The Oregon Trail Game: Journey to Willamette Valley Review (Pressman)

The Oregon Trail Game: Journey to Willamette Valley
What It Is

Take a trip down the Oregon Trail when you play The Oregon Trail Game: Journey to Willamette Valley. This is a strategy board game version of the popular computer game from the late 1980s and 1990s. In this version, you must make it from Independence, Mo., to the Willamette Valley with the most money to win.

Basically, players take turns performing a series of steps on each turn. They play one or two trail tile cards to create a trail on the game board. (Players will always have two trail tile cards in their hands.) Then, they draw a Calamity card and do what it says. Not all Calamity cards are bad, but most of them are. If there's a way to avoid the calamity, the card will tell you how to do it. 

After that, you can take up to three actions: move your wagon piece along the board's trail, hunt, buy supplies, pick up hitchhikers, and sell supplies. Some of these actions can only be done if you've landed on specific trail tiles and if you have enough money. There are free actions that you can do, including cross a river by rolling a die, trading, avoiding a calamity, throwing out supplies, and using medicine if you have it.

At the end of your turn, you draw a new Market Price Card that shows you the prices town tiles will pay for supplies, resolve a Calamity card, and feed your family members. This involves discarding one of your meat cubes.

Of course, along the way your family members can lose health if you run out of food or don't have winter clothes and pass through a winter tile, so you'll want to pay attention to all of that because you earn extra money in the end for each point of health your family members have. And if any of your family members die, well, that's money you lose. 

Is It Fun?

There is a lot to keep track of in this game - when your family members lose health points, what to do on each trail tile, the different types of moves - and you almost long for the days when the computer remembered it all for you. There are nine pages of instructions to read through, so it's going to take some time to familiarize yourself with how to play. Hard-core fans of The Oregon Trail and gamers who like these types of detailed strategy games might find this more appealing than the casual gamer.

Who It’s For

The Oregon Trail Game: Journey to Willamette Valley is for two to four players ages 14 and up. Hard-core fans of The Oregon Trail who like detailed strategy games will enjoy playing this.

What To Be Aware Of

The game includes a game board, 48 trail tiles, 32 coins, a die, 97 cards, 72 small supply cubes, 20 large supply cubes, and player pieces. 

This game is available exclusively at Target.

  • Fun

  • Repeat Play

  • Assembly & Instructions