Gaming Apps: Oregon Trail: American Settler Review
Published by Gameloft
Developed by Gameloft
Rated E for Everyone
In this day and age it’s hard to find a game that’s original to itself. Most games out there are based off one game, a takeoff of another, a mirror image of this, or taken great liberties with that. From what I hear The Oregon Trail: American Settler is a clone of FrontierVille, a Facebook game by Zynga. For some it may feel that way but I tried Frontierville for all of 5 minutes before deciding to never play it again. I HATE searching out and adding random people to my Facebook, I HATE begging for parts from my “friends,” I HATE having posts run all over my Facebook page about whatever game I’m playing. Some people like it, some people don’t mind it…I can’t stand it. I know…I know…that’s what the ignore App feature is for, and trust me…I use it.
American settler is a game that you could, and I do, play on my own without begging for help from any neighbors since I don’t currently have any. I’m at a level 81, so it can be done. The earlier versions of this game were a pain in the butt because it kept crashing or wouldn’t load properly, or at all. It looks like Gameloft finally got their act together and finally got the App to work right. I had originally started this game before Thanksgiving of 2011 but gave it up due to the fact that they couldn’t get their App to work right. Fast forward several months and things seem to be working as they should.
Oregon Trailer: American Settler starts off where the original Oregon Trail App/Game left off. You’re not given a parcel of land to try and grow a community. You’ll have to follow some simple directions from some settlers who are there already, chop down trees, plant crops, build houses, hunt animals, put up some businesses in hopes of taking care of your family. As time goes on you’ll have more people to take care of as more people come to settle in your town.
In your menus you’ll see that different businesses yield different goods. A workshop will yield things like directions, worms, hammers, bricks, clothes, buckets, etc. An Infirmary will yield things like medicine, splints, herbs, needles, and other things to help people get better. A lot of buildings will just yield money, which you’ll need A LOT of.
There’s a couple of nods towards the original Oregon Trail that will remind you that you’re playing a continuation of a game instead of a rip off of another. When one of your community members gets sick or hurt it may be for one of the same reasons they did while you were on the Oregon Trail; cholera, dysentery, broken limb, etc.
There are a couple of events that you’ll need to plan ahead for as well in this game. There are bandits, floods, stampedes, and natural disasters that you’ll be given three choices to choose from. One requires an in-App cash program where you buy currency, one uses the money you’ve earned from your businesses, and one doesn’t use anything at all. Obviously the first one has the least amount of set back while the last one has the greatest.
You’ll also be given situations from people in your community that you’ll need to deal with. A woman’s husband may have passed and needs help, a kid may ask if some berries are safe enough to eat, a butcher may be ripping off their customers, or a bandit may be hiding around town somewhere. In each scenario you’ll be given some choices and once again you’ll have to pick the course of action you want to take. Each action has its own consequence, so choose wisely.
The graphics were bright, colorful, and you knew what everything was. It wasn’t out of this world but it wasn’t pixelated either. I enjoyed and still enjoy playing it on my iPad. The audio is decent as well. They give you some background music to enjoy but I’m not one to keep it on. I usually turn it off and listen to the TV or my own music while playing.
One of the drawbacks of the game is that you are capped at 50 energy units and that may seem like a lot now but once you get your community started, you’ll see that it runs out fast. You use it to pick crops, build buildings, hunt, etc. Some of these actions will gift you energy but not all of them do and you’ll find yourself running out quickly. Land expansions keep going up in price as well, so you’re always in need of constantly making money.
My 5 year old son doesn’t quite understand the game but he can do enough with it to take my turns when I’m not in the mood to. He likes seeing the cows in the flood scenes and he likes hunting the snakes and deer that come across the screen. So there are fun elements for kids and adults alike. And did I mention the price? Like the original Oregon Trail, it’s free. I like free.