Geek Out 

Let's Go to Oregon!

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Oregon is something of a moist Mecca. Not only because you people flocked to my damn state from California en masse, but also because we all grew up playing The Oregon Trail.

In an eerie case of symmetry, the original Apple II classic has recently spawned an updated, restored sequel for Apple's iPhone, courtesy of cell phone gaming company Gameloft. I'm not going to say it's perfect, but damn if the new Trail isn't a great way to simultaneously relive your childhood and waste hours of your life.

The biggest difference between the original and this remake is the platform: Given the iPhone's reliance on its touch screen, the fan-favorite hunting minigame is now accomplished by simply poking animals as they appear on screen. You'd think this would make it easier, but the slight element of chance in each of your shots balances out the difficulty perfectly. Gameloft did hunting right. Most of you won't need to hear any more to rush out and snag the $5 game from the App Store.

Gameloft also crafted an enjoyable replica of the actual traveling experience, too. The graphics look much better than they ever did in the original, you can still ford rivers and float down rapids, and your lame family members will still die of dysentery every time you look at them wrong.

With those two gold stars out of the way however, some of the additions are slightly annoying. Gameloft obviously wanted to simulate everything the pioneers did, so while you get to physically repair your wagon, pick berries, and fish for food, each minigame is a similar series of well-timed finger pokes. You won't hate it, but it does get repetitive.

Despite that, I heartily recommend the game to anyone who grew up on the original. Five bucks is, like, nothing, and even if you only reach Oregon twice, your green Lincoln has purchased 10 hours of novel yet familiar gaming. If only Hollywood's attempts to revive the '80s could be so successful.

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