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The Oregon Trail Review

by: MikeWehner ; edited by: Simon Hill ; updated: 5/25/2012 • Leave a comment

The Oregon Trail is certainly a classic, but is this new iPhone version worth the update? Is it just the same old thing with a shinier visual style? Read our Oregon Trail review to find out!

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    A New Oregon Trail?

    screen004 Just the name Oregon Trail conjures up memories for a good portion of gamers today. You see, for many who were children of the 80's or early 90's, Oregon Trail was the closest to playing a video game you ever got while on school time. Back then, the game was usually presented in just two colors; black and green. It was one of the only games that would run on the old computers that many schools had stacked up in their libraries or computer rooms.

    Later on, more detailed and colorful versions of the game were released to keep up with the computer tech bar that was rising all the time. Though updated, those revisions didn't change the game much, and over the years it has become somewhat of a cultural icon. You can buy shirts with some of the original artwork on it, and other such treasures inspired by the original Oregon Trail.

    The purpose of Oregon Trail was to travel... you guessed it, the Oregon Trail. I'll try to keep this from sounding like a history lesson, but the Oregon Trail was the main route that early settlers used to get from the midwest along the Missouri River to what is present-day Oregon. The trip was treacherous and careful planning had to be done as the trips would normally last six months.

    This doesn't sound like a very appealing premise for a game, but it was still pretty enjoyable. You would have to plot out your stock of supplies, make repairs and even hunt along the way. Members of your traveling party would die of realistic diseases or get injured along the route. Not surprisingly, the modern Oregon Trail for iPhone carries on many of these traditions that seasoned gamers remember from way "back in the day".

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    What's new and Verdict

    screen003 So now that you've remembered what it was like to sit down and enjoy a game of Oregon Trail, what would warrant a new purchase of the game on a mobile device? A lot. There is a ton of new stuff crammed into this tiny remake that we'd barely have space to cover it all. Favorite activities from the series return, like hunting and river crossing, but new activities like actively panning for gold using the iPhone's accelerometer, and even picking ripe berries from bushes along the path will keep the experience feeling fresh and new. Bandits will appear and try to take your goods, and overall the entire experience feels much more active.

    The graphics have also received a complete overhaul. Gone are the greens and blacks and in their place are fantastically animated, cartoonish sprites of all the travelers and livestock. The minigames are excellent and there always seems to be a new one right around the corner.

    Coming in at a healthy $2.99 (three times the price of games like Doodle Jump and Angry Birds) The Oregon Trail for iPhone is still definitely worth a purchase. The game just has so much to offer that whether you are a seasoned Oregon Trail guide, or even a newbie who never tried the original, you will be spending some serious time with the trail after picking this one up.