Lonely Planet Writer

This update on the classic Oregon Trail game will entice you to plan a trip

By the time most kids in the US finish school, they’ve lived and died on the Oregon Trail countless times. The popular videogame was a staple of the education system for decades and a frequent source of nostalgia in this age of high-tech games. Now a new version – which pays homage to the classic – is hoping to push tourism to the state of Oregon.

A new game will use nostalgia to inspire travellers to head to Oregon. Image by Travel Oregon

Travel Oregon: The Game is an update on the classic Oregon Trail – renowned for being both fun and educational enough to play at school. It brought players on a journey on the historic trail, which early settlers took from Missouri to Oregon in the mid-1800s, facing issues like potentially dying of dysentery or snakebites.

Frog Lake is located on Mount Hood just off of highway 26. It is a quick drive from Portland and so makes it an easy weekend trip. Frog Lake is a natural lake with a beautiful view of Mt Hood. Image by Bob Pool/Getty Images

The new game launched this week and will be available until 16 December. It takes players on a trail through seven travel regions of the state, and is described as “a much easier and less treacherous trek than the historic route stretching nearly 2000 miles from Independence, Missouri”. The game takes guests through Eastern Oregon, Southern Oregon, the Portland region, Oregon Coast, Mt. Hood & Columbia River Gorge, Willamette Valley and Central Oregon.

Covered wagons at Scotts Bluff National Monument on the Oregon Trail. Image by ©David Sucsy/Getty Images

This game is designed to inspire travellers to explore the regions in the winter. Deviating from the original, in which pioneers travel in a covered wagon, now travellers will head on the trail in a station wagon, with the ability to purchase things like artisanal coffee and phone chargers at the store. Where the pioneers of the Oregon Trail would need to hunt to survive, now they can take part in activities like wine tasting, reading an e-book, cross country skiing and more. Where dysentery and cholera plagued early travellers, now the misfortunes that will befall travellers are things like food comas, wet socks, too much kombucha, or car sickness.

To play the game, or for more information, visit TravelOregon.com.