Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure

Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure
a game by Activision, Majesco, and Torus Games
Genres: Action, Arcade Classics, Platformer
Platforms: PC (1995), Sega GenesisGenesis (1994), SNESSNES (1994), Sega CD (1995), GBA (1995)
Editor Rating: 6/10, based on 12 reviews, 14 reviews are shown
User Rating: 7.6/10 - 11 votes
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See also: Action Adventure Games, Action Games, Jaguar Games, Pitfall Games

The vine-swinging saga of the hottest video game ever continues in Pitfall: LSJ The Mayan Adventure. It's all-new pit-hopping action has you and 18-year-old Harry Junior (son of the original Atari 2600 Pitfall Harry character) setting out to rescue Harry Sr. from an evil Mayan spirit. Thrash through deep dark rainforests, expfore Mayan temples, and race through rat-infested mines to reach the realm of the Mayan Warrior Spirit for the final confrontation to save Harry Senior.


This 16-Bit upgrade of the old classic has decent game play and great animation.


The bonus level is a great idea and is very challenging, but at times can be too tough.


I've seen some really unique health icons before, but the heart icon is just sick.


Download Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • Game modes: Single game mode

Player controls:

  • Up, Down, Left, Right - Arrow keys
  • Start - Enter (Pause, Menu select, Skip intro, Inventory)
  • "A" Gamepad button - Ctrl (usually Jump or Change weapon)
  • "B" button - Space (Jump, Fire, Menu select)
  • "C" button - Left Shift (Item select)

Use the F12 key to toggle mouse capture / release when using the mouse as a controller.


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • Pentium II (or equivalent) 266MHz (500MHz recommended), RAM: 64MB (128MB recommended), DirectX v8.0a or later must be installed
Sega CD

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

Crocodiles, vines, scorpions, and jungle jumpin' -- Pitfall Harry returns! Fans of the original game and anybody who loves run-n- jump adventures should dig into Pitfall for the Sega CD. Pitfall's anything but the pits.

Young Indy

A terrific platform-action game, Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure fills a void in the Sega CD game lineup. If you played the earlier 16-bit games, you'll recognize virtually everything in this version because most levels are identical.

Once again you're Harry Jr. searching for your lost father through Indiana Jones-style settings and using stones, boomerangs, whips and bungee cords to overcome a jungle full of carnivorous creatures. Three new levels strengthen this adventure, providing refreshing vertical platform action to complement the horizontal levels.

As in the SNES and Genesis games, the controls may be problematic to some gamers. Harry Jr. does a lot of throwing, bouncing, jumping, and vine swinging, but executing these moves cleanly requires extreme concentration. You'll sometimes struggle repeatedly to master simple-looking jumps (especially in the new levels), and you'll find many of the small enemies frustratingly difficult to hit with your main weapons, the stones. Plan on a hairy adventure, young Harry.

It's a Jungle Out There

The dynamic graphics that made the 16-bit games memorable are even better here.


  • Take out the annoying monkeys at Xibalba Falls with an Exploding Stone. These powerful weapons are in limited supply, so wait until lots of monkeys appear on-screen.
  • In the Mayan Jungle, don't jump prematurely when the first boss charges -- he sometimes stops In front of you.
  • At the end of this over Xibalba Palls, jump up to the ledge in the upper-right corner to gain a hard-to-see 1-up.
  • Stay low to dodge the projectiles tossed by this final Warrior Spirit.
  • In Tazamul Mines, push a cart to the brink of the broken track, and then jump on it to reach the rope on the right.

Fast, live-action film footage thrusts you into the adventure, and then you're immersed in an exotic world of lush foliage, ravaged ruins, and immense waterfalls. Harry Jr. and the jungle beasts move smoothly, and clever visual touches liven up the action (watch what happens when Harry stands around).

Best of all are the realistic sounds, which were recorded in Costa Rica by a Hollywood special- effects crew. The rich sonic background creates a distinctly tropical atmosphere, supplemented by effective jungle music.

Harry to the Rescue

Long and exciting, this well-crafted disc is one of the year's best platform games. While Pitfall may be too difficult for younger gamers, to everyone else, Harry's a hero.

