For those of us (depressingly) old enough to remember the original Pitfall, the prospect of a contemporary remake is certainly an attractive one to say the least. Back when bytes were by the K, bits were the things you sprinkled on ice cream, and Hertz was a European car hire company, Pitfall had us all glued to our TV sets, hunched over our Atari 2600s for hours on end with its addictive, jungle-based platform antics. Well that prospect has now become a reality, and the ever-endangered Pitfall Harry has been plunged into an all-new adventure in The Lost Expedition.
Faithfully retaining the concept of the original, yet benefiting somewhat from contemporary gaming technology, the game sees players resume the role of Harry, as he swings, climbs, crawls and fights his way through an array of perilous environments, this time all in glorious 3D. There are over 50 hazardous levels to conquer, set not only in the South American jungle, but also in such haunts as ancient Aztec ruins and glacial mountains.
As you would expect, all the memorable hazards and enemies from the original are in there, such as vine swinging, gaping chasms, crocodiles, and scorpions, as well as a host of new dangers, including the likes of bats, jaguars, piranhas, and erm, monkeys. This time, however, Harry can rely on a sizeable arsenal of weaponry and gadgets, such as a sling, dynamite and ice axes, via a fairly novel control method. Using the analogue sticks, players take direct control of Harry's limbs in order to access a wide range of manoeuvres, including deflecting flames with a shield, shedding light with a torch, and traversing dangerous rapids in an inner tube.
Throughout the game, Harry can acquire a range of new abilities that, in most cases, are required in order to progress, defeat certain enemies or solve puzzles. And the collecting side of things doesn't stop there - there are also a number of special items to be uncovered, which unlock a selection of mini games.
If you are (depressingly) old enough to remember Pitfall, you will remember it fondly and, as such, will be expecting great things from this modern day remake. Thankfully The Lost Expedition doesn't let us down, delivering an entertaining platform adventure, full of plenty of nostalgic moments.