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Subject: The Oregon Trail Card Game is Brilliant! And here's Why rss

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Spencer Williams
United States
Wichita Falls
Texas
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Back in the day during our yonder years of grade school, the highlight of the day was rushing through school work to get to play a little computer game called The Oregon Trail.

There was nothing easy about this game except in how you played it. Create a party to cram into a wagon, make some tough decisions, and then, well, die… usually of dysentery. You know what I never said though? Hey! This would make an excellent card game.

Well apparently someone did and The Oregon Trail can now be played out on your tabletop.

The Oregon Trial Card Game is for 2-6 players, plays in a very unpredictable amount of time and is published by Pressman Toy Corporation. No further credit is given to a designer or artist so that set off some red flags at first.

The website for Pressman Toys claims the game is a “great way to relive your fond memories of one of the world’s most beloved computer games, and to kill off your family and friends at the same time.” Sounds like a blast!

The game is a Target exclusive and is only about $12 dollars, which is only about 40 cents in 1850 dollars. Let’s take a look at what you’re getting for your money.

COMPONENTS
The first item you will probably utilize is the laminated Wagon Party board. You use it along with a dry erase marker to write in the names of the members of your Wagon Party.

On the back are six little tombstones to write your name and epitaph if you die. You’ll just need to write small though since the space is tight.

We would have liked to have seen some sort of stand come with the game. We used a component from Forbidden Desert to stand up the board so all the players could easily see the board.

Also, the board has already started to peel slightly around the edges.
There are three decks of cards:

Trail Cards-what you use to build the Oregon Trail. You play these down in a line and some have effects while others are “safe” cards.

Calamity Cards
-What some Trail Cards direct you to draw. These range from requiring clean water, medicine, or clothes to snakebite or dysentery, both of which cause you to die immediately.

Supply Cards-What you use to combat Calamity Cards. Some of these include spare parts, medicine, bullets, and clean water.

Beginning and end cards- Independence Rock, Wyoming to Willamette Valley, Oregon. These identify the beginning and end of the trail.
The artwork is what you would expect from someone trying to replicate an 8-but computer game.

Finally, the game comes with a 6-sided die with the pixelated artwork to resolve some effects of the Trail Cards, like crossing the river.

CRITICISMS

Gameplay is very simple. On your turn, you play either a Trail Card or a Supply Card on to a Calamity.

However, winning the game is NOT simple. It is very easy to die. If you draw a Snake Bite or Dysentery Calamity Card, there is NOTHING you can do to stop it. You are DEAD and out of the game.

In order to win, you have to play through 50 trail cards! The most we’ve ever made it to is 30.

In fact, the rules state that most likely you will die and not reach the end of The Oregon Trail.

When it comes to player count, it doesn’t really matter how many people you play with. The likelihood of the party dying soon on in the game is very high. So in many cases you are left with two players anyway. The only benefit of having more players is to have multiple people contribute to Calamity Cards. The game is not any better with 6 than it is with 2.

There is no way to strategize with this game. You can’t plan for those “sudden death cards” and the rules don’t give you enough opportunities to collect supplies to help with calamity cards.

Does this sound familiar? If so, you’re probably remembering how the computer game worked. And this card game replicates the computer game EXACLTY!

There is no strategy in the computer game, there is no planning, and there is no way of knowing if you really have a chance of winning or not. It’s pretty much pure luck.

Everyone who's giving this game grief is missing the point. The game is brilliant in it's exact portrayal of the computer game.

FINAL THOUGHTS
So if you adored The Oregon Trail as a computer game, you’re probably going to have fun with the card game. And for the price, you really can’t go wrong with it.

Just don’t expect much. Nobody really expected to play the computer game and win - same goes for the card game. If you’re the kind of gamer that must win, stay away from this game.

We'll definitely hold onto it and break it out as a filler game or to have a good laugh/cry as we all die from one calamity or another.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Instagram @marriedwithbg and check out our website, www.marriedwithbg.com.
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Peter Strait
United States
Sacramento
California
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They really need to follow this with a Super Amazing Wagon Adventure expansion.
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Chris Talmadge
United States
Clinton
CT
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REFEREE MADNESS
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It EXACTLY replicates how much The Oregon Trail computer game sucked.
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J R
United States
Ohio
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spencerdeanwill wrote:
There is no way to strategize with this game.


Well, that's all I needed to hear. I'll pass on this one.
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Michael Kruckvich
United States
Connellsville
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20hz20khz wrote:
spencerdeanwill wrote:
There is no way to strategize with this game.


Well, that's all I needed to hear. I'll pass on this one.


Technically, the manual says that you may strategize by allowing someone to die rather than waste resources saving them.

How well that works in practice, I've no idea. It may be best to play with only 2-3, and give each player multiple "characters." Or maybe even as a solitaire game?
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