23 July 2018
On the road again
As if the Oregon Trail wasn’t already harsh enough, a new board game has you facing off against your fellow 19th-century pioneers in a race to survive the infamously deadly journey across the US.
The Oregon Trail: Journey to Willamette Valley is the latest crack at adapting the iconic ‘70s edutainment computer game, which simulates the hardships faced by wagon trains travelling along the 2,000-plus-mile journey from Missouri to the titular destination. This time around, it’s Sagrada co-creator Daryl Andrews taking a swing with his design.
As in the original game, simply surviving isn’t enough – you’ll also need to retain as much money as you can in order to start a new life out west. That is, if the disease, starvation, drowning, rattlesnakes and numerous other ways to perish don’t sap your savings or life first.
Journey to Willamette Valley involves the discovery of the terrain and locations along the trail via the revealing of tiles, while players try to manage the limited capacity of their wagon during hard winters and supply shortages.
Each player starts with a wagon, family, food and a pistol and is out for themselves, needing to hunt food during their trip to avoid their family starving.
From there, they can move, buy or sell supplies, offer a lift to hitchhikers and use any medicine they may have during their turn, hoping to keep ahead of their rival travellers and arrive alive in Willamette Valley with the most money.
The Oregon Trail: Journey to Willamette Valley is the latest in the line of games exclusive to supermarket Target over in the US – including two previous card games based on the PC classic. It’ll be out there next month, with a wider release yet to be confirmed.