Probably the least known entry in MECC's famous Oregon Trail series that is now up to the fourth edition, Oregon Trail Deluxe is a solid VGA remake of the 1988 original Oregon Trail release that set new standards in edutainment. Notable for being the last floppy-based release of this series, Oregon Trail Deluxe is great to look at and a lot of fun to play. As in the original game, Oregon Trail Deluxe puts you in the year 1848 as the Gold Rush was in full swing. Your goal: emigrate from the US? East Coast to Oregon in the West before winter sets in. After deciding which occupation your alter ego has, you will plan for a long journey by buying food, spare wagon wheels, bullets, mules, and other necessities. There are many factors to take into account while you are on the road. Pushing your animals too hard can cause them to collapse from exhaustion. From time to time, the game will offer you a choice between two or more routes to take, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Tough decisions like these are half the fun of Oregon Trail, and what makes the game varied and interesting. To liven up your journey, you will pass several notable monuments along the way, each with a short but concise description and/or history. As in the first game, there several arcade-style mini-games, including hunting and fishing. And there are more opportunities to talk to and trade with other pioneers this time around. The on-line help is always available to give you hints throughout the game, and Oregon Trail Deluxe comes complete with comprehensive historical reference about objects, people, and places. Overall, this last floppy version of the game is a very nice update to the original edutainment classic, and arguably the best version before MECC went down the ?multimedia extravaganza? route, releasing Oregon Trail II
and subsequent entries on CD-ROM that focus more on form than content. Two thumbs up, way up!