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The Oregon Trail

The Oregon Trail - cover art
Glitchwave rating
2.88 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
228 Ratings / 3 Reviews
#3,147 All-time
#1 for 1979
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Releases 4
1979 MECC  
US
1985 MECC  
Floppy 5.25"
1990 MECC  
Floppy 3.5" 2xFloppy 5.25"
US
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1992 MECC  
XNA
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For me, the 1985 Apple II version will always be the definitive version of Oregon Trail. It's important to note that there were two variants of Oregon Trail on the Apple II, and the one that most people know is an independant 1985 MECC release that let you name your traveling members, manage your pace, and let you ford rivers. There was another Oregon Trail before that, from 1979, and it is featured in a MECC compilation called "Elementary Vol. 6", where "OREGON" is just one of many similar text-based simulations. Compared to the lavish 1985 release, the 1979 Oregon is very streamlined. You don't get to name family members, you can shoot bandits this time around(no aiming necessary, just one-button timing), and as a whole the experience is much easier.

The game, though? It was very easy to make management sims in the earliest days of computer games and what's magnificent about Trail is how still functional and fair it is even after four decades. The descisions you make feel natural and intuitive and even if you can't crack the statistics formula in RPGs you still get an idea of what you're doing, and chances are you'll have palpable and manageable results coming from them. An absolute essential and classic that'll have you relish in the struggle of traveling.
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Clownboss 2017-12-11T14:57:01Z
2017-12-11T14:57:01Z
2.5
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A Delightful Romp
I only recently made it through this entire game. It is rudimentary indeed, and the name of the game is resource management, buying and collecting enough supplies at the various stops to last the entire journey. Two of my wagon-train members died, and only one of my companions made it all the way to Oregon, so there was some definite storytelling tension that was pulling me towards the end of the game. There were multiple points where I was worried that I wouldn't make it.

What really makes this game interesting is not the gameplay but the total immersion into the atmosphere of Western expansion; the people you talk to on the way and the sights you encounter are surprisingly fleshed out for its day. I felt myself enjoying the virtual breeze and dipping my toes in the digital water, much more so than in a modern game where every detail is prescribed and nothing is left to imagination. And that's why this game, and other PC games of its time, can still really shine: they are canvases to be painted with the imagination of the lone gamer, not visual spectacles to impress the masses.
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BlackMagicRites 2023-02-13T00:17:10Z
2023-02-13T00:17:10Z
4.0
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Disintery simulator. It's fun for a few minutes.
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fantaguarana 2021-06-08T15:13:32Z
2021-06-08T15:13:32Z
3.0
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The Oregon Trail is such a classic video game that at this point its legacy may have even gone beyond the medium which birthed it. One quick google search reveals autofill results such as 'The Oregon Trail Book' or 'The Oregon Trail Board Game'. Suffice to say the original title itself doesn't get a huge amount of play these days. I kinda doubt that youngsters even boot this game up in computer class anymore; I think these days their teachers opt for class via Minecraft instead. But anyway, the game itself has held up (imo) surprisingly well. The Oregon Trail has a pretty simple gameplay loop - you travel the trail, hoping to avoid bad rolls on things such as weather, sickness and other random factors. There is hunting, resource management, decision making and a nice amount of American history to absorb. The best versions of the game are (naturally) not the oldest - for this review, I played the newest official version of the game, The Oregon Trail Deluxe, released almost 15 years after the original. While the graphics, color and writing have all received significant upgrades, the core gameplay remains largely the same. Which is why, for all its strengths in visuals and atmosphere, the experience remains largely held back by the design choices of the original. When you're given the choice to either ford a river or caulk the wagon, and then proceed to sink, there isn't any good feeling to be had whatsoever. Both options are blind dice rolls - there's no way to say to yourself "I should/could have taken this option" because there's no way to have known what option would give you a bad outcome. Simply put, there simply isn't much strategy to be found in making a lot of these decisions. Primarily this has the effect of making the game feel harsh, random and unfair. But it does have the side-effect of realism; shit was tough in the wild west, and if you wanted to make the trip to Oregon you were in for a rough time. This might be a lame excuse, but real life is harsh, random and unfair, just like The Oregon Trail. Vague choices with harsh outcomes and randomly assigned afflictions (another one died of dysentery!) make the game less fun, but they also make the completion of the journey that much more of a difficult, coveted accomplishment. That's why I feel the difficulty, though undeniably arbitrary, is a double-edged sword. It makes the game less fun, but it makes it that much more realistic, that much more more tense, and that much more worth bragging about if you completed it in computer class.
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warioman 2017-01-12T08:23:50Z
2017-01-12T08:23:50Z
2/5
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I remember this game being on school computers when I was in middle school, which to be fair wasn't as long ago as you'd think, around the early 2000s, but everyone would play this game after we finished whatever it was we were doing. I remember actually beating the game once, it was basically making random choices and trying to survive, kind of like a create your own story type thing. It really isn't anything too special, but for a game that released in 1971 this had to be absolutely groundbreaking. Either way I think the game's reputation is far greater than its actual content. Plus if I remember correctly there was random bullshit that could kill you by making certain choices.
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jweber14 2017-07-27T05:12:57Z
2017-07-27T05:12:57Z
3.0
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Dysentery
journey to oregon. Choices and resource management

