That's right '90's kids! Your favorite neon green 8-bit computer lab game from elementary school is now a table top card game! As a huge fan of the neon version we played at school and the reanimated version that we had on CD-ROM at home I know that I had to have the card version. When I first discovered that Target had just stocked Oregon Trail on it's shelves I immediately went and bought a copy. Just like the computer game, the card game is HARD. You most likely will not make it to Oregon and dying of dysentery is a distinct possibility. Or a snake bite. Or starvation. Or exposure.
So far my husband, our two friends, and ,myself have played nine games and we STILL haven't made it to Oregon. Even though we lose supplies fording rivers, die quite frequently, and are always in need of a new wagon axle, we still have a lot of fun playing.
Just like the computer game, the goal of the card game is to get from Missouri to Oregon. If at least one member of your wagon party survives, everyone wins. There are trail cards, supply cards, and calamity cards. Each player is dealt trail and supply cards, and you only draw calamity cards if you are directed to by the trail card you play on your turn. There are ten rounds of the game, each round consisting of laying down five trail cards from point a (Missouri) to point b (Oregon). Once you have five cards down you stack them up and begin your new set of five right in front of the first stack. By the end of the game (if you don't all die horribly) you will have ten stacks leading from Missouri to Oregon and your team wins the game. I think the closest we've ever gotten is to set nine.
Calamity cards are only drawn when directed on a trail card. Only the player of the card draws a calamity card. Calamities can range from illness, snake bites, injuries, broken wagon parts, etc.
Supply cards remedy calamity cards. You draw supply cards before you set out from Oregon and you can get new cards if you play a Town or Fort card. Players may use their supply cards to help other teammates. Supply cards that are not in hand make up the "store".
I recommend this game, it's fun and has the nostalgia factor going for it. Maybe one day, somehow, my wagon party and I will finally make it to Oregon.