Padge Plays! Retro Edition: The Oregon Trail (1990 - MECC) With Commenters! PC Gameplay Part 1

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Welcome to Padge Plays! Retro Edition

This time around we'll be stocking up on supplies and hoping luck is on our side as we turn our wagons west along The Oregon Trail by MECC! This is the classic version of this timeless game where you are tasked with taking yourself and up to four "friends" along the route which many a pioneer rode in order to claim a stake of land and settle down back in the mid 1800's. The thing is, it's a bloody hard thing to pull off, especially when trying to keep everyone alive and happy so I thought instead of bringing along actual friends and family I'd try my luck with taking 4 of my latest commenters along! (Please don't hate me.)

In this episode we get in to choosing who we'll be taking with us and with what supplies! We are playing on the most hardest difficulty, (as a farmer) which means we have only a little money to get the essentials but if luck is on our side we should be able to get to Willamette Valley before the end of the year! **SPOILERS** We don't.


The Oregon Trail is a computer game originally developed by Don Rawitsch, Bill Heinemann, and Paul Dillenberger in 1971 and produced by the Minnesota Educational Computing Consortium (MECC) in 1974. The original game was designed to teach school children about the realities of 19th-century pioneer life on the Oregon Trail. The player assumes the role of a wagon leader guiding a party of settlers from Independence, Missouri, to Oregon's Willamette Valley via a covered wagon in 1848.

The game is the first entry in the Oregon Trail series, and has since been released in many editions by various developers and publishers who have acquired rights to it, as well as inspiring a number of spin offs (such as The Yukon Trail and The Amazon Trail) and the parody/homage The Organ Trail.

Here's a game review from GameNostalgia.com:

The Oregon Trail was developed way back in 1971 on university mainframes then jumped over to early 8-bit home computer systems. Continuing through 4 decades it has reappeared in many editions (at least 10), was a colossal commercial success in its heyday, and remains popular today.

Beyond teaching history, The Oregon Trail is essentially a game of strategic and tactical decisions. You make choices at the start about your pioneer's profession (banker, doctor, farmer, carpenter, etc.); what provisions, and in what amounts, you will buy; and what month to begin the journey. All these choices have the potential to noticeably impact the success or failure of your venture.

Sometimes the effects of your choices will be discovered early on, but others will not become apparent until you are deep in the thick of it, or even near the game's end. Along the trek are many forts where you have the option of stopping and trading with other pioneers. This can be of crucial importance if it turns out your initial provisioning choices were less than optimal.

It is hard to argue The Oregon Trail is not rather brilliantly implemented, especially considering the computer hardware limitations of those elder days. Nonetheless, for me, the main interest and fun of the game was in figuring out the best strategic choices. Don't be surprised if your first couple of tries lead to disaster. After making multiple adjustments that finally result in success it is satisfying to review your path to victory. OT's internal logic structure is tight, and you will be able to understand how and why success was achieved through your progressive efforts.

In the final analysis, aside from the cachet inherent with being a genuine classic, The Oregon Trail is a solid game worth playing for its well-crafted resource management gameplay and the historical details and insights it provides.

You can play the game online here:

You can see some of the versions of The Oregon Trail available here:

You'll need DosBox in order to play this. Get it here:

In this series I will be playing some well known and less well known games all the way from yesteryear through to the present, sometimes from consoles and sometimes from the thousands of PC games available either through websites such as Steam, Good Old Games (GOG), as abandonware, (Home of the Underdogs) or through emulation software. (Such as WinVice C64)


Whilst you're here check out my other videos!

Check out the Padge Plays! playlist here:

Let's Play The Curious Expedition:

Let's Play A House Of Many Doors:
Channel: PalicoPadge

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