The Latest, Greatest Timewaster: Oregon Trail on Facebook

The Latest, Greatest Timewaster: Oregon Trail on Facebook

Laura E. Hall
Feb 4, 2011

Move over, Farmville. One of the top 10 most influential video games of the 1980s has forded the river, landing on Facebook with its entire team of oxen intact, and it's had a few facelifts along the way.

In the year of its 40th anniversary, the settlers of the Oregon Trail have made it to Facebook, courtesy of the Learning Company.

The first version of Oregon Trail was created in 1971, though you're more likely to be familiar with 1995's Oregon Trail Delux for Apple II and DOS.

The new version features updated graphics, though it begins with the familiar steps: choose a profession, load up on supplies, kit out your wagon, select your party (this time, instead of naming them for your friends in the class, you can select from your Facebook friends), and hit the road.

Along the way, you'll still face river fording, snake bites, broken bones and cholera. But a new danger is the addition of in-app purchases to aid your party and get them out of scrapes. The Stamina and Energy resources deplete with every action, and can only be regained by waiting, or through the purchase of "Trail Notes".

Other features which bring Oregon Trail into (relatively) contemporary times include viewing friends' games' progress, and unlockable professions and provisions; mini-games and sidequests round out the package.

You can practically hear the productivity rushing down the drain as people embrace their nostalgia head-on. And if you're happy about this news, just wait -- Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? will have its Facebook debut next week.

Play The Oregon Trail on Facebook today, and share your memories of school computer labs in the comments below.

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(DOS screencap via: Wikipedia)

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