[dropcap size=big]A[/dropcap]s kids we all played Oregon Trail, but for all the millennials who grew up without the joys of this educational game here is what the usual Oregon Trail game session is like: “Ooh I can pick my profession. Now I get to buy supplies and look at all this money I have! Now my party and I are off to Oregon and nothing will stand in our way. Oh a river, yeah we can totally ford that. Oh god the wagon tipped, Juli drowned, and I lost my spare parts! Ok the river was bad but we can recover. Oh god I broke my leg and I got dysentery! What do you mean we are out of food?! Thank god a town to resupply in! Wait I don’t have enough money for anything. Oh god I lost my party and it’s just me, I must hunt! Oh god I can’t shoot through bushes!” And then you starve to death. Orion Trail from Schell Games looks to take the same concept as Oregon Trail and add some intricate gameplay and change the setting to a much more interesting place, space!
Within the survival traveling game genre for a game to be good it must make the player feel like they are always low on supplies, always teetering on failure, and always looking to get a leg up. Orion Trail adds some significant gameplay to the traveling survival genre. In games like Oregon Trail and Organ Trail the only things you manage are food, supplies and a few decisions on how to cross rivers or zombie hordes respectively. In Orion Trail you choose your captain and crew; which have different stats in attack, tactics, science, diplomacy, and bravado. These different stats allow you to find different conclusions to random events that happen to you as you and your crew head west in space. These random events can range from unknown diseases to warp weasels to alien intruders to spacesquatches, so along your trip you no longer have to worry about dysentery but instead space tentacles!
You might also want to worry about the supplies, like food, fuel, and the integrity of hull because if one of those reach zero it could mean the end of the game and the end of your journey. These supplies will not always be easy to get, the game is said to share the difficulty level of Oregon Trail, so use your crews stats and your wit as the captain to find and use supplies wisely and remember “Red shirts go first.”
Besides that Star Trek, has also taught us that space makes everything cooler so it is going to be really fun to see how Orion Trail uses it’s setting to its advantage. As mentioned before, there are a ton of random events so we’ll be able to see all the important things that are happening in space. Besides special events there are also several species to choose from for your crew/captain ranging from Grumpy Cats to Robots to Cow Things, as well as other Humans.
Orion Trail looks to be incredibly interesting, like a mixture of FTL and Oregon Trail, and with the massive amounts of random events, a multitude of choices, and a customizable crew hopefully I can finally make it out west.