Go forth along the trail
This Windows version of the classic Oregon Trail is just as enjoyable as it ever was and makes for a supremely entertaining slice of old-school fun. The basic concept for the game sees you in control of a group of bold pioneers who are striking out across the entire United States with a view to starting a new life in Oregon. Before you set out on each step of your journey, you have to stock up on useful provisions, including food, clothes and weapons. Once you get underway, you have to make a number of decisions about things like your exact route, while there are also numerous problems which pop up along the way such illness, as well as various encounters where you have to decided how to act. Hunting for food pops up in the form of a minigame, while floating downriver also results in a fun little diversion. The whole thing is packed with information about the period and which makes the game both educational and entertaining. The Oregon Trail really is one of the classics of the edutainment genre and stands alongside Carmen Sandiego
and Headline Harry
as a must play in the field. The game is surprisingly complex in its content, with plenty of decisions to be made and which require careful consideration if you are to emerge successfully from your adventure. It's also a good way to practice maths as you have to worry about your finances, while the inclusion of the background material just adds to the appeal. The visuals are simple enough but quite charming in an old-fashioned way and overall this is a first class bit of edutainment.