Oregon Trail is one of the oldest computer games and despite the age and look of the game, you can play Oregon Trail online.
Oregon Trail is an educational computer game that teaches players about pioneer life in the 1800's. The game was created on a mainframe computer by programmers Paul Dillenberger, Adam Huminsky and Don Rawitsch in 1971. Three years later, the company MECC produced and published the game for sale to schools and universities. The floppy disk was used to distribute the game. While many people played Oregon Trail on large, mainframe computers, the game was soon ported to IBM-compatible, Commodore and Apple computers, which reached a larger elementary school audience. Now you can find the game for the BlackBerry, iPhone, Windows operating system and even for the DSi.
You play the leader of a wagon train working it way from Missouri to Willamette Valley in Oregon. One of the biggest features of the game is hunting. Since pioneer life hinged on how much food you had to eat, hunting is vital in the game. You are able to hunt bison, rabbit, squirrel, deer, elk and bears. The number of bullets your party has determines how much you can shoot. Also, you can only take so much back to the party. The first games let you only take about 100 pounds of food back, but this number was changed to 200 pounds in more recent versions of the game.
Death is also a big factor in the game. You goal is to reach Oregon without losing a party member, but with the diseases that can be caught, you might sometimes wonder how anyone could make it. Members can get ill and possibly die from snakebites, measles, typhoid, exhaustion and other problems associated with pioneer life. When someone dies, a funeral is given and you can write a little saying on the dead party member's tombstone.
There is a small scoring aspect to the game, and your final score is determined by:
- The number of family and party members left and their health level
- What profession you chose (like a carpenter or farmer, for example)
- What possessions you arrived in Oregon with
- Your final tally for cash
Play Oregon Trail Online
So just where can you play Oregon Trail online? Quite a few places, actually. Many of the websites run Oregon Trail through a Flash-based emulator, which needs to be downloaded to your computer. It is recommended that you use Internet Explorer or Firefox, which have great compatibility with the emulator used. Some sites just use a straight Flash remake of the game, which is still good quality and just as good as the original.
Virtual Apple offers a good re-creation of Oregon Trail with options to speed up or slow down the game depending on your computer. This is probably the best version you will find online to play in your web browser without downloading an Apple or Commodore emulator and separate disk image file. The emulator uses Disk Images, which you do have to load (by just clicking a button) as if you were using actual floppy disks.
The other website you can visit is Comtech Laboratories. It's a basic website that has updated the game a little with 3D images. The landscapes and animals appear in a more virtual-looking landscape, but the general idea of the game is still there…it just looks more appealing. The programmers for the newer style game added a trade function to trade food for more bullets in case you feel you don't have enough to make it to your checkpoints.
Those two websites are your best options for playing Oregon Trail online and better yet, both are free. A quick search will direct you to one of those two sites anyway, so why not just bookmark the main web pages that allow you to play Oregon Trail online? You'll get to the game faster and hopefully make it to Oregon!