Monday, November 21, 2016

Board Game Review: The Oregon Trail Card Game

Have you died of dysentery yet? Well, you will, with the Oregon Trail Card Game. This is a Target Exclusive game published by Pressman Toy Corporation.

Oregon Trail is a light card-based game based on the classic 1980's era computer game that was endemic in elementary schools everywhere. There were plenty of versions, but they all had the same goal--get a group of pioneers from Missouri or Oregon by making sure their supplies were in good shape, they were able to keep everyone fed and clothed, and made hard decisions as to interacting with nature. Famously, the game could be unforgiving, as players could die without warning (almost always from dysentery).

The card game takes all this, makes sure you are aware of the nostalgia factor, and cobbles together a nice, light, quick game about it.

The game's presentation is pretty nice. It's all pixelated, so you definitely get the 80's PC game feel. You even get to write down everyone's name on a leaderboard (not unlike the original) and, when they die, their names are erased and placed on gravestones on the back of the board. It's completely unnecessary and awfully fun.

Players take turns building the trail by playing a Trail card. The trail must be able to match up with previously laid cards; if unable to do so, they must draw a new Trail card instead. Some trails cards have no effect; some require you to ford a river (which may cause you to lose a Supply card); and some will cause a Calamity to happen.

Calamities represent different things that can happen on the trail--losing a wheel, an ox dying, diseased water source, that sort of thing. You can alleviate these by playing Supply cards. Clothes, for example, can prevent players from freezing in the Extreme Cold. Some Calamities can't be countered and will result in a player's death.

You may also come across Forts or Towns, which act as "wild" cards and let players draw new Supply cards.

The goal is to reach Oregon by playing fifty Trail cards.

What I Like About The Game:
  • It's short and fast-paced. If you die early, you won't have to wait around for very long.
  • The rules are pretty easy to learn. It can be taught fairly quickly.
  • While there's not a ton of decision-making to be made, there's enough to keep people engaged, and it encourages the team to work together to make sure the resources are managed appropriately.
  • The nostalgia factor is pretty high, and done very well. If you've never played the game before as a kid, this probably won't mean much, but for those of us who did it's pretty nice.
What I didn't Like About The Game:
  • There are a lot of Calamities where you simply can't do anything about it. The legendary Dysentery and Snake Bite both simply cause a player to die. That's it. It's a nice nod to the game, but it's not very fun if you're the target.
  • It seems like a lot of lost opportunity. I realize this is a mass-market game that's supposed to stay simple, but I would have preferred a little more meat to it. For example, instead of having the Snake Bite card cause instant death, why not have a player be able to choose--they can ignore the Calamity, or they can attempt to get Food; they roll a die, and they may get more Supply cards or they may get bit. It presents a thematic choice for the player.
It's a quick, cheap game that's a pretty good crowd-pleaser; however, I'd classify it more as a party game than a standard strategic card game. It's not very deep, so don't go into the game expecting it to be, but for the right price and the right crows it's a decent enough game. 


  1. I am extremely delighted in for this web journal. Its a useful subject. It help me all that much to take care of a few issues. Its chance are so awesome and working style so rapid. wm casino

  2. You can find games online to entertain anyone in many different age groups. 바둑이사이트

  3. You can find programs that allow you to try poker games without using real money-this gives you the chance to develop your skills before you bet away your life savings. 메이저사이트

  4. It was thinking about whether I could utilize this review on my other site, I will connect it back to your site though.Great Thanks. 메이저놀이터

  5. charming post, remain mindful of this intriguing work. It genuinely respects understand that this subject is being verified moreover on this site so cheers for putting aside time to discuss this! business plan for immigration

  6. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this site. I’m hoping to view the same high-grade content by you later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own, personal website now. keonhacai

  7. Very captivating on the web diary. A ton of web diaries I see these days don't for the most part give whatever I'm enthused about, anyway I'm without a doubt propelled by this one. As of late felt that I would post and tell you. pkv games

  8. Hello, I read the post well. 안전놀이터 It's a really interesting topic and it has helped me a lot. In fact, I also run a website with similar content to your posting. Please visit once

  9. Great job for publishing such a nice article, and described the information very effectively. Thanks to blog author for sharing an informative post. thethaobet

  10. Looking at this article, I miss the time when I didn't wear a mask. 먹튀검증업체 Hopefully this corona will end soon. My blog is a blog that mainly posts pictures of daily life before Corona and landscapes at that time. If you want to remember that time again, please visit us.