Thursday, 29 November 2012

Game review: The Oregon Trail

Title: The Oregon Trail
System:  Apple II/Facebook/iPad/iPhone

 Ah, the Oregon Trail.  One of the only reasons I loved history lessons when I was young.

It's one of those 'educational' (though really, it was more of a 'take a road trip with your friends and see who dies of dysentery first!') games and the premise is simple.  Take the Oregon Trail.  

Of course, nobody ever played this game with the intent of learning the trail.  No, from what I've witnessed and just generally how kids act when they see a computer game in school, this was used to put you and your friends in a wagon and see how far you could get without killing everyone.  Or, see how far you could get and laugh as your entire party died from cholera, dysentery, snake bites etc.

The first tombstone you'll see.  We'll never forget you andy.
Of course the other main draw of this game was actually the hunting mini game.  (Hands up if you just kept shooting the deer and the bears despite only being able to carry 200 pounds of meat.  Yeah that's right, we all did it.)  And of course always just going straight across the river no matter how deep it was.  (A good number of my party always died by drowning.)

Now, over the years this game has been developed for a lot of different systems and of course that comes with updated graphics (and the most annoying constant tutorial ever in the iPhone version.) But it's still the same old game and that's what makes it so much fun. Whether it's the bleeps and bloops of the Apple II version or the western-style music of the online flash version, Oregon Trail is a useful tool for stress relief (other than the Sims but that's another review entirely) just try not to break your keyboard when the wagon sinks at the Kansas river crossing.

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