Oregan Trail Board Game


The Oregon Trail board game is a classic that has been popular for decades. It was first released in 1971 and was created by Don Rawitsch, Bill Heinemann and Paul Dillenberger of the Minnesota Educational Computing Consortium (MECC). In the game, players take on the role of pioneers travelling along the real-life Oregon Trail from Missouri to Oregon’s Willamette Valley during the mid-1800s.

The Oregan Trail stands out as one of the earlier simulations of exploration and pioneering as a board game. It’s also one of the few computer games to be adapted into a board game format. Players enjoy the experience because it gives them a chance to step back in time and plan their own venture across America while testing their skills (and luck). From deciding which supplies to take with them, contending with rafting river crossings in perpetual danger of drowning, hunting animals for food, being stricken by malaria or betraying Native American tribes they encounter ” playing Oregan Trail brings its own unique sense of challenge and adventure to game players.

Description of Game Play

The classic game play of the Oregon Trail consists of players starting out at Independence, Missouri, in the mid-1800s with a covered wagon and limited supplies. The goal is to make it to Portland, Oregon within five months (or 150 days). Along the way, players will make decisions about their route choices and resource management which can lead to success or failure. Players may choose between the easier but slower “river” route or the more varied but dangerous “mountain pass” route. Food must be purchased periodically from forts and traded as necessary through trading posts. Huntable wildlife also provides food for your journey. If you don’t watch your money and resources carefully, or if you contract any diseases like cholera, dysentery, and typhoid due to poor decision making then you could lose family members or even run out of money completely.

Although the game has changed over time, the basic game play remains much the same: Choose your wagon leader, pick team members and buy supplies. Starting out with a certain amount of money and goods such as ammunition, food rations, spare clothing and oxen teams (which vary depending on levels), players must manage multiple resources throughout their journey: health of party members; oxen speed; food supply; river crossings including ferries; illness recovery; possible attacks by wild animals like wolves, bears and rattlesnakes; accidental damage such as broken wagons parts or lost supplies caused by poor weather conditions”or human error. Event cards may present challenges in obtaining resources or help ease some aspects of travel during particular times periods which may affect your party’s overall progress via a number of different strategies and decisions which can prove helpful up ahead in reaching your destination goal within the set 150 day limit/limit .

Themes and Challenges Faced

The Oregon Trail board game is full of adventure and new experiences as players make their way along the Oregon Trail. Throughout the game, there are various challenges that must be met such as river crossings, resource management, disease outbreaks and animal attacks. As players navigate the dangerous terrain of the trail, careful decisions must be made about what supplies to carry and when to rest or forage for food. Making a wrong decision can have dire consequences – like running out of food before reaching the destination or falling ill from dysentery! But persevere and eventually you’ll reach your goal of settling in Oregon! Resource management is key to success as players must decide what items to bring and when it’s best to save resources instead of spending them on frivolous things. With limited space in the wagon, players must constantly weigh what risks they’re willing to take in order to stay alive during dynamic moments like crossing rivers full of hungry crocodiles! All these obstacles make the Oregon Trail an exciting and unique gaming experience.

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Team Building

When it comes to playing the Oregan Trail board game, it is recommended that players work together functionally as a team. This means assigning roles and responsibilities and working out strategies together to cross the lands successfully. Each person should assign themselves a role such as navigator, accountant, or even provider; it’s important that each role is assigned fairly so everyone has an equal opportunity to contribute. By discussing these strategies with one another before setting out on the trail, each player can be cognizant of their own individual responsibility which will help reduce disagreements further down the line. Everyone should agree on certain limits and decisions that are made along the journey – when certain supplies are rationed, when to hunt for food, when to rest, etc. In order for the team to reach Oregon Country in one piece and intact, trust and respect must also be granted within the group.

Special Editions

The Oregon Trail Board Game was first released in 1971, and has since become a classic. There are numerous versions of the game that have been created over the years.

Perhaps the most popular special edition is the Handheld Electronic Oregon Trail game from 1989. This version featured an LCD screen which used a cursor-based interface to replicate hunting for food. The challenges faced by this game followed those faced on the actual Oregon Trail journey and included problems like raging rivers, illnesses such as cholera, broken wagon wheels and unreliable weather conditions.

The game also exisits in digital form both for computers and mobile devices. One of the most accessible online versions is “The Oregon Trail” developed by Gameloft and available on iTunes App Store or Google Play Store. This version allows players to experience many of the same challenges presented in the original board game but with modern graphics and newly added features like rewards for completing missions or activities that can include coins for buying accessories.

Another popular adaptation is called “Oregon Trail Rampage” which was released in 2009. It follows a similar format to other games where users battle runaway stagecoaches, hostile Native Americans, escaped criminals and dangerous wildlife while exploring unpredictable environments in search of new supplies. The added twist is that players use weapons to eliminate threats rather than dealing with an issue through decision-making as seen in traditional versions of the game.

Strategies for Success

Some strategies for winning the Oregon Trail board game and surviving the trails include:

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1. Manage your resources carefully. Before embarking on a trip, make sure you are fully stocked with food, clothing and medical supplies for the journey ahead. When hunting for game along the trail, don’t waste supplies by shooting multiple times unless you have plenty of ammunition on hand.

2. Don’t move too quickly or too slowly. You must maintain a steady pace to survive each section of the trail while avoiding losing time or running out of resources due to going too fast. Make sure to take regular rest and pace your group according to their abilities in order to not lose momentum along the trail.

3. Choose food with care when buying at stores in each town before departing on a long stretch of the trail. Bring plenty of dried meat as it can last longer and provide added sustenance throughout your journey if rationed properly.

4. Don’t risk unnecessary dangers by making mistakes in crossing rivers or other challenging parts of the course when given the option to guess future outcomes, use educated guesses and reasoning rather than taking unnecessary risks that could cost you dearly in terms of lives, possessions or morale amongst the members of your party.

Replaying the Trail

Starting from the beginning again when players finish the Oregon Trail is both a pro and a con. On one hand, it allows for players to experience the full game, which can be enjoyable. It also gives them the chance to remind themselves of all of the details of the trial that they may have forgotten or missed out on earlier. On the other hand, since this is an educational game, players may find that playing through it a second time isn’t as fun or engaging as it was initially. Also, it’s typically difficult to reach the end once more; each player has only one life so mistakes can be costly and cause a hefty setback in progress.


The Oregan Trail Board Game is an exciting, nostalgic game for players of all ages. It allows players to recreate an authentic experience of the 19th Century by travelling across a map of America in a wagon train and experiencing the hardships encountered during this epic journey. Various obstacles such as natural disasters and random events add levels of unpredictability that add to excitement and the thrill of playing. In addition, players are able to accumulate wealth and win rewards which can lead to further advantages and opportunities for success. Overall, the Oregan Trail Board Game offers both captivating entertainment and educational value, as players learn about life on the early western trails along with historically accurate geographical information and facts. Through its replay value and variety, it remains a popular choice among many gamers today.

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