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  • Writer's pictureJoe Pace

Player of Games, #93: Pitfall!

In 1982, we were all Indiana Jones. Well, Pitfall Harry, anyway. Swashbuckling heroes, navigating jungles of doubt and underground tunnels of peril in search of treasure. Scorpions, snakes (why did it have to be snakes?), and crocodiles abound, along with quicksand, tar pits, and swamps. Our hatless Harry begins each screen confronted with a new amalgam of malice, and the entire goal is to survive as long as possible and amass as many points as possible before the twenty-minute allotment expires.

The most iconic of these screens for me was always the vine swing. How could it not be? We always said it was a whip, and not a vine, for reasons that should be obvious. There were successors to Pitfall!, such as Pitfall 2: Lost Caverns, and imitators such Jungle Hunt. (Jungle Hunt, by the way, had little to recommend it with the exception of vine-swinging scenes that included multiple vines).

I don't think we know what became of Pitfall Harry. He's probably still out there somewhere, digitally immortal, with no need to CGI crutches to continue his epic adventures.

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