Crude visuals, but apart from that it held up decently for what it is
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Threntall 2016-06-15T14:02:00Z
2016-06-15T14:02:00Z
2.0
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Catalog

Captainmidnight The Oregon Trail 2024-06-16T03:23:02Z
2024-06-16T03:23:02Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
bebe12345 The Oregon Trail 2024-06-15T19:44:17Z
2024-06-15T19:44:17Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Kalarel The Oregon Trail 2024-06-07T20:08:07Z
2024-06-07T20:08:07Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
TortillaCat The Oregon Trail 2024-06-04T20:56:15Z
DOS • US
2024-06-04T20:56:15Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
TortillaCat The Oregon Trail Deluxe 2024-06-04T20:56:04Z
DOS • XNA
2024-06-04T20:56:04Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
lumene The Oregon Trail 2024-05-30T01:27:51Z
2024-05-30T01:27:51Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
sonic_star_2 The Oregon Trail 2024-05-21T19:55:50Z
2024-05-21T19:55:50Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ofsynesthesia The Oregon Trail 2024-05-14T04:41:50Z
2024-05-14T04:41:50Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
nobodyburnhole95 The Oregon Trail 2024-05-14T03:11:35Z
2024-05-14T03:11:35Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
JamesSi The Oregon Trail 2024-05-06T22:15:58Z
2024-05-06T22:15:58Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
WeskerStar The Oregon Trail 2024-04-26T15:28:37Z
2024-04-26T15:28:37Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
FirstMate The Oregon Trail 2024-04-19T08:08:04Z
2024-04-19T08:08:04Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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  • SitaraForever 2021-05-13 07:34:35.510123+00
    I can whoop anyone's ass in this game
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  • Snappington1 2021-06-16 04:57:25.642792+00
    There should probably be a genre for "trail-like" games. There's multiple examples of games directly copying the foundation of Oregon Trail (most obvious is Organ Trail).
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  • pissheadjack 2021-08-17 18:11:55.533977+00
    so much fun
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  • Fowlawneeshafow 2022-10-08 09:48:06.094343+00
    roguelike
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  • Fowlawneeshafow 2022-10-08 09:48:53.74678+00
    i had a phobia of video games for part of my childhood because of this game
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  • talkingradioheads 2023-02-01 22:15:29.017122+00
    rougelite
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  • sosa_ 2023-03-16 05:05:48.247586+00
    deserves a MUCH higher rating, especially for Oregon Trail Deluxe
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