vine swung your direction, the scorpion’s backtracking, it’s all in the timing.  The thing about Pitfall is I’ve always wondered if you can ever finish it.  i’ve played this game for nearly an hour before and not come to the end.  Did Pitfall Harry ever collect enough Gold to complete his quest and journey back home a renowned adventurer?

I have no idea- but I love trying to find out every time I pick this game up.

There could be a repetitive nature to this game; but to knock this one for that would be to knock the whole of Atari’s catalogue as most of them repeated themselves.

Scores:

Playability- 10      Graphics- 6.5     Music- 9    Replay Value- 8.5    Originality- 10       Score: 88%

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Pitfall II:

Updated Music!

Better Graphics!

New Screens!

Everything about Pitfall II was better.  Gameplay was mostly the same but all these new obstacles, you can go into water!, more gold to collect, different enemies after you.  It’s an improvement in every way……well, except…

EVERYTIME YOU GET HIT YOU GO BACK TO THE BEGINNING!!!!!!!!!!

I had forgotten that little caveat since I was a kid.  But, god damn, did it turn me off re-playing it now.   Fuck you, Pitfall II for that.

Scores:

Playability- 6     Graphics- 6.5     Music- 7      Replay Value- 2    Originality- 4     Final: 51%

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Venture

A friend of mine told me to play Venture as he loved it as a kid.  So I did.  I’m going to try and put into words what I discovered.

You begin as a dot on a screen with large boxes on the screen, each with two openings in them.  Mixed in the screen are blocks that are coming after you.  The goal is to enter the first opening, which changes screens into a room where you must collect an item while avoiding more blocks coming after you, and escape from the second opening back onto the larger screen.  It may not sound like much; but this is a strategy game!

For most intents and purposes; graphics wise, it’s dull and uninspired.  But, they’re banking on the gameplay to keep you enticed.  It delivers.  It’s a tricky task trying to maneuver through the overall maze and then the smaller ones.  I miss games like this; everything has a plot and backstory and options now; these shorter puzzle games (like Boxxle) are just as fun and can provide hours (maybe not hours) of enjoyment depending on the type of gamer you are.  I had a lot of fun playing through this unique game.

Scores:

Playability- 7     Graphics- 6    Music- 3      rEPLAY Value- 7     Originality- 8     Final: 62%

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