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The Trail is a game about building life as a frontier explorer in the New World. The player first creates a character based on a number of models and by choosing a name. That character then walks towards the fictitious Eden Falls following a long, linear trail, accompanied by other travelers, controlled by online players, following the same path. The player can control the walking speed by holding and dragging; from standing still to running. Moving drains stamina, shown through a number of hearts in the top left corner. While walking it is possible to rotate the environment to examine the scenery. By tapping and holding the main character it is possible to talk to other travelers, with actions such as "Hello", "Sorry", "Taunt", "Thanks" and "Well Done". Direct communication is not possible.

Along the way items such as shells, branches and apples can be picked through quick swipes downwards. Objects are stored in a small pocket. When too much is inside, physics can cause items to fall out and they appear in the environment again. Items can be dragged from the bag to rearrange them or to interact with the environment, for instance eating an apple to restore stamina. Every now and then campsites are encountered. By sitting down stamina can be restored to continue walking and the remaining distance to Eden Falls is shown. The character Beatrice is often present in the camp, providing quests and new objectives. A red bird travels along and shows the amount of remaining items to be found. Camps are also the locations where items can be traded for Chits, the in-game basic currency. This is done by putting them on a conveyor belt. This belt is shared with other players for a short moment, so items can also be picked up there to pay for them. The character's statistics and abilities can be improved by crafting a wide range of items. This is done by gathering recipes that show the needed ingredients. The items are then placed on a grid and a lever turns them into an object. Every item can be crafted over and over again and every new one also becomes better every time through a leveling system.

Typical items include clothing such as a bandana, shoes, a larger bag and general clothes. Better shoes allow the character to run faster. Crafted items also provide new possibilities. An axe is for instance used to cut trees and gather logs through a short mini-game. Axes have a limited durability and eventually break. There are also often raccoons hiding that can be pulled out by their tail by swiping up. The main quests are divided into four categories: Explorer, Hunter, Lumberjack and Trader. It is always about gathering and crafting items, but the player chooses where to specialize. Hunters gather scraps and hides and use a slingshot to hunt animals, while explorers focus on walking faster, building more stamina and crafting food.

The game is free-to-play and at regular intervals there are barriers, such as a river that needs to be crossed, so the player has to pay for transport with the Chits earned through trading. When there are insufficient funds, Favours can be used as a premium currency to speed things up. Character can collapse when they run out of stamina, e.g. by running too long or not eating, and that leaves other players with the opportunity to steal items from the bag. Favours can then be used to be revived right away. They can also be used to complete a crafting recipe when ingredients are missing. Some items can be acquired by watching ads and the spoils of trading can be doubled by watching a short video ad.

Once the character reaches Eden Falls the gameplay changes significantly. A vacant plot can then be claimed to build a house and the main goals become building and upgrading the house, taking on a profession, interacting with the community to improve the town, finding a partner, raising a family and building a business empire. Towns group a number of players and are separate instances for a limited amount of characters.


The Trail Android If another traveler collapses you have the opportunity to steal items.
The Trail Android This girl with the red umbrella helps you with the early parts.
The Trail Android Character statistics
The Trail Android Favours are the premium currency

Promo Images

The Trail Screenshot
The Trail Screenshot
The Trail Screenshot
The Trail Screenshot

Alternate Titles

  • "The Trail: Frontier Challenge" -- Steam title
  • "The Trail: A Frontier Journey" -- tag-lined title
  • "ザ・トレイル:フロンティアチャレンジ" -- Japanese spelling

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Critic Reviews

Switch Player Nintendo Switch Mar 26, 2018 3 out of 5 60
Nintendo Life Nintendo Switch Mar 08, 2018 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 40


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Contributed to by Kam1Kaz3NL77 (159529) and Sciere (565685)