Pitfall! is a platform action game. You play Pitfall Harry who is on a quest to locate treasure deep in the jungle. With a little luck you'll be able to find money bags, silver bars, gold bars, and diamond rings. But many obstacles will get in the way, some of which merely deduct points from your score, while others are fatal. Rolling logs and falling down a hole will deduct points, and scorpions, alligators, snakes, bottomless pits, swamps, and fires will cause Pitfall Harry to lose a life. You have 20 minutes to try to collect all of the treasures on the numerous screens, if you can live that long!
Pitfall! was popular enough to have a Saturday morning TV cartoon based on it. The cartoon focused on the adventures of Pitfall Harry, his niece Rhonda, and the cowardly mountain lion Quickclaw.
Players who were able to rack up 20,000 points or higher were eligible to receive the Explorer's Club patch from Activision if they sent in a screenshot to the company.
A clipping bug in the ColecoVision version of the game would allow the player to actually walk through the walls in the lower area if hit just right