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The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Pitfall is a modern re-imagining of the classic console game that is more like Temple Run than its namesake. Players can die in a variety of ways, from being bitten by snakes to running off a cliff or bashing their head on a low-hanging temple ruin. When a snake bites a player, the screen flashes (and stays) red. In-app purchases are available, though not aggressively pitched. And players can earn in-game credits, rather than buying them, if they're patient. Players can share high scores via the Game Center social network, but participation is optional.
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What's it about?
Pitfall players run in an endless (and ultimately fruitless) attempt to escape a variety of dangers, such as an angry volcano god. Swiping the screen from side to side turns corners, while swiping upward or downward causes your character to jump or slide under obstacles. Tapping the screen lets the character use his whip to kill snakes, which would otherwise bite him (injuring or killing the character).
Is it any good?
First and foremost, players who are nostalgic for the 1980s title that gave birth to the adventure genre are likely to be upset. With this Pitfall remake, Activision chose to follow the popular path tread by Temple Run. And the knee-jerk reaction to that is disappointment, until you realize the developers might have actually done it better.
The game's a virtual clone, only with snakes and whips, but it's brighter, funnier, and has a welcome checkpoint system, letting players start where they left off, rather than having to start at the beginning of the game. It's frustrating that Activision took the easy path by cloning a popular genre, but they did such a good job that it's hard to complain.
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For kids who love action and adventure
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