At first glance, the new game seems like a knock-off of the current darling endless runner, Temple Run which is unabashedly inspired by the opening scene in Raiders. There are even screaming monkey sounds as you start running and coins to pick up. Fortunately, initial similarities fade quickly and you realize that while it's the same genre - and definitely inspired by Temple Run - it's a whole different game.
The game opens with a loading animation that's an homage to the orginal Pitfall!. Cute, but you can't skip it and it's terribly slow. They need to work on that aspect of the game. But this should be the first hint that this is a different beast that Temple Run. Unlike that game, the new Pitfall! expects you to play for extended periods of time, not just a few idle minutes. Once the loading animation has completed the actual game look is revealed as a 3D "cel shaded" environment. Once you set off running, other differences appear as the camera swings to the side for Mirror's Edge-style gameplay, then back to a follow-cam more like Temple Run.
The usual gestures are used - swipe up to jump, down to slide, tip the device to move to the edges of the path to pick up coins, swipe to the siides to turn when the path forks. Obstacles are the predictable trees and rocks, some of which must be jumped and others ducked under. The production values of the game are stellar - unlike Temple Run which quickly grows monotonous (and trance-inducing) with the same set of traps, Pitfall! mixes it up with fallen idols, spike pits, low bridges, and so forth.
Then it gets interesting. Your endless run occasionally takes you through a village where you can choose to run through the bamboo walkways instead of on the ground. Some pits have vines to swing over. The environment is animated, with lava bombs from an erupting volcano dropping into the path, trees falling in your way, and so forth. But that's not all...
Yes, there are creepy crawlies that get in your way. When you're outside, there are occasionally snakes on the path. Run over them and you'll be poisoned. Twice and you're dead. Fortunately, you're carrying a bullwhip (!) and can flick it out to take care of the slithery beasts. So although the original may not have been inspired by Indy, Pitfall Harry has learned a thing or two from the master.
I mentioned outside. After a few thousand meters your run takes you into an underground cavern where the obstacles change up - collapsing ceilings, scorpions, lava pits and so on. Make it far enough and you jump onto a mine car! (Hint: swipe sideways to take the forks and remember to duck!)
Once you make it through the mine sequence you'll be back outside. Cross some rickety bridges, and you'll find yourself on a motorcycle racing down a muddy unpaved road, trying to get around obstacles as your race continues.
That's as far as I've gotten so far, which is a good time to explain three other big departures from Temple Run. The first, as hinted above, is that while the exact path is randomly generated like Temple Run, there is a definite progression through things like the underground sequence, mine car, and motorcycle, that occur at certain distances from the start. Secondly, and thankfully, it is possible to restart from checkpoints rather than having to start from the beginning at each time.
Thirdly, however, restarts require using "Macaw Tokens" which must be purchased. And unlike Temple Run, where the power ups are a subtle addition to the game, in Pitfall! the achievements and store are much more blatant and frankly distracting.
Not a ripoff, especially since it uses many, many sources, from old legends to Conan Doyle - but without Junior, there might be no "Tusker". And that would have been a shame, even if the final game was visibly rushed.
What about Paganitzu? It's a 1991 DOS game I used to play it a lot as a kid. Other forum members remember it? "Paganitzu is a puzzle game with action elements. Help the hero go through rooms of puzzles and traps to find treasure and a way out" (Mobygames)
Paganitzu consists of three separate episodes: Romancing The Rose, Quest for the Silver Dagger, and Jewel of Yucatan. Also, according to a contributor on Mobygames, Paganitzu is Aztec for Temple of the Gods. If these titles aren't Indiana Jones themed or convincingly similar enough, you should check out the main character's name: Alabama Smith, wearing a fedora. The whole game is definitely a pun; the main villain's name is Omigosh. No kidding. O, I almost forgot, the levels are full of snakes and boulders.
It's actually very well-made, with lots of puzzles. : V Hard, though -- definitely a homage to classic NES games like Castlevania and Mega Man and Zelda than to actual Indy games. But it's got the style, the main character's a professor with a fedora and whip, so what more could you want from an indie non-Indy Indy game?
Just when I thought Deadfall Adventures has slipped its release date, a new trailer surfaces. Crashing a plane headfirst into a temple? Yes, that's certainly one way to make an entrance.
Eschewing his grandfather's English upbringing, James Lee appears to have outfitted himself at the nearest Wild West emporium. An American accent, a U.S. undercover agent, and a boatload of Nazis and Russians round out the day!
Looks & sounds very much like Patrick Swayze's version of Allan Quatermain.
You're absolutely right. I had been wondering why the character design looked familiar.
Now, the more important question: Why can't I remember watching the Swayze version? I've rated it on Netflix, but don't remember a single moment of it. Could I have rated it without watching?! The only Quatermain flick I recall seeing recently is that god awful Temple of Skulls.
I've actually played a bit of Deadfall Adventures already, and I'm already liking it a lot more than "Tomb Raider." There's exploration, puzzles, and just an unapologetic level of pulpness to it that allows me to ignore the budget voice acting, plot, and dialogue thus far.
What about this nice tip of the hat (so to speak) to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom?
Mine cart chase levels have been in almost all Donkey Kong video games in the last twenty years since Donkey Kong Country (SNES, 1994).