Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure Hands-On

Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure is a side-scrolling GBA adventure that's almost an exact port of the original SNES game. We recently had the chance to sit down with the game to see what Majesco has done with it.


Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure puts you in the shoes of a young Pitfall Harry, who must jump, swing, and climb his way through several Mayan levels in a search for priceless treasure. The GBA version of the game is actually an enhanced version of the classic SNES game, as Majesco has cleaned up the graphics a bit and tweaked the levels a little for its release on the handheld. We recently had a chance to sit down with the game to see exactly what Majesco has done with it.

Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure tells the story of Pitfall Harry Jr., the son of the hero of the original Atari 2600 game. The young Harry has inherited his father's obsession, and he becomes an adventurer set on recovering a horde of valuable Mayan artifacts. But more importantly, Harry Jr. must rescue his father, who's been captured by the evil Mayan warrior spirit Zakelua. To do so, you'll run, jump, climb, swing, and zip-line your way through plenty of temples, jungles, mines, ruins, and other exotic locales. Standing in your way are plenty of traps and enemies set on keeping you from rescuing your dad. You'll start armed with your trusty sling, but you'll eventually find new weapons, such as boomerangs and exploding stones. Additionally, the game features plenty of power-ups to help you make your way through the vast levels.

The GBA version of the game isn't a whole lot different from the Genesis and SNES versions. The game maintains a side-scrolling perspective, and it uses well-animated sprites for graphics. The game runs very fast, keeping the action frenzied. The backgrounds are very lush, and they use a good amount of colors. Still, the action is sometimes hard to make out, especially on such a small screen. The audio sounded a bit better, but it's been too long since we played the SNES version to really tell if anything's changed.

Even though it's a straight port, the game was still somewhat fun to play. The level layout seems to be well designed, and there's plenty of interaction to keep you interested. The combat system seems a little weak at this point, and some of the jumping parts were needlessly difficult. Additionally, there's a good chance that the original version of Pitfall is hidden somewhere in the game. Majesco couldn't confirm this.

Those who really liked the SNES and Genesis versions of the game should be happy to revisit it again on the GBA, and those who haven't played the game yet should be pleased with the simplistic and addictive gameplay. Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure is a US launch game, and it will release alongside the GBA.

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