This came was out yonks ago on the Atari 2600. and has since been followed by various console versions. This new one. written specifically for the all-new. all-singing and dancing Windows 95. looks better than the lot of them.

The Mayan Adventure sees you take on the role of Harry junior, with the task of tracking down an evil Mayan warrior spirit and rescuing your father. Pitfall Harry. The game is played out over 13 massive levels and you'll have to go through a lot of running, jumping, climbing, skating and hacking and slashing before you eventually make your way to the end of it.

As far as the gameplay is concerned, it's fairly standard platform stuff. Nasties come at you from all directions but you have various ways of disposing of them: you can chuck your boomerang at them, attack them with your Indiana Jones-style whip, throw stones at them - or if you're a poof you can simply run away or jump over them.

There are secret areas to find and if you locate them you are rewarded with a rather naff bonus game of some description. One of these 'extras' involves snatching goodies from underneath a boulder which is lowered until you either get bored and run away, or stand underneath it and get squashed. There is also a version of the original Pitfall game hidden in one of these locations but it's utterly awful. If you don't fancy playing any of these dodgy bonus games, don't worry, you can easily duck out of them whenever you want and get back to the real action. Many of the locations in the game can only be accessed once you've solved a puzzle, and as most of them are generally pretty easy, you never really get stuck in any one place. A welcome feature (which is sadly absent in many platformers) is the ability to start the game at any level you've already completed. This, of course, avoids ploughing through tons of stuff you've already seen. The graphics are very crisp and the main sprite is well animated and moves very smoothly. This may or may not be down to the fact that this is a Windows 95 game, but it's difficult to tell without having a dos or standard Windows version to compare it with. Either way. the sprite animation is better than most games of this type : currently knocking about on the pc.

So what's it like to play? Well, it's actually fairly addictive - I played it for about three hours without getting I bored. As a flagship games product for Windows 95 however (Bill Gates keeps it on his portable to show off the new version of Windows), it's not going to take the world by storm.

Activision's first foray into the Windows 95 desktop. Guide the Indy-type bloke around the jungle using your whip to banish the nasty creatures and beasts that lurk in the shadows. This is a full playable level from the finished game.


Some years back, Pitfall Harry (of Atari 2600 fame) hung up his adventurer's hat to raise his son, Harry Jr. As Harry Jr. got older, he began exploration quests of his own. Eventually, Pitfall Harry started longing for the life he once knew and so together, Harry and Harry Jr. decided to head for the jungles of Central America to search for the lost treasure of Vaxactun... but something went terribly wrong.

Pitfall Harry has been captured by the spirit of an ancient Mayan warrior, Zakelua: Lord of Evil. Now it's up to Harry Jr. to traverse the jungle and its many dangers to find his father and rescue him in this remake of the 1994 platform side-scroller.

Gameplay, Controls, Interface

If you've ever played Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure, then you already know what to expect. This remake is an almost exact port of the Super Nintendo version (and possibly other versions, but I can't speak for those).

The movement of Harry Jr. and other enemies and objects is quite smooth. In fact, the animation is really nice. Unfortunately, it also hinders the gameplay. There are many times in the game where you'll need to make some type of quick movement and, because Harry Jr. is busy animating, you'll probably take some damage from whatever is coming at you. This is especially true when you get hit by a 'boss'? creature and get knocked down. Speaking of enemies, most are faster than you are in terms of movement and attacking. You can pretty much assume you're going to take some damage if you get near any enemies. Fortunately you do have a sort of energy bar (see Features section below) so you can get hit several times before losing a life. Unfortunately, boss enemies can be very tough and frustrating and take a long time to beat -- even once you know how to do it.

Although the animation is smooth, I felt the controls were clunky and complicated for a game of this nature. You have your standard left/right/climb/drop/jump/duck maneuvers. You can also crawl on the ground by pressing the jump button while ducking. Then there are the attacks -- you have a close up whip attack, rock-throwing attack, boomerang-throwing attack, and throwing an exploding rock attack. While executing three of these are simple enough; it can be confusing to figure out which button does which attack when you're in the middle of some fast action. The one attack that is just completely wrong is the exploding stone one. In order to pull it off, you have to press SELECT and A. Simple enough, right? Sort of. Keep in mind that the select button on the GBA is kind of small and very close to the Start button. If you happen to hit START by accident and then hit SELECT, you'll reset the game! This happened to me unintentionally on more than one occasion when I was quickly trying to throw an exploding stone -- eventually I just quit using them altogether. While there is an option for changing some of the controls around, you can't change them enough to avoid this potential problem. The controls themselves were fairly responsive as long as I wasn't recovering from a knockdown or Harry Jr. wasn't doing some other animation.

