Oregon Trail Video Game Headed Back to Computers

Credit: The Oregon Trail

The Oregon Trail may be heavily tied to American colonization, but when my generation was growing up and had computers class, one of the few releases from work in such a class came in the form of simplified computer games such as The Oregon Trail. The original Oregon Trail was the trail that led pioneers across the western side of the country to the other, but along that trail came the dangers of the Wild West, such as disease, wild animals, lack of food or water, and other issues that plagued the adventure. Below, we’ve detailed The Oregon Trail video game, the board game, the various versions of both, other information on the series of educational computer games, and more.

Oregon Card Game

Credit: The Oregon Trail/Pressman Toys

The Oregon Trail Board Game

While, of course, the board games and video games don’t outdate the legitimate Oregon Trail that cuts through the country and helped establish the country as great as it has, the series of games had brought educational fun to households and classrooms since 1971 when the first video game was released, as a text adventure. The Oregon Trail board game was released ten years after the text adventure video game. Still, at the time, the board game only had high hopes for so long, as in 1985, another The Oregon Trail video game was released. While the game may have been somewhat of an improvement from the board game, the board game of The Oregon Trail was never really highly noted, as even review sites from the 80s criticized the game for lack of reality or proof of realistic elements. The Oregon Trail board game never really had a chance, even compared to the purely text-based computer game released as the first iteration. However, back in the era of 80s computers, it wasn’t very often to have one in the home, so the board game was a much easier to access and cheaper option to enjoy than The Oregon Trail video game.

classic Oregon Trail

Credit: The Oregon Trail/Gameloft

The Oregon Trail Video Game

As stated above, numerous The Oregon Trail have been noted, such as the two releases between 1971 and 1985. Still, The Oregon Trail series has twenty-four titles attached to it, from 1971 to last year, 2021. From its first release in 1971 until 1993, The Oregon Trail was precisely the same after the first release of the text-based adventure. After the 1993 release of The Oregon Trail video game, The Oregon Trail II was released, which was the first big step the series had taken outside of the change from a text-based adventure to a more appealing, animated computer video game. In 1995 with the release of The Oregon Trail II, the game also added additional roles for women and minorities that weren’t adequately reflected in the original releases of The Oregon Trail before it. In 1997, The Oregon Trail continued to follow the trend of sequels after The Oregon Trail II, with the third, fourth, and fifth editions of the game released until 2001. After 2001, The Oregon Trail wasn’t rereleased as a game until 2009, a much different technology era than the most recent 2001 The Oregon Trail video game was released, as it was the first version of The Oregon Trail as a mobile title. As a mobile title, The Oregon Trail was released by Gameloft, and two additional original The Oregon Trail sequels followed for mobile devices. After Gameloft released its four mobile titles, including The Oregon Trail HD, five more games related to The Oregon Trail video game were released, including another board game and a final Gameloft The Oregon Trail exclusively for Apple Arcade on Apple devices like iOS.

Gameloft mobile

Credit: The Oregon Trail/Gameloft

The Oregon Trail Additional Media

While The Oregon Trail has been most famous as a video game series for the computer from the 1970s to the early 2000s, the revolution of turning everything possible into an app also brought the game into a new era of technology with versions for nearly all mobile devices, including Blackberry and Windows mobile operating systems, all the way to today with Apple Arcade. The Oregon Trail has also been recreated into a theater production, a television series of the same name, and a console video game headed for the Nintendo Switch and PC. Most recently, the third season of Miracle Workers depicted life on The Oregon Trail, and an upcoming musical film adaptation. While we mentioned the various and expensive The Oregon Trail video game series, as well as the first board game and the actual Oregon Trail, we’ve yet to discuss the second board game or other adaptations beyond video games that the franchise has taken over. The second board game adaptation of The Oregon Trail was classified as a card game and not a board game, and while the two fall under the same category realistically, the gameplay was still entirely different from one another. Similar to the limitations of the newest mobile version of The Oregon Trail as an Apple Arcade exclusive, The Oregon Trail card game released in 2016 can only be found exclusively at Target.

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