The Oregon Trail II
What sets Oregon Trail II apart from similar Mecc games such as Amazon Trail and Africa Trail? For one thing, the game is much easier than the more modern-day games. Oh, there is still a better than normal chance your character will die en route to Oregon but the game's difficulty is set by the type of character you play.
Profession, in this game, is more than just skills. It also influences how much money the player has to spend, from the Banker, who starts out with $2000 (a small fortune in those days), to the Artist, near the bottom of the scale with only $500 to spend on everything, including the wagon. The players can also choose the starting city for their travels and where the wagon train will be going, either Oregon or Sacramento, California.
Players travel in the wagon train of their choice upon leaving the starting town. Before they can leave, however, they must purchase supplies and animals to pull their wagon. In town, they can also ask advice of anyone they meet. Each character has his or her own bit of wisdom to impart and following the advice can save plenty of time and money.
Along the trail, players will be notified as they reach landmarks, towns or forts and when they are required to cross a river and ascend or descend a hill. The choices made at these spots can result in death, the loss of supplies or damage to wagons and beasts. At any stop along the trail, players can ask the advice of the other travelers or the trail guide.
If the player does well, he will suffer a minimum loss of food and items. And the wagon train will maintain high morale. Players can find other things as well. Abandoned wagons, disease, thirst, flies, Indians, wild animals and vegetables are just a few things players can find, depending on their luck.
If and when players make it to Oregon, they can file a claim for land, see their score or just observe what happens to their character in the future. The final score is based on how far they traveled and how much money they have left compared to the amount with which they started. If they do good enough, their scores can be posted on the top ten list.
Pictures and movies enliven the trip and players will gain a real sense of accomplishment in helping their chosen settlers survive. Far from being a "once through only" type of game, players can vary the level of difficulty through optional settings as well as the type of characters they chose to play. Players will also pick up interesting snippets about the old west and the type of people who chose to become settlers.