Play Oregon Trail Game Online

Let’s ford the river! I was in fifth grade at my school in Forest Grove, Oregon, and the memories are so fond. Our class had a Commodore 64 computer, and I spent hours and hours playing The Oregon Trail Game with its stunning 8-bit graphics. When I found out you could play an online emulated version of the original game, my adult heart leapt with joy.

A Brief History of the Oregon Trail Game

As early as 1971, there was a very early version of the game developed by an 8th grade teacher from Minnesota. He wanted a learning aid to teach his class what life on the trail from Independence, Missouri to The Dalles, Oregon was really like in the 1850s.

In 1984 the version I knew and loved when I was a kid was released, and a year later it was developed for the Apple II computer. There were later updates through 2021, but the original is still the most nostalgic for many people.

Classic gameplay, educational purposes

game oregon trail online died of dysentery
Best way to die in video game history?

Against a black 16-color VGA background, your job was to guide your wagon from Missouri to Oregon, braving the dangers of rattlesnake bites, dangerous river crossings and attacks from hostile tribes. It was immersive. If you go too early in the year, flooding is a concern. If you leave too late, your cart could get stuck in the snow before you even reach Fort Dalles. Along the way, kids would learn about the Oregon Trail’s famous stops and landmarks, as well as the ubiquitous hazards along the way. Many things could mean instant death, broken bones and accidental gunshot wounds to perhaps the most memorable death in The Oregon Trail game: DYSENTERY.

Where to Play Oregon Trail Game Online

If you’re feeling nostalgic (or maybe you’ve never played before), click on the emulator below to start playing the game. Game Oregon Trail online. Are you going to die of cholera or make it to Oregon?

The New Oregon Trail Game Online

There is a new version of Gameloft’s Oregon Trail game available for Apple users on Apple Arcade. Check out the trailer for the new game below:

The Oregon Trail Card Game

The Oregon Trail Game card game

If you don’t like playing this classic online but still want to play, there’s a card game version of the Oregon Trail game you can try. Watch the how-to-play instruction video below to see if this is something you want to add to your game night board game collection.

You can Get the Oregon Trail card game at Target online.

True Oregon Trail Story

Oregon Trail History - Online Oregon Trail Game

Early Americans believed in the concept of “Manifest Destiny” or “the divinely ordained right of the United States to extend its borders to the Pacific Ocean and beyond.”

In order to extend our borders to the Pacific Ocean, the US government offered free land to those who wished to travel to “Oregon Country”. Pioneers heading west to claim land had to make a long and dangerous journey on foot on roads like the Oregon Trail.

Oregon Trail History - Pioneers
Oregon Trail Pioneers. Photo by BLMIdaho via Flickr CC2.

The pioneers sold all they had to buy a wagon and provisions, left their homes and families behind, and set out west with groups of other pioneers on a journey that could last up to a year. Many people did not survive the trip, and the Oregon Trail was littered with chests of drawers, pianos and other furniture pioneers who had to unload and leave behind because they could not be transported by upstream.

So many wagons passed on the Oregon Trail that wagon ruts are still visible in many sections of the trail today. Other portions of the trail have been paved to become roads that we travel by car. Oregon Trail wagon wheel ruts. Photo by Brewbooks via Flickr CC2.

When the pioneers arrived at their destination in the Pacific Northwest, they faced a wilderness that had to be tamed, and they had to work and improve their land for four years in order to keep the farm that had given them was given through the Oregon Gift Land Law.

The Oregon Trail Game
Oregon Trail Ruts sign. Photo by Ken Lund via Flickr CC2.

The Oregon Donation Land Act initially offered 320-acre parcels of land in 1843, but only to white male citizens. A woman could only claim 320 acres if she was married, meaning a married couple could claim 640 acres of land for their farm. The law changed in 1850 to offer half the land, so married couples could only claim 320 acres. Once a person had lived and made improvements to the land for four years, they received legal title to the property.

Learn more about the Oregon Trail and the Great Emigration of 1843 here.

You can also visit the National Oregon Trail Interpretive Center outside of Baker City, Oregon or the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center in Oregon City, Oregon.

For those who want to explore the Oregon Trail in real life, visit here to check that Awesome Oregon Trail road trip.

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