Commodore 64, Atari 800
Designer: Bob Connell | Steve Coleman
ROOTS: Feeling almost like a hybrid between Adventure, Venture, and Pitfall!, Pharaoh’s Curse sends players into a tiny looping maze comprised of 15 interconnected screens. Each screen poses its own specific challenge, including an angry mummy to avoid.
Director: David Crane
ROOTS: Taking the platformer beyond the single-screen jungle gyms of the Donkey Kong series, David Crane’s Pitfall turned run-and-jump action into a tool for navigating the vast virtual spaces we saw in the likes of Adventure and Zork, making it one of the most influential games ever.
Director: Warren Robinett
ROOTS: The flip side of the Zork coin: Where that game presented the RPG concept entirely in text, allowing for methodical deliberation between player actions, Adventure played out with real-time action. More compact in nature than Zork, Adventure nevertheless introduced key concepts that would become integral to exploratory action games.