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How to play Pitfall!

Each game uses different controls, most Amiga games use both mouse and keyboard.

Pitfall! Description

Pitfall! was a popular video game released by Activision for the Atari 2600 in 1982. The game is considered by many to be the first platform game ever made, and is the best selling game ever made for the Atari 2600, with over 4 million copies sold.

The player must maneuver a character known as Pitfall Harry through a maze-like jungle in an attempt to recover 32 treasures in a 20 minute period.

Along the way, he must negotiate numerous hazards, including tar pits, quicksand, rolling logs, rattlesnakes, scorpions, walls, fire, and crocodiles. Harry may jump over or otherwise avoid these obstacles by timing his climbing and running, and in certain places he can swing on a vine to avoid them.

Pitfall! was created by David Crane, a programmer who worked for Activision in the early 1980s. In a November 2003 interview with Edge he described how in 1979 he had developed the technology to display a realistic "little running man" and in 1982 was searching for a suitable game in which to use it:
Screenshot of Pitfall! for the Atari 2600.

"I sat down with a blank sheet of paper and drew a stick figure in the centre. I said, 'Okay, I have a little running man and let's put him on a path' (two more lines drawn on the paper). 'Where is the path? Let's put it in a jungle' (draw some trees). 'Why is he running?' (draw treasures to collect, enemies to avoid, etc). And Pitfall! was born. This entire process took about ten minutes. About 1,000 hours of programming later, the game was complete."

Its technical achievements included non-flickering, multicolored, animated sprites on a system with notoriously primitive graphics hardware. Pitfall! was a massive success for the 2600. It is considered to have been the best selling game ever made for the system, with over 4 million copies of the game sold. Several ports were made for computer systems (such as the Commodore 64, Atari 800 and TRS-80 Color Computer), as well as for other videogame systems (such as the ColecoVision and the Intellivision).

Trivia: Jack Black made his TV debut in a commercial for Pitfall.

Cheats/Hints/Walkthroughs for Pitfall!

No posted cheats for this game yet.

Pitfall! - additional information

Game year
Developed by
Also known as
"Pitfall Harry's Jungle Adventure" -- subtitle
"Jungle Runner" -- Working title
Pitfall!  - Atari 2600 Cover Art