Perfectly balanced arcader
Pitfall is a classic arcade game, one that created a new genre on its own. You control a ship in a bi-dimensional setting. The ship is falling ceaselessly, through a corridor with all sort of twists and slides which, if touched lead to an end game. However, at times, the twists and curves in your path cannot be negotiated at your regular average speed, so you'll have to decelerate. However, so you don't abuse this option, your ship will draw near the upper portion of the screen, and if you go past this line, again, you trigger an end game. To position your ship closer to the bottom of the screen you have to accelerate, which, again, poses its set of dangers. Therefore, the game uses the simplest set of mechanics to contain its entire gameplay, making it both simple to understand as well as very addictive and self contained. Graphically, the game is not much of a shower, sporting ASCII graphics, crude and rather unappealing, but the feel of urgency that the game conveys and its puzzle-like nature is absolutely amazing. Pitfall is the perfect arcade game, minimalist, with self contained rules and with the sort of appeal that only a game of Tetris can manage.