There are a lot of secret spots to find and explore in this game. There also appear to be alternate exits to other levels too. Most of the time the secret spots contain harder to find items such as extra lives, gold bars, and diamond rings. The backgrounds (and foregrounds) sometimes switch back and forth which makes finding these spots even more challenging. They can also make moving around more difficult too, as you sometimes can't see where you're going very well. In some cases, you may not be able to walk past a tree trunk in one spot, but if you jump on a branch above, you might be able to walk past that same trunk. It's this 'switching'? that can also make moving around a level a little confusing at times since you won't always be sure if you're going to fall or stop. Eventually you'll kind of learn where you can and can't step.

There are lots of different items in the game. Most are weapons or treasures. Some are bonuses like letters (that spell P I T F A L L), health boosts, and extra lives. The more daring you are, the more you're likely to find. And I do mean daring since you only start the game with three lives and two continues!


The graphics show off the GBA's capabilities nicely. The best part is the animation, which is very smooth and fluid. The levels and backgrounds look nice, some are bright and some are VERY dim, even with a good light on the GBA, and believe me, you want a nice light for this game. The foregrounds are a little too nice, though -- to the point that they can be distracting from other things around you such as enemies throwing things. Still, I thought the graphics were the high point of the game.


The sounds and music are quite limited. Most of the sounds come from jumping, landing, climbing, and killing enemies. Then there are some other sounds such as when you push a mine car -- they sound off for about one second and then just suddenly stop (although the mine car hasn't). There are some ambient sounds on a few of the levels but none on others. There is some music at the title screen and in between levels (sort of). There isn't even any music (or sounds for that matter) during the end credits! The music that is there isn't really all that great.


Although this is a pretty standard side-scroller style game, you'll probably want to check out the docs if for nothing more than to see what all the items are about and so you don't miss how to do something with the controls. Aside from that it's just storytelling and instructional material with some pictures.

Originality / Cool Features

Since this game is a remake and almost an exact port of the SNES version from 1994 (not sure about Genesis, DOS, or other versions, though), that would kill most of the originality. Unfortunately, I really didn't think there were any cool features aside from the health bar and using some cheat codes to level select and roam freely and see parts of the level you may have missed. The 'health bar'? is handled not in the standard way, but instead shows a picture of a crocodile chasing Harry Jr. As Harry Jr. takes more damage, the croc gets closer and will eventually chomp him when you run out of energy. Unfortunately, it's sometimes hard to tell just how much health you have left with this method.

Bottom Line

Hmm, what to make of this game? I sort of have a love/hate relationship with it. I love Pitfall and side-scrollers in general. I hate how frustrating, annoying, and difficult this game can be. Although my review may have sounded more negative than positive, this really isn't all that bad of a game; it's just VERY challenging and can be frustrating and annoying at times. Its nice graphics and beautiful animation are wonderful eye candy and actually add to the challenge too. I would not recommend Pitfall for the type of person who wants (and expects) to beat it the first time around or someone who doesn't like to play for long periods of time (unless you don't mind using cheat codes) which is why I give this game a score of 75.

Another Super Nintendo title resurrected by Majesco for the Game Boy Advance launch this summer is one of the biggest names of video games past: Pitfall. The Mayan Adventure is a run-and-jump platformer, not too different from Pitfall Harry's humble roots on the Atari 2600--in fact, that ancient classic was included in the 16-bit version as a hidden bonus. New for the GBA is a tic-tac-toe-style mini-game.

Long live the classics! The year 1994 seems to be the year of the return of yesterday's heroes. So far this year we've witnessed the return of Donkey Kong and his family, Pac-Man in his official second title and now from seemingly out of nowhere comes Pitfall Harry! It is time for you to assume the role of Harry's son, Harry Jr., on quest that will take you throughout the Mayan Jungle!

