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Posted by admin on Feb 8, 2011
Oregon Trail Review

Oregon Trail Review

When I hear the name Oregon Trail, I flash back to middle school, sitting in the computer lab, pretending like I was doing work whenever the teacher came in, when in reality, I was cursing Jonathon for getting dysentery yet again. That’s the image that always pops into my head whenever I hear Oregon Trail, and I am sure the name has close to the same effect on many of you. What student in the last 15 years hasn’t wasted at least one class period trying to make it to the fabled Oregon? I know I have, and I am rediscovering it all again.

If you haven’t guessed it already, I am reviewing Oregon Trail on the IPhone today. This IPhone app takes everything we loved about Oregon Trail on the Apple II and throws it onto your IPhone, with new visuals, new soundtracks, new mini games, and new controls.

First things first, the visuals, Oregon Trail has been given a major facelift since its computer days. Now instead of a 6 pixel wagon and barely recognizable landscapes, you have beautifully drawn backgrounds and great looking character sprites. The game has a pretty good soundtrack, every time a sound loop is getting old, it switches to a new one.

Now when you start a game, you have the choice of four difficulties, whether to be a banker, carpenter, or farmer, and three different wagon types. After you have done all of that comes the most important choice of the entire game, what to name your party members. If you are anything like me then you name your family after your friends. You don’t just name them and move on though, after you have named them you have to send a text/IM/Facebook Message to them letting them know they are in your game. Then, like a good friend, you must keep them updated on their character statue throughout your game. Who cares that he is on a date? He needs to know he has Dysentery and he is slowing me down on my way to Fort Bridger!

I don’t think I need to explain in any detail how Oregon Trail works, I think just about everyone in the world knows how it goes. So instead of telling you what’s the same, I’ll tell you what’s different. Not a whole lot. GameLoft has added touch controls to all the mini games as well as adding new mini games. Now instead of simply hunting and floating down a river you can also pan for gold, pick berries, go fishing, and receive telegram messages. Now hunting, panning for gold, picking berries and fishing all work great on the IPhone, all of these games rely on shanking and or tapping the IPhone screen. The one mini game I had problems with was floating down river. The game uses tilt controls to navigate your wagon through rapids and sharp rocks, unfortunately the tilting just doesn’t control well. In the end I was forced to avoid the river mini games and take the long way around many obstacles.

Aside from one bad mini game, Oregon Trail is a fantastic port. It keeps everything that made the original game great while spicing it up with gorgeous visuals and new mini games. Added difficulty settings and multiple character/ wagon combinations mean this is an App you will be whittling away time is a line with for hours and hours.

Author: Travis Wahlstedt.

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