148Apps Network Post
Developer: The Men Who Wear Many Hats
Price: $2.99
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
User Interface Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Update: 8/20/2012, Version 1.0.1
It’s a good day to be barely surviving amidst a zombie apocalypse! Organ Trail: Director’s Cut has just received it’s first (and very important) update that fixes pretty much everything. I mean everything. The performance issues are totally gone. The skipping music is gone. The noticeable hang-up when moving between menus is gone. Crashing during the credits and a glitch that locked the game into Normal mode no matter what difficulty was selected is gone. Loading events such as scavenging even seems to take less time now. It sounds a bit extreme to say it, but I really believe it doesn’t get any better than this. Don’t own Organ Trail yet? Well stop putting it off.

There’s something timeless about The Oregon Trail. Gearing up and heading west across the country in order to settle in some promising new territory, braving all manner of hardships and diseases along the way, it’s a game that just about everyone loves. Wait a second, the “E” is missing. It’s not Oregon Trail? It’s actually Organ Trail? Well I don’t see what the big difference-OHMYGOD ZOMBIES!!!

Organ Trail: Director’s Cut is a throwback to the classic era of computer gaming. Back when we had to load these things using floppy disks, and in-game sounds consisted entirely of varying forms of *BOOP*. Much like its pioneer era inspiration, the game tasks players with preparing for a cross-country road trip and naming party members after friends in order to make them feel bad when they inevitably die in horrible ways. Only this time it’s during a modern zombie apocalypse, and instead of hunting for food and fording rivers they’ll be scrounging for meager supplies while fending off the walking dead and creeping through zombie hordes.

Absolutely everything that has enabled the game that made Dysentery a household word (again) to remain a treasure among most gamers is present in Organ Trail, as well as more than a few enhancements. Looking for supplies at the wrong time – indicated by the zombies’ activity level – can turn into a desperate fight for survival. Trading what little is available for some much needed fuel or ammo can also leave gamers feeling suitably downtrodden and hopeless. Much like any zombie apocalypse survivor would expect to feel. Although it’s possible to eke out a few small victories on the road to supposed salvation by way of trading supplies with passing folks, repairing the beat-up station wagon with pieces of scrap, or even doing some odd jobs in town for cash or items. Plus it’s got some utterly amazing “so bad they’re good” retro visuals and chiptunes.

But all is not sunshine and shambling in the US of Z. Almost all of Organ Trail’s shortcomings can be ignored as intentional design decisions since it’s meant to appear as though it were made for an Apple 2. The consistent sputtering and chugging when loading random events or doing anything that isn’t simply browsing menus, however, is not one of them. It bogs down what is otherwise a totally fantastic game and I hope like heck it gets sorted out via an update in the near future.

Virtually every aspect of Organ Trail: Director’s Cut oozes style and cleverness. Also pus. It’s a game that’s likely to please zombie fans as well as anyone who remembers the one without the green-skinned shamblers fondly. And it’s with no hesitation or trepidation that I suggest that everyone reading this should buy it. If they haven’t already, of course.


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