Welcome to the 55th issue of the GBAtemp Recommends Revival Project! This project is a weekly feature where we share our favorite games and applications with you. The things we recommend may be "old school" titles, a Homebrew, a ROM hack, sleeper hits, an application, etc, but one thing's for certain, we think they are fantastic and deserve your attention!
Organ Trail: Director's Cut
Organ Trail: Director's Cut
In 1978, Oregon Trail by Don Rawitsch was released to the public courtesy of the Minnesota Educational Computing Consortium. Written when Rawitsch was just a student teacher, the video game was an engaging classroom tool that taught children about 19th century pioneer life along the Oregon Trail. Utilizing similar gameplay mechanics, a modern parody-remake called Organ Trail was released in 2010 to the Internet. Organ Trail follows a group of ragtag survivors as they attempt to cross the United States on their way towards a safe area during a zombie apocalypse. In December of 2011 Organ Trail: Director’s Cut appeared on Kickstarter.com, where it successfully raised funding for a revamped Android and iOS release (later PC and Mac). The Director’s Cut release features many additions over the original, including customizable protagonists, random encounters, boss fights, achievement trophies, an updated soundtrack, and more.
In Organ Trail, 5 survivors travel across America in a beat up station wagon. Each leg of this journey uses up precious resources such as food and fuel. Earning money and replenishing resources happens while scavenging the zombie packed wilderness or by visiting stops along the way. While scavenging, the player directs the main protagonists around the screen, collecting randomly appearing objects such as food and scraps of metal. Zombies can be avoided or shot, however shooting them uses up your limited supply of ammunition. Stops along the way include small towns and big cities, and feature similar ways to stock up on supplies. Jobs can be taken for payouts including such items as food or medicine, other survivors can be traded with, and on occasion items can also be bought and sold at a makeshift store. While stocking up on survival supplies is important, it is equally as important to maintain the status of your station wagon. The vehicle can be repaired and upgraded, some times using the scraps of metal found while scavenging, others while trading or spending money. Large settlements will have auto shops with special upgrades for purchase. These upgrades include items such as mufflers that never break, chainsaw windows for escaping zombie hordes, and even an air freshener that can reduce the damage of certain passengers.
Stopping at settlements, towns, or cities make up the majority of the survival-simulation and it is here that players will perform most of the micromanagement. However, the game does provide some interactive events that only present themselves while the driving. These interactive events include some blind-luck guessing games, while others are completely dialog driven through choose-your-own-adventure style interactions. The interactive events can be rather rare and do not seem to happen as often as automatic random events, events that take the form of simple pop-up messages that inform the player of a problem and a result. The results are often the loss of supplies such as gas, food, or ammunition; while at other times they take the form of life threatening injuries, such as a broken arm or a zombie bite.
Organ Trail: Director’s Cut utilizes pixels with careful nostalgia. Graphics will transport gamers back to the days of monochrome displays and the BASIC programming language. While the music was completely redone for this release, it was carefully engineered to not only fit with the theme of the adventure but also the complete retro package. As well put together as this package feels, the game does have some room for improvement. These things include the challenging shooting mechanics, vehicular mechanics that make little sense, as in losing a muffler completely cripples your vehicle, as well as the limited amount of interactive random events. While these problems do exist they leave little to complain about when compared against the overall experience.
Organ Trail: Director’s Cut is a modern spin on a classic game which incorporates a generation’s current love of zombies. The survival-simulation digs deep enough to provide an engrossing experience across multiple achievement trophies replays. The game is rather short, and experienced players should be able to complete it in under a few hours. Organ Trail: Director's Cut will appeal to retro gamers, fans of the original Oregon Trail videogame, simulation lovers, science fiction fans, and those who have a guilty pleasure for zombies.
Release Year: 2012
Developed and Published by: The Men Who Wear Many Hats
Released for: Android, iOS
Future Releases Include: PC, Mac
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