This trip down the Oregon Trail may seem a lot different...even unattractive...but it still scratches that itch.

User Rating: 7 | Oregon Trail 3DS
The Oregon Trail is a game I grew up on. In elementary school I would always try to get my school work done as soon as possible so I could hop onto an old school Apple computer to play some Oregon Trail. Granted I never beat the game back then, but I had a blast playing it. Now that I'm an adult, and a born-and-raised Oregonian, I still return to this game time and again whenever the opportunity presents itself. After getting my 3DS about a month ago, I discovered that this game was in its library, and I was extremely excited. Being able to play Oregon Trail on the go is something I've always wanted to be able to do. So despite the bad reviews, I picked this up, and was mostly happy with what I received. While a lot of the changes haven't been received well, this game still scratches that itch I have whenever I feel like venturing down the Oregon Trail once more.

GAMEPLAY - A lot of the basic gameplay has changed here, but it still feels like the same old game. The major difference is that instead of hitting a button to travel down the trail, you get to guide your wagon down the trail yourself. I understand why they did this, and I know a lot of people are turned off to this change, but it does hold your attention more. I just wish the controls were more responsive. So basically as you guide your wagon, you avoid obstacles that could injure your oxen or your wagon, while picking up power-ups that heal both those things. The problem is, sometimes you can steer into a power-up, and your oxen will veer the other way. The developers should have really done better when it comes to what areas are considered to be part of the trail and what areas are not. This is the only major detriment to this game though.

The rest of the game plays pretty similarly to the original. You pass through areas where you can trade supplies, meet up with Native Americans along the trail, and are able to hunt. Also added are berry-picking and fishing. I haven't tried my hand at fishing much, but the berry-picking is simply point->click->berries harvested. The only other real gripe I have with this game, and to be honest it's kind of a big one, is that crossing rivers doesn't have the same feel to it. Instead of deciding whether or not you want to risk crossing the river yourself or taking a ferry, you just plow through it like you would any other part of the trail. Not only does this feel unrealistic (especially with obstacles like the Snake River), but it takes away that possibility of you drowning as you cross rivers. So yes, there are a couple of big problems I have with this game, but overall the gameplay does a pretty good job of recapturing that Oregon Trail magic. - 7/10

STORY - The overall story is the same each time. However, this game does present you wish a few different scenarios to make the trip to Oregon feel a little different each time. I didn't find they affected me very much, but it does make each trip feel a little different from the other. - 7/10

GRAPHICS - The graphics here are pretty sub-par, I'll admit. Not to the point where you'll feel like you wasted your money, but they're just very basic and bare-boned. All the different people you meet along the trail look the same, and in desert areas you won't see much at all outside of the trail. Then again, the Oregon Trail games never were great on graphics, so this is somewhat forgivable. - 6.5/10

SOUND - Not much to mention here. A lot of the same music plays over and over again, but at least it invokes a pioneer atmosphere. If it was just generic music, I'd have a bigger problem with that. - 7/10

LENGTH/REPLAY VALUE - Not the best value here, but you know what you're getting if you've ever played Oregon Trail before. Each game takes roughly an hour, and it's mostly the same thing each time. However, if you're like me and enjoy what this game was designed to do, you'll be pretty satisfied with what you get here. - 7/10

BOTTOM LINE - The developers were a little sloppy in some areas, but for the most part, Oregon Trail on the 3DS succeeds. As long as you know what you're getting into, the game definitely satisfies your craving. I know a lot of people don't like the graphics and the traveling mechanics, but I felt a lot more invested in what I was doing instead of watching a wagon move along a background for most of the game. This game won't be for everyone, but if you can overlook its minor nuances, you'll be happy to have a portable version of The Oregon Trail for your 3DS. - 7/10