It’s the iPhone version of an old Commodore 64 game. I don’t remember it from back then, but my wife does. Apparently the iPhone version is very different – especially graphically. That should be obvious from one look at the screenshots.

Anyway, The Oregon Trail is the story of a family struggling across North America to go and set up home in the west. The pace was slow and so is the game.

You spend a lot of time staring at the screen as your grumbling family plods across America.

The Oregon Trail

You spend most of your time watching this screen.

Every now and again, though, something happens.

You might play a mini-game, such as floating down a river, hunting animals, picking berries or repairing your wagon.

The Oregon Trail

Hit the nails to repair your wagon.

One of your family might get injured or ill, which doesn’t result in a mini-game, just a hard decision. Carry on with an injured child? Rest up while they heal? Spend much-needed cash on a doctor?

You even get to meet famous people from, you know, history. They give you little quests, most of which seem to involve talking to them again at a certain location further down the road.

The Oregon Trail

I failed this quest - I'd already agreed to meet someone else on another route.

It’s a bit of a slog, but that’s really the point. If you’re anything like me, you’ll become attached to your family and want to see them through to the end. The mini-games are workmanlike, but it’s a pretty good attempt at generating the right atmosphere without being off-putting.