I can’t even read the name Atari without thinking of the game Pitfall, but the nerdy 8-year-old in me asks, “Who could?!”
Pitfall — Atari’s 1982 bestselling game — featured Pitfall Harry, a character players had to maneuver through a “maze-like jungle in an attempt to recover 32 treasures in a 20-minute time period. Along the way, he must negotiate numerous hazards, including pits, quicksand, rolling logs, fire, rattlesnakes, scorpions, and crocodiles,” according to Wikipedia.
It’s hilarious to think back on Pitfall now — Pitfall Harry was basically not much more than a stick figure running through a “jungle.” Yet, I could never get past the crocodiles without my brother’s help… which seldom happened. He mostly preferred to laugh as he watched my character die.
In 2011, Atari released its “Greatest Hits,” which included Pong, Asteroids, and Centipede available for iPhone and Android devices. According to an article on CNN, “The [Atari Greatest Hits] game in the Apple App Store has been downloaded more than 3.5 million times. It was recently made available in the Android Marketplace, further expanding the market for Atari products.”
The article went on to say that Atari plans on developing new games as well as continuing to redevelop the classics that made them a favorite amongst gamers in the 80s. “The company expects to release 10 to 15 new titles in the next year, with about five of those coming from outside developers,” the article said. “They will hold true to the Atari brand but could appeal to those gamers outside the male-dominated, core audience of traditional Atari games.”
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Personally, I’m still holding out for Atari to develop a modern version of Pitfall. Although, I bet I would still have to ask my brother to get me past those damn crocodiles. And let’s be honest, he’d probably still prefer to laugh as he watched my character die. What else are big brothers for?
Tell us: What do you think of Atari making a comeback?