Oregon Trail Zombie


Journey by station wagon from the east coast to the west coast trying to avoid the zombie hordes covering the land and the normal pitfalls of traveling like broken arms, flat tires, and dysentery. A zombified remake of the old Oregon Trail game.

Ah, Oregon Trail, a game many of us played when we were young. If you were a kid in the late 70’s, any time during the 80’s, or even up to the early 90’s you’ve probably played it before. Hell, if you’re younger you might have even downloaded the game to see what passed for a video game in the long, long ago before we had characters that actually looked like people and could be moved around with a controller. Back in the days when we were constantly on the lookout for rampaging dinosaurs intent on destroying the computers we had only just managed to drag out of the cave video games were a lot different. They were simple designs where you usually just clicked the enter button over and over again to pick one of a few choices you were given. “Will you cross the river over the bridge, swim across it, or wait for a boat…press enter.” “Will you go up the mountain, go through it, or go around it…press enter” “Will you fall asleep at your keyboard, punch the screen out of sheer boredom, or remember that there is an outside world that might be better for you…press enter.” I’m being simplistic of course but that was basically how it was when computer games first came out, though even those were more fun than playing through World of Warcraft’s endlessly repetitive cycles of find five of these, kill five of those. Still, as a kid without access to even a Nintendo, Oregon Trail was a fun little game to play that killed a few hours and taught you how rampant dysentery was in the old west (to this day every time I get the shits I’m terrified it’s dysentery and not the twelve pack of Pabts Blue Ribbon I slammed the night before). It might not have aged very well, but I’ll always fondly remember it being a good distraction. Give me a second and I’ll be right back, my stomach just grumbled so I need to go make sure the dysentery hasn’t set it.

This version of Oregon Trail begins toward the end of a zombie apocalypse that has overrun most of America. You play as a survivor surrounded by zombies with no clear escape, having just run out of ammo you are saved by a former priest named Clements who has given up the cloth in the interest of making it to a safe haven he believes is located somewhere on the west coast, you and Clements being stuck on the east coast for the moment. He asks if there are any other survivors you might know who could come in handy and you know of exactly four trapped in Washington D.C. (four being the number of people you are allowed to have in the game, all of which you are allowed to name yourself). The two of you make the trip where you find your friends, but Clements is bitten and the government announces that the city is about to be destroyed by nuclear weapons. You shoot Clements at his request before fleeing the city as it explodes behind you. It’s now your goal to make it to the other side of the country where you hope to find safety, but you’ll have to get through hordes of the undead to get there. Sorry for the unnecessarily long description for a game that doesn’t really need it, but should you choose to play you are given the option to skip the intro and just get into the meat of the game. If you don’t skip the intro you’ll have to sit through all of what I just described. It’s better to just hit the “skip intro” button and get on with the game since that beginning isn’t necessary if all you want to do is play the game. Consider it a favor form me to you that you don’t have to sit through it like I did.


{You’re going to want to just start here}

I didn’t really intend to review this game when I downloaded it on my phone, after all, it was just some silly little free game I found while browsing Google Play on my phone and thought I’d relive the nostalgia of playing Oregon Trail with added zombies, but it was so fucking terrible I figured it needed a review. Beyond that I wanted to make sure people understood how badly Oregon Trail has aged and no matter how many pixelated zombies you add in it’s still going to be boring as fuck to play. In fact, the additions they’ve put in actually make the game worse than its original counterpart. That being the case, I figured I’d give a little heads up to people so they wouldn’t have to waste their time like I did. Sure, it’s free to download so it’s not like you’re wasting any money if you choose to play it, but it’s not worth the space on your phone to do so for a couple reasons.


{It was really hard to click continue}

One, I’m sure a lot of people are going to want to play to get a taste of the nostalgia that comes with reliving things you did as a kid. Trust me, sometimes nostalgia distorts how we remember things. Take my love of the old show Fraggle Rock. It was something I watched repeatedly when I was younger, so when it came out on DVD I jumped at the chance to watch it again, not having seen it in several years. I came home after buying the first season and immediately popped it into the DVD player, nearly salivating at watching another one of my hero Jim Henson’s shows. I idolized the guy when I was younger, hell, I idolize him still today since he created some of my absolute favorite movies like Labyrinth and Dark Crystal and my absolute favorite shows like The Muppets and Jim Henson’s The Storyteller, so getting to watch something of his I hadn’t seen since I was about ten or eleven was exhilarating. I sat down in anticipation and hit play and…was completely disappointed. Not because it was bad, but because my memories of it were from the perspective of a ten year old child who looked up to Henson so strongly that he was almost sky high to me. Not to mention that as a 28 year old adult the show just wasn’t the same anymore, while things like The Muppets or The Storyteller might have been aimed at a wider age group, Fraggle Rock was aimed at a very young audience, an audience I had outgrown. This coming from a guy who still watches the original Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Oregon Trail is the same way. Yeah, as a kid with nothing better to play it was a good game, as an adult with access to thousands upon thousands of things to play, Oregon Trail just isn’t that fun. It’s a slow, crawling experience that bores one to tears. I would have given up within the first fifteen minutes if it wasn’t for my desire to review it after giving it a little bit of play time. Twenty years ago, yeah, this was kind of enjoyable, now, not so much. It doesn’t help that the added features actually break the game versus helping it.



I thought the addition of zombies to the game might make it different enough to make the game more exciting than I remember, instead it only makes the game that much more frustrating. Much like in the original game, as you drive across the country in your station wagon trying to avoid the random injuries like broken bones, illness, and zombie bites (though I guess this last one is specific to this game) you make stops along the way to buy supplies, rest you party, and fix up your vehicle. Of course to buy supplies and repairs you need money. There are two ways to make money, stopping in-between cities to scavenge for supplies or taking up jobs. Stopping to scavenge involves running around the screen picking up things like food, cash, ammo, and spare parts that can be sold and used to fix up the station wagon while taking jobs involve one of two things, clearing zombies which is you standing behind a sandbag barrier and shooting any zombies that come in range or taking care of bandits which is you ducking behind a sandbag barrier and shooting people that pop up in a window before they shoot you, so basically to make money you need to be able to shoot things. Unfortunately, the shooting mechanic is completely and utterly broken. Glitches within the game keep you from being able to shoot properly, making aiming almost impossible. The aiming sight you are supposed to use swings wildly on screen, pushing forward causes the target line to jump behind you, and even a slight movement one way or the other will send the target line surging over. You aim by tracing your finger from your character to the zombie you intend to hit, but thanks to the glitch in aiming it doesn’t work right at all. This means that with no way to acquire cash you are unable to progress very far at all.


{Yeah, don’t expect to be shooting much of anything}

If you really want to check it out, then by all means be my guest. It’s free to download on Google Play, just don’t expect to enjoy yourself very much.


The Undead Review


Developed By: The Men Who Wear Many Hats

Publisher: The Men Who Wear Many Hats

Release Year: 2010

Platform: IOS and Android

About The Undead Review

When I was alive I was an asshole and after I died remained pretty much the same, if not a little worse. You’d think becoming a member of the walking dead would mellow a person out, no more worrying about awkward small talk with people, no more having to be politically correct, and the entire world is your upright, bipedal buffet. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun as hell to be a zombie, just somewhat irritating at times, especially those times you have to watch a lame movie or read a lame book. Thankfully, when I am forced to watch these films or read those books, I’ve got places like The Undead Review to bitch and moan to my heart’s content. {When he’s not devouring the living or sinking his teeth into a good film The Undead Review (Andy Taylor) spends his time writing his own stories or hunting down the paranormal. Oh, and did we mention his blind dog once saved the world?)
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