The goal of the game is to make it across the Oregon Trail with limited resources, fighting the elements without losing your family. Hunt for food, trade with other travelers, fight disease and discover new places. All while learning about the history of the Oregon Trail.
An important aspect of the game was the ability to hunt. Using guns and bullets bought over the course of play, players select the hunt option and hunt wild animals to add to their food reserves. Bison are the slowest moving targets and yielded the most food, while rabbits and squirrels were fast and offered very small amounts of food. Deer (eastern section) and elk (western section) are in the middle in terms of speed, size, and food yield; bears are between bison and deer in all three properties. While the amount of wild game shot during a hunting excursion is limited only by the player's supply of bullets, the maximum amount that can be carried back to the wagon is 200 pounds in early versions of the game.
Throughout the course of the game, members of the player's party can fall ill and die from various causes, such as measles, snakebite, dysentery, typhoid, cholera, and exhaustion. People can also die from drowning or a broken leg. The player's oxen are also subject to illness and death. People from your party can die, so be sure to monitor the health of your party. Keep them well fed, choose a proper pace, and rest when needed.
At the conclusion of the journey, a player's score is determined in two stages. In the first stage, the program awards a "raw" or unscaled number of points for each remaining family member (weighted by party health), each remaining possession (weighted by type), and remaining cash on hand (one point per dollar). In the second stage, the program multiplies this raw score by a "degree of difficulty" scalar corresponding to the party's initial level of resources (determined in-game by the profession of the party's leader); for example, a banker starting with $1600.00 receives no bonus, the final score of a carpenter starting with $800.00 is doubled, and the final score of a farmer starting with $400.00 is tripled.
Note: This game is for DOS and to play it on computers with newer versions of Windows you will need a DOS 'emulator' like D-Fend Reloaded.
- Download and install D-Fend Reloaded.
- Click on the Download Now button above.
- Extract the zip file contents to a folder and remember the path.
- Open D-Fend Reloaded, go to File->Import->Import Folder and choose the folder where you extracted the game.
- Still in D-Fend Reloaded choose the game you want to play and press 'Run'.