Let me say that this is not your father's Pitfall adventure, but nostalgia heads out there (like me) will find the original adventure buried somewhere in the game. So grab your whip and prepare for some vine-swinging action!


The Sega CD is starting to shape up with fabulous-looking, fun titles like this!


Maybe it's me, but it seems like there's too much animation.


If you're not watching where you're going, you could run smack into a wall! Ouch!

  • Manufacturer: Activision
  • Machine: SNES and Genesis

Just about anyone who played video games back in the dim, dark past remembers the original Pitfall game. Well, that game is back as a secret level in this remake that doesn't really add much except better graphics and backgrounds.

  • Machine: SNES, Genesis.
  • Manufacturer: Activision.

Just about anyone who played video games back in the dim, dark past remembers the original Pitfall game. Well, that game is back as a secret level in this remake that doesn't really add much except better graphics and backgrounds.

Harry Jr. is back in search of his long lost father, but nothing has changed in this latest version of Pitfall. This game is exactly like the other Pitfall titles and brings little improvement in the sound and graphics.

Scary Harry

You still travel through ancient Mayan ruins, whipping past pools of lava and fighting bats, rats, and cheetahs. None of the levels have been changed, so if you've played this before, here it is again.

Your arsenal of weapons includes rocks, smart bombs, and your trusty whip. You can use your whip to swing from ledges, hang from vines, and slap snakes into submission.

Controlling this battery of weapons is sometimes confusing. The Start button pauses the game, but it also cycles through your weapons. Jumping onto ledges is also tricky.

Jungle Fever

Pitfall's scenery hasn't changed in this version. Harry's movements are still poetry in motion, though, and the layered backgrounds are beautiful.

ProTip: Besides letting you continue, level markers also point you in the right direction.

The sound has minor improvements, but nothing noticeable. The jungle sounds are still clear, and all other sound effects are well done.

Pitfall will enthrall anyone who hasn't played the original Genesis, SNES, or Atari 2600 game. Everyone else has been through this jungle before.

Pitfall Harry's son appears with a buffed-out 16-bit version of the classic, and it's better than ever!

Keeping Up with The Joneses

Pitfall Harry is lost somewhere in the Mayan ruins, so Harry Jr. decides he's going to brave the toughest temples and most fearsome forests to find him. You must help young Harry find fame, fortune, and father, all in the same day.

Ruined temples and lush forests aside, you'll also have to travel through deserted mines, across thunderous waterfalls, and into a nocturnal jungle. The Mayans didn't inhabit the rainforests alone, either- bats, rats, and jungle cats keep you on your toes. Just to make sure you don't get bored, there are also hidden areas, traps, and treasures. And you'll even come across the original Activision Pitfall for the 2600!

What's a fortune hunter to do? Or to do it with? Harry Jr. is armed with a whip, which also serves as a grappling hook where appropriate. He also finds bombs, boomerangs, and bags of rocks to use against enemies.

ProTip: Continually try to jump past trees in the jungle. You're bound to find hidden areas.

It's a Jungle in Here

Pitfall contains some of the best character animations ever seen in a SNES game. The intricate climbing and swinging sequences are complimented by smooth running and I jumping illustrations. The enemies even have their own distinct personalities, like paper-thin revolving archers or bloodsucking bats.

The music is your standard game drone, but the sound effects are marvelously lifelike. From junior's exclamations (when he gets near a cliff) to the rich animal sound effects, this game is definitely an adventure for the ears.

  • You can push mine carts and use them as step ladders.
  • Activision's original Atari 2600 game is in the first part of the Temple of Coban stage. Just jump up and go to the far left. When you see these 2600 scorpions, go through the door and proceed left again. Jump over the low wall, and you'll see the Vortex that will take you to this classic game.

And an adventure for the thumbs as well, because Harry Jr. has lots of close calls and pitfalls. The smooth controls are responsive, but not always accurate. You have to play the game a little before you get the hang of handling Harry Jr.

Bring On River Raid!

Now that you've seen the commitment that Activision has put into restoring this classic game, you almost want to see what it'll do with River Raid, its other smash for the 2600. But until then, you'll have plenty of fun with this title, which is challenging and entertaining at the same time. While other action/adventure games stumble, Pitfall doesn't take a pratfall.

