If this title doesn’t look familiar then you don’t remember the suffering of early gaming at its earliest attempts to be educational. This might date me a little but I grew up with this game and remembering that so many of my ‘children’ died of some mysterious disease known as dysentery. So let’s run down memory lane and after this I will conduct an experiment and see how this goes! Let’s get started!!
Storyline/Character Development: You are making your way coast to coast all the way to Oregon City. Same as usual save they add different variations of the story even if it is the same path each time (there is only one place you can choose which way to go but that’s minimal…). Anyways the difference is usually what happens to you along the way getting robbed, wagon fires, depending on the character you stole money from some guy and your family gets hurt which can land itself in your explorer’s diary. After playing through some storylines they comment on the state of the wagon, oxen, speed, family members, etc… You are also allowed a family heirloom that helps you out through the story I prefer feedbags at this time because the Oxen getting hurt happens too often and their healing process is very lengthy while they are more likely to die than even your youngest family members. Meanwhile you’re talking about the different things like teaching your child Euchre or sonny boy wanting to keep a new baby dear as a pet.
Graphics: The graphics have come a long way from the previous versions of the series and have even incorporated a new way to interact with your adventure by allowing you to actually drive your wagon. Which is not exactly a good thing if you drive in games like me avoiding trees, big piles of rocks, walls floating logs, etc… can be a bit of a challenge. I tend to try to rush the hell out of everything and make sure I have enough spare parts. While catching the easily spotted buffs (crates are also good but they are a little harder to tell). This game is obviously not up to the standards of today’s games however keep in mind this was built to be educational and was made in 2011.
Battle System: There is not so much of a battle system while you are driving you just see the messages of what has occurred while you’re on your journey (just the message, you don’t even see the ‘wolves’ that attack your cart or the thieves. You do still get to hunt animals for food shooting bunnies and birds to your hearts content.
Learning Curve: There are hard parts and easy parts to this game such as driving the cart for me essentially was a wreck and every time I look into my explorer’s diary he says that he hopes never to ride a cart again after the trip. Anyways it is a bit of a pain in the backside to figure out the controls. I’m pretty sure I crashed a couple times trying to stop without reading the booklet. Fishing is also a pain but fret not! Below are the controls for the functions as mentioned in the booklet!
Playtime/Replayability: All in all with the stories available, heirloom items to unlock, characters to utilize, chapters, and all that it’s a pretty interesting. However in regards to its attempts at being educational every time you go through the game the history fun facts are the same each and every run through. So that part could use some improvement.
Cart Driving-B- Whip Oxen- Speed up
A- tap to slow down hold to stop
Circle Pad- Steer
Fishing-Touch Screen- Aim Bobber
L&R- Cast line
Circle Pad- Reel in
Hunting-Touch Screen- Aim
Circle Pad- Look left and right
All in all it’s an enjoyable game for those who want to relive their childhood or simply want to pick it up and confuse the newer generation of gamers. Granted it won’t work as well as handing them a cassette player or a virtual boy but it’ll do a decent job of leaving laugh worthy looks on their faces. Now my dears happy gaming and this hatter is out!