The famous Oregon Trail game was created by Bill Heinemann, Don Rawitsch, and Paul Dillenberger in 1971. They created this game to teach kids about the 19th-century pioneers.
The game quickly got famous because of its simplicity, fun, educational value, and simulation elements. Children could easily understand the game’s interface.
If you’ve never played the game before or are dreading going down memory lane, here are some reasons why you should play the Oregon Trail to change your mind.
8 Reasons to Play Oregon Trail
Oregon Trail is a one-of-a-kind game that will always surprise you with its brilliant mechanics. Here are some interesting mechanics that make the game stand out:
One thing that keeps the players interested is death. People at the party might suddenly fall ill and die. Usually, the cause of death included snakebite, typhoid, dysentery, cholera, measles, and exhaustion. But they also died by drowning or due to a simple broken leg.
Besides people of a party, oxen also die due to illness on the trail. After someone’s death, players might organize a small funeral, where they could write an epitaph. After that, they have to continue the trial.
Another reason to play Oregon Trail is that it offers an excellent hunting experience for a basic-looking RPG. Hunting animals is the main theme, and for this, players would require pixelated guns that they can purchase at the beginning or during the game.
Initially, the game didn’t have advanced graphics. So, to kill an animal, players would have to type “POW,” “WHAM,” or “BANG.” Whether you make a successful hunt or not depends on how quickly you can type the letters. And if there was a spelling error, you might miss the target.
But after a few updates, the game’s graphics got better. The updated version included a little man who could shoot in eight different directions at the fast-moving animals. And the most recent version made it possible for players to hunt using crosshairs, which could be controlled using a mouse.
While killing the animals, players have to analyze everything because they can only carry 100 lbs in their wagon. It was done to give a realistic feel to the computer game.
#3 Beating High Scores
The Oregon game even got popularity for its scoring. In the end, players were given points based on the remaining possessions, including cash and other items, and also the party leader profile the player picks in the beginning of the game.
#4 Random Obstacles
The Oregon Trail game was not only known for being educational but also for being fun. It was well-designed, which made it engaging.
This game keeps players on their toes by randomly introducing obstacles that make the gameplay fresh and challenging.
You should play the Oregon Trail game because it has a rich history. In fact, the real Oregon Trail was established for fur trading and mining.
Fur trading led to the establishment of the Oregon Trail during the 1940s. At this time, fur trading became the primary source of income for the people of Canada, the U.S., and the Pacific Western area.
Mining made the Oregon Trail famous because travelers moved south of Oregon during the California Gold Rush to make money. While moving, they followed the route once used in the Oregon Trail between 1848 and 1855.
One of the main reasons the game has survived is because people have several nostalgic memories of it. People have converted those memories into memes, making this game even more popular.
It’s not wrong to say that the game was ahead of its time since it was conceptually miles ahead of what any other educational game had to offer. Also, it has great replayability that makes it a lot more fun and interesting.
#7 Multiple Versions
The Oregon Trail is among the few games that have got multiple revisions. Firstly, this game was rebuilt in 1974 by MECC. Since the development team of this company did not have original developers, it took around 10 months. At the end of July 1985, they finally released this game for the Apple II computer.
Then again, from 1991 to 1993, MECC continuously developed this game to enhance the players’ experience. In 1991, this game was made available on Macintosh, and in 1992, it was released on DOS with a new title, ‘The Oregon Trail Deluxe.’ And lastly, in 1993, the game was made available for windows.
Should You Play Oregon Trail?
Oregon Trail is one of a kind game that you should play at least once in your life. Also, in 2016, this game was placed 9th on the list of “The 50 Best Video Games of All Time”. It was even featured in the book “1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die.”
You can play Oregon Trail for free on your browser at https://classicreload.com/oregon-trail.html.