Pitfall! (English for " trap! ") is a 1982 published at Activision video game programmer David Crane for the game console Atari 2600.

Pitfall! Donkey Kong was after the second known Jump ' n' Run ( platform game ) and the first without a prescribed sequence of courses. It appeared numerous successors and adaptations for other systems.

The game's plot as well as the naming of the character was obviously inspired by the first ( published in 1981 ) movie of the Indiana Jones series with Harrison Ford in the lead role.


The player controls the character Pitfall Harry in a jungle environment over various obstacles (including rolling logs, lakes, scorpions, crocodiles, quicksand, ...). Aim of the game is to collect 32 treasures ( gold bullion, silver bullion, diamond rings and money bags ) within a period of 20 minutes. The change of scene is horizontal when it reaches the edge of the picture. The entire game area extends over 255 screens.

Here, the player has the option of Pitfall Harry to control on two levels through the game area: About the normal way on earth or through an underground tunnel. An underground three scenes corresponding to the scene on the surface. Valuable time is saved, but can easily be a treasure overlooked. Under the earth also often are walls in the way, no longer permit there is a progress. To get all the hidden treasures within the time limit, the player must find the right combination of over - and underground way.

Harry has to start 3 life and 2000 points. Contacts with certain opponents such as scorpions, crocodiles or quicksand cost a life. Other opponents slow down or Harry take time. Collisions with rolling tree trunks cost points corresponding to the length of the contact. When you crash into a pitfall Harry receives a penalty of 100 points. A perfect match result corresponds to 114,000 points. This is, however, only be achieved by all the scenes are played virtually error-free and the player receives a single point deduction.

All 255 scenes of the play area are constructed ring, so that Harry 's play area both right-and can run through the left. In the Game Guide Developer David Crane is even the hint to run the same counter-clockwise from the start. It facilitates so the games, mainly because the logs always roll from right to left. In addition, the player character is default dropped off at the loss of a life on the left edge, so that the particular scene then easily go through - or directly to the scene on the left below - can be started.


Pitfall! was commercially very successful ( it is next to Pac Man the best selling game for the Atari 2600 system) and also appeared for other current consoles and home computers, such as ColecoVision and C64.

History of the Pitfall games

  • Pitfall! 1982 for the game console Atari 2600.
  • Pitfall II: Lost Caverns published in 1984 for the Atari 2600, Atari 8- bitters and C64, the sequel was the first game (again from David Crane ). Developed Technically, it was no longer exclusively left or right, but also up or down. There were also significantly more objects, which had to be dodged. For the Atari 8- bitters were after the completion of the "normal " game a second level, which was much harder than the first.
  • Super Pitfall in 1987 for the Nintendo Entertainment System.
  • Pitfall! - The Mayan Adventure 1995 for Windows 95, Atari Jaguar, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Mega Drive, Sega Mega CD and Sega Mega Drive 32X. This game has a hidden level, where the original Pitfall! can be played. Meanwhile, there are also implementations of this title ( ports ) for other systems, eg by THQ for the Game Boy Advance.
  • Pitfall 3D: Beyond the Jungle 1998 for the Playstation.
  • Pitfall: The Lost Expedition 2004 for Xbox, PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, Game Boy Advance, mobile phones.
  • Pitfall: The Big Adventure for Wii in 2007. The game has the same story and same construction as Pitfall: The Lost Expedition.
  • Pitfall! 2013 for iOS and Android devices


The game appeared in the series South Park in the episode Only Red Hot Catholic Love? ( Episode 8 of Season 6, Release Date March 7, 2002 ) on.