Pitfall II

Publisher: Firebird
Machine: Commodore 64/128

Published in Zzap #26

Pitfall II

Stories of the Lost Caves of Machu Pichu and the curse of the Raj Diamond had always appealed to the adventurer in Pitfall Harry. Rumours that the caves had also become a depository for 28 stolen gold bars proved too much of a lure for old Pitfall who, together with his niece Rhonda and her cat Quickclaw, set off for South America.

After a hard trek through the Peruvian jungle, Harry, Rhonda and Quickclaw stumbled upon the Lost Caverns, and promptly became separated, leaving Harry to track down his companions as well as find the treasure.

In his exploration of the underground caverns and rivers, Harry wends his way past a variety of Peruvian creatures, including Condors, Bats, Poisonous Frogs, Albino Scorpions and even Electric Eels which appear in the streams, glowing with energy.

Pitfall II: Lost Caverns

Holes appear in the tunnel floor, which Harry either jumps or drops through to a level below. Alternatively, Harry can descend the caverns using one of the many ladders which are thoughtfully provided along the way.

Dropping into rivers allows Harry to display his aquatic prowess, diving to recover submerged bars of gold, and then front-crawling his way back to the bank.

Harry is rewarded with 5,000 points for each gold bar collected, with the total score acting as an energy reserve. Contact with denizens reduces Harry's scoreline, and transport him back to the last red cross which he walked over. The further back Harry is carried, the more his score falls, and if it reaches zero he dies and his mission restarts from the beginning.

Pitfall II: Lost Caverns

The aim of Harry's quest is to recover the Raj Diamond, and rescue Rhonda and Quickclaw.


Old classics never die - they just get re-released. Pitfall II isn't the jewel in Firebird's crown, but it does sparkle.

It presents a reasonable long term challenge, as there is a fairly large playing area to explode and memorise.

Pitfall II: Lost Caverns

The graphics and sound aren't up to much, but the playability is there and makes it worthwhile - even if it is just for old times sake.


This is nothing awesome, but if you're an avid explorer looking for a plain and simple adventure to undertake then keep reading.

Pitfall II is nicely designed, mildly addictive, and pleasant on both the ears and eyes. There are a few puzzles to solve, and traps to negotiate, and there's an interesting environment to map - what more do you want for two quid?


Pitfall II: Lost Caverns

Pitfall II features adequate graphics and sound, and incorporates many neat touches. The gameplay is a little repetitive, but bearably so - despite the fact that contact with a creature sends you back to the last first-aid cross touched, and as they are pretty thin on the ground I often found myself playing large sections of the caverns time and time again.

This is particularly annoying, especially when I got quite far into the game. Not a bad buy for two quid, but there's a lot of quality budget software about this month.


Presentation 61%
Nothing special, but good enough.

Pitfall II: Lost Caverns

Graphics 62%
Repetitive, occasionally attractive and smoothly scrolling backdrops.

Sound 31%
Grinding tune, and sparse spot effects.

Hookability 78%
A piece of cake to get into, and the urge to explore is strong.

Pitfall II: Lost Caverns

Lastability 59%
Huge playing area, but the initial compulsion fades as the action isn't continuous or overly interesting.

Value For Money 71%
Sensibly priced, considering its age and limited gameplay.

Overall 60%
An above-average exploration game with simple problems, but it offers a good couple of weeks entertainment.