Zombie survival mixed with a deeply ingrained nostalgia? Yes, please. Organ Trail, from developer The Men Who Wear Many Hats, is a take on the classic edutainment game Oregon Trail. This telling replaces the 19th century pioneering of North America with a post-apocalyptic zombie wasteland. With the east coast in shambles there is no option but to head west optimistically seeking salvation. Choose your party and set out, personalizing every aspect of you journey along the way.
- Player choices result in heavy game play variance– Starving vs thriving, etc
- Easy to pick up and play
- Replay into eternity — this game will always be fun
- Console to handheld cross save on PlayStation platforms
- The nostalgia is heavy with this one
- The “true to the original” approach to art style and game play features
- Pixel art can occasionally deter newcomers… but you’re smarter than that, right?
- Not into zombie or retro style? Unfortunately, this game will hold little appeal
Those who have an established affinity for Oregon Trail will find that the appeal of Organ Trail is fairly undeniable. All of the key components of the original, reskinned to a more fun, modern take on the original survival adventure, down to the custom names for your party. The original mechanics are all intact but twisted to fit into the new telling. Who needs an ox drawn wagon when you have a perfectly badass Station Wagon. Hunting? Nah, but scavenging for materials while fending off incoming zombies is quite a thrill. And instead of forging rivers, your gang of misfits will occasionally need to find a passage through a travelling hoard of zombies. Oh, and someone has dysentery… that should probably be dealt with.
There is, unfortunately, a section of humanity that, for one reason or another, has never played the original Oregon Trail. Never fear, Organ Trail offers all the fun of the original in a modern light. The lack of nostalgia does not necessarily limit the fun of playing this game in any serious way. Instead, feeling out the systems and mechanics can be incredibly rewarding to players, willing to jump into what feels like an archaic adventure game. Simply put, Organ Trail holds the potential to make ‘Oregon Trail virgins’ feel as though they are visiting a timeless classic, despite the game’s actual age of only a few years.
All nostalgia, or lack thereof, aside — Organ Trail provides the systems to provide a fun survival adventure narrative. All it takes is a little imagination. Name the members of the group, select the limited supplies to take along, and set off on your journey, occasionally trading and purchasing vehicle upgrades and other good at towns along the way. The only real goal is to survive; a task that can prove difficult as the group encounters various obstacles, supplies run low and — DAMNIT… someone has dysentery again!
Organ Trail offers fans and newcomers a delightful ‘pick up and play’ style adventure that can easily be put down when necessary — though you won’t want to put this one down. The minimalist retro design is surprisingly addicting and invokes that feeling that you are playing something special. Hilarious for group play on the couch, sporting ‘jump in multiplayer’ for scavenging or jobs in town adds one more feature to an already enjoyable experience. Availability on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita offers a smooth cross play function that makes transferring from couch to portable play super easy. Also available on Steam, iOS and Android devices, all with a price tag of just under $6, there’s no real reason to miss out on this one.
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