facts about the oregon trail game

Beyond the Trail: Facts About the Oregon Trail Game

If you grew up in the 80s or 90s, you’ve probably remembered playing the Oregon Trail game a few times. Maybe gameplay even took up most of your hours after school or during the weekends. With the game sustaining its popularity over the years, the Oregon Trail remains a classic game even today. Let us give you some facts about the Oregon Trail Game.

facts about the oregon trail game

1. Over 65 million copies of the game have been sold

With ten iterations over four decades, the Oregon Trail has been so successful that it has sold over 65 million copies around the world. In fact, due to the game’s popularity, it is a cultural landmark. Those who were born during the Generation X and Millennial cusp years are considered part of the Oregon Trail Generation.

2. Only educational game inducted into the Video Game Hall of Fame

Decades after its initial release, Oregon Trail retains its popularity. Time Magazine has included it on its All-Time 100 greatest video games list. The game was also included in the book “1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die”.

Out of the 24 games currently inducted into the Hall as of this writing, Oregon Trail remains to be the only educational game in the list.

3. There was a follow up to the Oregon Trail called Yukon Trail

With the success of the Oregon Trail, MECC decided to do a follow up to the game. In 1994, the game developer released the less famous Yukon Trail. Yukon Trail is set during the Klondike Gold Rush in the late 19th century. Gameplay was similar to that of the Oregon Trail. Players had to conquer the challenges during the journey from Seattle to one of two towns.

4. Your party members could die from a lot of reasons

During your journey through the Oregon Trail, your party members could fall ill and might lead to their deaths. Diseases included dysentery, cholera, fever, typhoid, measles, and exhaustion. Other causes include drowning, broken limbs, snake bite, and accidental gunshot wounds that might also harm the members of your party. The party’s oxen are also subject to injury and death.

5. You couldn’t shoot to hunt in the original version of the game

Unlike in the later versions, the player didn’t hunt bears and buffalos by aiming and shooting. Instead, players had to type the words “Bang” and “Pow” as fast as they could to get more meat. If you misspelled words, this would result in a failed hunting expedition.

6. You can pass by famous landmarks along the Trail

Assuming that you were skilled enough to survive throughout the Oregon Trail, you will get to pass by famous landmarks along the way. When playing the game, be sure to look out for these landmarks such as Fort Kearney, Independence Rock, Chimney Rock, Fort Laramie, South Pass, and the Columbia River. 

7. There’s a handheld version of the game

Big Fun and Target released a handheld version of the Oregon Trail in 2018. This portable device features DOS version 2.1 graphics that will take you back to your childhood days. Other features of this handheld include internal saving of high scores and easy navigation through menu items with the device’s keypad.


We hope you enjoyed learning some facts about the Oregon Trail Game. If you are still playing this game until now, or if you are new to the game, Which fact surprised you the most?

Give us some ideas in the box below.

1 thought on “Beyond the Trail: Facts About the Oregon Trail Game”

  1. I love the article. I wish to see people actually do this as if the US government has put their whole lives up to its own game. We have many problems with how it’s handled in the states, and I hope it’s as good as it gets.


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