Version Reviewed: 1.0
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Game Controls Rating:
Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
I picked up So Long Oregon from the App Store this morning because I was really hankering for some new Oregon Trail action. The Gameloft version was fun, but it just didn't bring back all the fond old memories I had of the game. Judging by the screenshot I saw (a tame one), and reading nothing at all about the game beforehand, I started playing.
I'm not exactly sure if this pertains at all, but the review on iTunes by Djflippy may sum it up best, "Simply put, there is no way to improve upon this game. It's a masterpiece of game design and of modern thought."
Bam! Hit right on the head.
After staring at the screen for a few minutes, puzzled by the old school techno and the neon lighting of the intro, I realized that the title of the game was really "So Long Oregon, Let's Go Find El Dorado." According to the devs, in So Long Oregon, you "Drive a wagon across the American west, then veer south in search of the legendary ancient lost city of GOLD known as 'El Dorado.' Oregon only has dirt! Wouldn't you rather be rich?"
Nervous as to what I might find, I decided to press "new game." I was expecting to start in a town, or at least in some kind of naming screen, but no, the game just starts with your wagon in front of a town. I thought I would click on the town, you know, to maybe buy something, but a bullet came out of my wagon.
My eyes grew two or three sizes. Why was my wagon shooting bullets? Well it became clear when I decided to move forward and saw a bear floating around the screen. So I was trudging along, trying to kill the bear with my wagon gun when I hit a mountain and experienced what the developers call "realistic wagon physics." I launched up the mountain and at the peak, kept going, and turned a flip before I finally hit the ground -- on the wagon roof.
I paused for a moment, again confused. The game finally righted my wagon and with some small white letters flashing on the top of the screen, said "Ma has a broken arm." Crap.
As I pushed on, I was infested by various diseases at some Indian sites, caught dysentery after falling into the river, and eventually lost Ma after she battled a slew of ailments at some point near El Paso. I decided to stop my trek to see what else the game had to offer.
I then found what the game described as the more accurate rendition of the Oregon Trail. Would I get to finally enter towns and buy parts? Heck no! Instead, you start in last place on a death race to Oregon, where you have to muscle, shoot, and flip your way to the finish line. It was insanity.
So how do I review such a game? As Djflippy said before, "there is no way to improve upon this game." In its own world, So Long Oregon is a perfect game that is able to entertain anyone who can hack it. Is it worth the $1.99 asking price? Ehh, that's hard to answer. You should definitely watch this video first.