Remember when dysentery was fun? Ok, so every post on the Internet is going to force a diarrhetic line like that when talking about this game, I just wanted to get mine out of the way. Now, moving on, do you remember sitting in school when you were a kid and being forced to endure one of the first great attempts at videogame edutainment, The Oregon Trail? If so, then you’re not alone and there are places you can find help; or should you be a sadist or on a drug induced trip to nostalgia land you can always buy the remake.
Last year, at Spike TV’s Video Game Awards, mobile games developer Gameloft won “Best Casual Mobile Game of 2008” for its remake of this unforgettable (or unforgivable) game. It was made in partnership with The Learning Company, so it is still trying to be educational and not just make fun of its own existence, though it looks like more humor has made its way in. Gameloft is once again circling the wagons (another bad pun, what the hell?) with an upgraded version for iPhone and iPod touch.
Now gamers can once again undertake the painful and likely death inducing trek that was the Oregon Trail of 1848. Players pick their professions (Banker, Farmer, Carpenter, etc…) and then choose their fellow travelers by naming them. Random events like bandits, hitchhikers and (of course) dysentery will interrupt the trip, but now decent animations will accompany the painful text. Mini games like panning for gold, traversing rivers and hunting are back too, but with the touch and tilt gameplay the iPhone/iPod touch offers it could even be fun. But what do I know, I’m a sadist.