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My Review of Facebook's New Game: The Oregon Trail

When I first read that Oregon Trail was coming to Facebook I couldn't wait to play it. Since Oregon Trail was one of the first games I ever played, I knew that I would have to try this new Facebook version out. The game was released on Facebook, on February 2, 2011 and I played it for a couple of hours. While there are some aspects of the game that I liked, there were some areas that do need improvement. Since, the game just came out and is still in Beta, it is likely all of these issues will be addressed.

The Beginning

 At the beginning, I was able to choose four other players to be in my party. I found that you can either add real Facebook friends, or you can just change the names of the people in your party.

After picking my team, I was placed in a town with a  To-Do List. First off, I had to click the Help Wanted sign to choose a profession. Unfortunately, I could only choose to be a "Traveler", as every other profession was locked. As you increase your badge level you can unlock more Professions.

Next, I had to enter the General Store. In the General Store you can buy Wagon Parts or items that will help you on your adventure. The categories of items include, rations, grub, clothing, medicine, tools, weapons and trade goods.

I was then introduced to the Wagon Resources that I would need on my journey. The four resources were as follows:

Level Badge: The badge represents your progress to the next level. As you gain experience the badge fills up. You will gain experience, as you and your party travel and when you play mini-games.

Stamina: Stamina is required for you and your party to travel. When it runs out, you can't travel anymore. This can be recharged by waiting or by using Trail Notes. Trail Notes can be purchased for real $.

Energy: Energy is required to play the Mini Games in Oregon Trail. These three mini-games are Search The Scene!, Repair Your Wagon! and Hunt For Vittles!

Food: As you travel, your party will slowly consume food. Once you run out of food, your party will begin to lose health and if they lose too much health they will die. You can obtain food by buying rations or grub from traveling vendors or the general store. You can also play the Hunt For Vittles! Mini Game to obtain food.

Once you are given this little tutorial, you can click on your wagon and start your adventure.

Upon beginning the adventure, you will receive a little information on your journey ahead.

It gives you a little insight on the dangers and troubles you will eventually face. You will be given choices as you travel and the choices you make will affect you and your party.

For example, if you reach a river you can choose to pay for a ferry or wade across the river. You can also choose between paying to heal your sick party members or waiting a few days to see if they get better. Once you click the green check mark you will begin your journey.

The Adventure

I clicked the green check mark and my party immediately starting traveling at a steady pace. At the bottom right of the screen you can choose the speed at which you want to travel. These speeds include, Grueling, Steady, or Slow pace and you can also choose to Stop. The faster you and your party travel the quicker your party members will be affected by diseases and sicknesses, such as fevers or snake bites.

As you are traveling, you can check the status of your own adventure as well as the status of your friends' travels.

The last thing you can do while traveling, is play any of the three Mini Games mentioned before. These Mini Games are pretty simple and serve to help you on your adventure.

The 3 Mini Games are as follows:
Search The Scene: This Mini Game requires 15 energy and can get you an item or two as well. I've played this game three times. I received food one time and the other two times I received nothing. This is a Mini Game that you don't actually play. You either get an item or two, or you don't.

Repair Your Wagon: This Mini Game requires 30 energy. In this game you must fit different shaped wooden planks into a randomized puzzle. You get 3 planks to choose from and when you use a plank, another takes its place. You can rotate and flip the planks before you place them into the puzzle.

The less planks you use to complete the puzzle, the more your wagon will be repaired. This game is important because your wagon deteriorates quickly as you travel.

Hunt For Vittles: This Mini Game requires 30 energy to play. In this game you are given a minute to hunt animals for food and experience. Once you kill the animal you can run over and pick up the food. Unfortunately, I found this Mini Game to be extremely slow and laggy. Hopefully they will fix this soon.

This game is very important because your party goes through food very quickly as you travel. If this game wasn't laggy, I would play it a lot more. Currently, I have to rely on the general store for food.

Adventure Encounters
Through your travels you will run into random encounters. The Abandoned Wagon encounter has occurred for me a bunch of times. When you get this encounter, you can either search the wagon for items, search for more valuable items by paying with Trail Notes or you can choose to do nothing.

I have gotten some food and a few bandages from this encounter. While you don't gain a ton of items from these type of encounters, every little bit helps.

River Crossing
 I only ran into this encounter once, so I am not sure if something triggers it or if it is a random encounter. Anyway, in this Mini Game Encounter you must direct your wagon down the river collecting coins and crates.

Coins are worth 50 points each.
Wooden Crates are worth 100 points each.
Silver Crates are worth 500 points each.
Golden Crates are worth 1000 points each.
Remaining Lives are worth 500 points each.

Your final result is based on how many total points you accumulated by the end of your river run.

Trip Updates 
Your entire 2000 mile trip is broken out into smaller trips. These trips usually end at a town where you can resupply and heal your party. Once you reach your destintation you will receive experience based on four categories. 

The categories are as follows: 
Distance: The longer the trip, the more experience you will awarded.
Speed: The faster you get to your destination, the more experience you will be awarded.
Wagon Condition: The better condition your wagon is in, the more experience you will be awarded.
Party Health: The healthier your party, the more experience you will be awarded.

Trading Post

From what I've seen, the Trading Post sells similar items to what the General Store sells. The categories of items sold are Rations, Grub, Clothing, Medicine, Tools, Weapons and Trade Goods. Most items can be bought with coins, while other items can only be bought with Trail Notes.

Basic Rations: +100 Food

Hardtack: +100 Food. Uses Very Small Amount of Energy. Consumable

Root Beer: Required Level 11. Increase to Wagon Speed. Duration: 24 Hours. Consumable

Sarsaparilla: Increase to Wagon Speed. Duration: 12 Hours. Consumable

Basic Clothing: Very small protection from rain and snow effects.

Winter Clothing: Large protections from all cold and snow related effects.

Cod Liver Oil: Very small health increase. Consumable

Bandages: Small chance to heal injury. Doctor: increased chance. Consumable

Remedial Ointment: Large chance to heal injury. Doctor: Full cure. Consumable
Apprentice's Tools: Small increase to wagon repair results.

Weapon:                                                   Peppergun- Very small reduction in reload time.

Trade Goods:
Cotton: Deliver to Oregon for 125 coins. Banker +50 coins.

These items are just the ones that I found. I'm sure there are a lot more items, especially in the later levels.

All in all think that Blue Fang did a pretty good job making Oregon Trail into a Facebook game. In comparison to all other Facebook games, I would give it a 7 out of 10 (with 1 being the worst Facebook game, and 10 being the best). 

- Similar gameplay to the original Oregon Trail
- You get to name your 4 party members or choose Facebook friends
- Experience based on relevant factors
- Mini Games are simple
- Still in Beta, so bugs will be fixed

- Hunting Mini Game is extremely laggy
- Coins are difficult to obtain when you first start
- Food is difficult to obtain when you first start
- It is expensive to cure your party when you first start
- Stamina & Energy can only be gained by waiting or by buying Trail Notes

I Hope You Enjoyed My Review, Feel Free To Comment Below.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

on facebook i cant even play it i dont think its on facebook any more did they get rid of it?