The Pit was first released by James R. Berry of Midas Touch Software in 1990.
The player's character is described as "a lowly farmer's boy ready to seek his fortune."
Players begin with thin armor and a weak sword. With each win, the player's character can become stronger and obtain better hand weapons or long-range weapons. Players can also use potions and other magic items.
AI opponents range from easy-to-defeat slaves to near-immortal Norse gods, such as Odin and Thor.
Like most BBS door games, The Pit is asymmetrical, which means multiple players can play, but not at the same time. When one human player engages in combat with another, the other human player's character is controlled by the game.
When faced with an opponent who is too powerful, a player can try begging for mercy, or fleeing through the single doorway.
Players get a limited number of play sessions per day (usually three), and each play session ends in either a player death or the session timer expiring.
The Pit is one of several BBS door games which offered an optional front-end client. In the game's default ANSI interface, the player's character is represented by a "little horseshoe," the
Ω character. By downloading the front-end, called "Pit Terminal," players could enjoy an improved interface with EGA graphics and sound. The art for the front-end was created by D. Gregg Hargrove.
In its May 1993 "Telegaming" issue, Computer Gaming World gave The Pit two points out of three, calling it a "tolerably interesting fantasy-themed work." The reviewer also noted that combat in The Pit was more than merely displaying text "hit points." Instead, a player could move his character "around the arena with the number pad."
Bobby Blackwolf (6 July 2008). "The Bobby Blackwolf Show". http://www.bobbyblackwolf.com/ (Podcast). Guest: Rob Roberts. Retrieved 22 April 2013. External link in
- William, Shefski (1993). "Mining the BBS Online Games" (PDF). Computer Gaming World. Golden Empire Publications: 64,66,68. ISSN 0744-6667. Retrieved 2014-11-16. Unknown parameter
- BladeMaster - A similar game available as a Worldgroup module