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| July 29, 2010
Review: Oregon Trail - Apple Gaming Manifest Destiny
Let's assume you've never played a previous incarnation of the game. The Oregon Trail, historically, was one of the paths people took westward during the mid-1800s to settle Utah, Oregon and California during the US's spirit of Manifest Destiny. The game has you leaving Independence, Missouri in 1848 with your family of five - you, your wife, and your 3 children of customizable gender and names. You also choose your profession, the type of wagon you wish to buy, and what month you want to start the trail. Once you are on your way, your main choices involve how fast you travel, rest stops, how you deal with emergencies, which cutoffs and alternative routes you take and whether or not you play mini-games. Apart from the game play within the mini-games, The Oregon Trail does sport a lot of finger flicking, button mashing or other gaming elements. It is mostly just those choices listed above that comprise the game. Of course, all along the way you are getting fed tidbits and facts of the trail and supposedly learning about American history. How much do you actually learn? I have no idea...no one gave me a pop quiz afterwards. Was the ride fun? Absolutely! Does the nostalgia factor work? Very much so. Play the original Apple II version. Tell me how close the iPhone version is. Graphics, sound, etc. absolutely cannot compete. But the gameplay -the need to keep going and finish the trail, to keep your party alive, to keep your wagon in good repair, etc. - in that there really isn't much difference, in my opinion. The Bad Is being LONG bad? No, of course not. But The Oregon Trail is kinda like a Mini-RPG in that you WILL put a lot of time into it to get from Missouri to Oregon. My first time through took about 20 hours. This brings up problem number two: there is only one save slot. If you are only one playing on your device, this is not that big a deal. But if a loved one, a child, or a mischievous friend starts a new game, theirs will overwrite yours. (Yes, they do get prompted to make sure they want to do this....but wouldn't an extra save slot or three have been nice?)