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Pitfall 2: Lost Caverns Reviewed by Adam Wallace on . Rating: 50%
Pitfall 2: Lost Caverns
Pitfall 2: Lost Caverns Pitfall 2: Lost Caverns Pitfall 2: Lost Caverns Pitfall 2: Lost Caverns
  • Review Score:

  • C
Sequels always have a tough job. It really isn't as simple as just copying and pasting. Even the most cookie-cutter sequels have to make some changes to keep a series from getting stale. Even Activision does that with the annual Call of Duty installments. Unfortunately, Activision wasn't too adept at handling sequels during the second generation, and the second Pitfall game proves that all too well.

Pitfall 2: Lost Caverns attempts to expand on the original. Sure, the game still revolves around Pitfall Harry hunting for treasure in the jungle, but that is where the similarities end. Unlike the original game which just keeps providing screens to run and jump through until time or lives run out, Pitfall 2 places Harry into a huge cavern to explore. The location is put together very well. There is a wide variety of different creatures and obstacles on every screen. Some return from the first game like venomous scorpions, and plenty are new like the swimming areas. A few screens even provide some light vertical scrolling to hide treasure. The second game also makes a few major changes to the mechanics. The whole cave system is a huge maze with a fixed end, making this one of the few second gen games that can be beaten. This is also one of the first games to provide checkpoints which Harry gets returned to with every death. Harry never runs out of lives but loses points every time he gets returned to a checkpoint. On that basis, Pitfall 2 would be one of the easiest games ever made.

Pitfall 2: Lost Caverns (ColecoVision)Click For the Full Picture Archive

However, there are a few detrimental flaws that ruin this spelunking trip. Like with the first game, all Harry can do is run and jump. That wasn't a problem in the first game since all the obstacles were on the ground, but Pitfall 2 added flying enemies that stay at chest level. It gets very frustrating trying to escape those foes; why didn't they give Harry the ability to duck? The stiffness of the controls also cause too many headaches. I lost count how many times I tried to go down a ladder only to fall down the pit instead, usually hitting a flying enemy on the way down. Even switching to a 2600 controller didn't help this time. Activision also apparently got lazy with the visuals. The craggy ceilings and waves in the water are the only indicators that I was playing the Colecovision version of the game. Otherwise, it's almost a dead ringer for the graphically inferior Atari 2600 version.

Pitfall 2: Lost Caverns was a huge disappointment. It is admirable that Activision tried so hard to build on the original rather than just recycle it, but the resulting game was just too annoying to be enjoyable. This was one of those games that I REALLY wanted to like but just couldn't. It was really telling that, while playing, I had to keep telling myself, "Well, at least it's not Super Pitfall on NES or Pitfall 3D on PlayStation."
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