Probably inspired in part by Raiders of the Lost Ark, which came out a year earlier in 1981, Pitfall! for the Atari 2600 let gamers swing through the jungle as Pitfall Harry, a swashbuckling adventurer in search of treasure, braving alligator-filled ponds and scorpion-infested underground tunnels.
Guiding Harry safely on his way to the game’s maximum possible score involved mastering a grab bag of action tricks (and avoiding point-sapping hazards), like timing Frogger-style leaps across the heads of snapping alligators, dodging rolling logs like Mario in Donkey Kong and steering around life-ending bottomless pits, fires and snakes.
All the while, a timer counted down from 20 minutes, the time allotted to find all 32 of the game’s treasures: silver and gold bars, diamond rings and bags of cash tucked away in the game’s jungle setting.
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