Written by  :  OceansDaughter (109)
Written on  :  Mar 19, 2002
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars

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A huge improvement over the original

The Good

This version is a heck of a lot more realistic. There are infinitely more items here that you could buy, although not all of them are really needed or practical. Certain categories, like clothing and food, are now separated into types--you can still buy sets of clothes, but you can also buy shoes, socks, etc. separately. Food is no longer lumped into one category--you now have to make sure you have enough meat and vegetables while you travel the trail. The game will tell you when you've run out. Some categories are new--utensils, tools, and medicines, to name a few. And you're really going to need those medicines, along with the information in your guidebook--when someone gets ill, you'll need to know what to do for them so they get better. It is fairly easy to let someone die in this game, especially the young and old--but if someone doesn't get enough rest, then they will get worse or die. People that you meet will have many useful things to tell you about traveling on the trail, with one exception--no one ever told me I needed water kegs, and they are essential so that your people do not die of thirst. Hunting is much more realistic in most cases--when you fire your gun, the animals run, but before that they just walk across the screen, and even stop to graze once in a while. Trading is tougher in this game, but if you buy what you need in the beginning it will not be all that necessary to do. Hunting is not really necessary unless you start out as a teacher, because you will certainly run out of something along the way, and it's better to run out of meat than vegetables. You can also fish in the game, just rest by a river or lake. There are also three modes in this game, green horn, adventurer, and trail guide. I've played the first two. Once you are able to get across successfully as a green horn, adventurer is relatively easy, except you have to make some decisions. I haven't figured out trail guide yet. You can win as any profession and have your person in the hall of fame list. There are also far more professions, and there are also skill points that can be used to give your character skills to help them to their destinations. Some professions come with skills, and those aren't included in your skill points. There is a penalty for not making it to your destination within a certain period of time, so hunting actually becomes a big time waster here if it isn't necessary. There are many more events as well--you can run into strangers, have an animal step into a hole, thunderstorms, etc. The arcade sequences are much more difficult in this game. There are many different years to start from, and depending on the year, several startup and stopoff points--they get more specific the later year you choose. The graphics in this game are really well done, and they use people in costumes for the characters. Hills are included as well as river crossings.

The Bad

Very little. Some animals don't run when you fire your gun, and I find that puzzling. Some of the voice acting made me cringe. Some of the text for the characters in the game was lifted straight out of the first Oregon Trail game. There really are some very useless items for sale, and you don't have to buy pots, pans or eating utensils to cook and eat your food--I guess you just eat with your fingers.

The Bottom Line

Very realistic simulation of life on the trail. There is very little wrong with this game, there are a few things that strike me as being ridiculous, but this is still a very good and fun game to play.