From the Database of Home of the Underdogs
Copyright 1983, Unknown
Pitfall is a loveable old ASCII game. It’s a horizontal faller (aka “Wrist Killer”) in which you use your arrow keys to maneuver your ever-falling ship through a corridor of walls and enemies (Burning Faces). While you cannot move upwards you can use the up key to hover and move sideways, which means you can get around more dangerous areas, but every time you hover, your ship naturally goes further up the screen, so you need to accelerate downwards continuously whenever you can to be able to hover as necessary again once you get further
down into the pit.
Your ship has a certain amount of Hits (hit points) which decrease by 1 each time you crash into a wall, and hitting a Burning Face means instant death. Eventually the enemies become more numerous and the walls get ever closer and more difficult to navigate around, and while you gain more Hits every 30 seconds or so, eventually you’ll crash into one wall too many and explode.
I’ve often referred to this game as the Original Coffee Break, which is what it is; a frustrating and wrist-murdering game that kills a few minutes whenever you have them. The game generally runs MUCH too fast on today’s computers, but if you have DosBOX you can decrease the cycles until the game is fully playable. On my 850mhz Athlon I find 150-175 cycles is just about perfect.