Of all the games made for the Atari 2600, one game -- Pitfall -- truly captured gamers' imaginations. In Pitfall, you guided a treasure hunter, Harry, through a dangerous jungle. Harry's adventure continues now on the Genesis: He's been kidnapped by an evil Mayan god and it's up to you to help Harry Jr. rescue the famous explorer.

A Harry Situation

Fans of the original Pitfall will notice right away that Harry Jr. is in for a tough time in the old town tonight. Lightning- fast snakes, stone-throwing monkeys, swooping eagles, skeletons, and a host of other enemies make it a jungle out there. There's a lot to enjoy in this game, including the original Pitfall. That's right, if you don't know what the Atari game looked and played like, you can find it on level eight!

ProTip: To go up in the Calakaual Rain Forest, jump on a tree stump and hold Down. You'll soon catapult to the top of the screen.

The Mayan jungle may be dangerous, but what a beautiful threat it is! Anyone who enjoyed the original Pitfall will find the gorgeous jungles, caves, and waterfalls of the Mayan kingdom a far cry from the blocky 2600 graphics. The music is also well done, with jungle drums and sinister melodies urging you onward more than a time limit ever could.

A Few Pitfalls

Unfortunately, unresponsive controls create some monkey business. Harry Jr.'s easy to maneuver, and he has a cool bungee-jumping ability, but the split-second lag time between his jump and your ability to control his movements again is the difference between a narrow escape and losing a life. The same problem occurs whenever he changes direction -- he pauses, you can't control him, and Harry Jr. takes a hit. Other parts of the game move at such a rapid pace that beginning players will probably find the controls difficult to manage even on the easiest setting.

  • Here's a pad trick to change your speed. Plug in a controller for Player Two. Press Button A on this controller to slow down and Button B to speed up. Use this trick during the Runaway Mine Cart level.
  • Jump on every protruding rock in the Xibalba Falls level. Hidden items, such as 1- ups, are scattered everywhere.
  • During the Lost City of Copan level, jump on the statue's tongue to catapult upward.
  • The snapping alligators in the Yaxachilan Lagoon can't open their mouths as long as you're standing on their heads.

Jungle Fever

Control difficulties shouldn't keep fans of nonstop adventure games out of this jungle -- they'll find Pitfall to be a challenging addition to their game library. With heart-pounding action and a slick appearance, Pitfall should please the platform purists.

A side-scroller in which you play adventurer Pitfall Harry Jr in search of his father Pitfall Harry.

The spirit of an evil Mayan warrior has kidnapped Pitfall Harry in PITFALL: The Mayan Adventure.

Now, it is up to Harry, Jr. to complete the expedition and save his father. He will have to swing from vines, take bungee jumps, and ride in an empty mine car. While he’s busy swinging and jumping, gargoyles, crocodiles, skeletons, and traps await his arrival.

There are 13 levels and the action is fast and gripping. You will need to be attentive-and quick. Or prepare to die.

Help the next generation find treasure, in Pitfall - The Mayan Adventure.

Many years ago there was a daring adventurer who traveled the world in search of ancient legends and lost treasures. His journeys took him across the seven seas and to the ends of the earth. He ventured into vast, uncharted regions filled with unthinkable dangers. As word of his exploits filtered back to civilization, he soon became larger than life...a legend. This great explorer was Pitfall Harry.

After many successful quests, Harry settled down to raise his son, Harry Junior. Having inherited his father's love of the unknown, Harry Jr. grew up to become a hip 18-year-old with a deep sense of adventure - and a bit of an attitude. He quickly learned the thrill of exploration and discovery and soon experienced many exciting quests of his own.

Hearing of his son's thrilling escapades, Pitfall Harry realized how much he longed for the life he once knew. So together the daring duo set off for the jungles of Central America in search of the lost treasures of the Mayans.

But something went terribly wrong...

Pitfall Harry has been taken captive by the dreaded warrior spirit Zakelua: Lord of Evil. Armed with only a trusty sling and his father's journal, young Harry Jr. must now venture into the unknown to rescue his father...before it's too late!

Snapshots and Media

PC Screenshots

Sega Genesis/Mega Drive Screenshots

SNES/Super Nintendo/Super Famicom Screenshots

Sega CD Screenshots

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