Super Amazing Wagon Adventure: Oregon Trail But Mad

By Nathan Grayson on June 19th, 2012 at 9:00 am.

By Super Amazing Wagon Adventure's standards, this screenshot is actually relatively tame.

I haven’t played Oregon Trail since I was this tall. And since I can’t gesture with my hands on the Internet, you can assume I mean as tall as the word “this.” As I remember it, though, Oregon Trail managed to twist the American school system’s central tenets of tedium and largely inapplicable knowledge into bonafide fun – at least, as far as ancient edutainment games go. The fine folks at Sparse Vector, however, have managed to take said obscure Oregonian lore and apply the hell out of it. So take that, America. Super Amazing Wagon Adventure, then, has its down home country roots in Oregon Trail and even allows you to hunt buffalo, name incredibly dysentery-prone characters after your awful friends, and whatnot. But – as the trailer beyond the treacherous trek that is the break demonstrates – there are also giant ants. And zombies. And machine guns. And buffalo-seeking missiles. And it’s mostly, er, a shoot-’em-up.

Looks pretty silly, right? Well, what if I told you it also sounds kind of ridiculously ambitious? No, stop! Don’t name an Oregon Trail character after me! At least hold off on practicing your strange form of virtual voodoo until after you read this:

“Super Amazing Wagon Adventure is a 2d shooting game that’s different every time you play.  You control a group of three emigrants traveling west along a wagon trail.  The game consists of short scenes that are sequenced together to tell a different random, crazy story each time you play.  One minute you could be massacring a herd of buffalo, the next trapped in an avalanche, the next attacked by eagles while falling off a cliff.”

Also mentioned: Bears, snakes, spiders, buffalo, avalanches, fire, scorpions, sharks, bandits, wolves, aliens, and time travel. So basically, it sounds positively insane – but in a really intriguing “what could possibly go wrong next?” sort of way. As of now, it’s hitting Xbox Live’s Indie Games channel “early summer,” with a PC release “following.”

Still though, my interest is piqued. Or, as Oregon-Trail-playing Child Me would’ve said: “Golly gee wimbledons, I get to kill all of the things! Die! Die! Die!” I was kind of an angry child.

Thanks, Indie Games.

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19 Comments »

  1. Beelzebud says:

    Okay I’m going to have to get this. I was sold at “100% historically accurate!”, just as it showed the wagon train riding high above the earth’s atmosphere.

  2. UmmonTL says:

    Hm, I don’t know how I feel about this. I love Oregon Trail but all I saw in that trailer is a 2D shooter made to look like that game. As far as 2D shooters go it looks awesome but does it even have any of the mechanics that made the old game special? Hard to tell just from that so I won’t judge too harshly for now.
    But as far as remakes of Oregon Trail go, the zombie apocalypse remake Organ Trail is pretty awesome as well and sticks close to the original formula.

    • Beelzebud says:

      I’m pretty sure that the point of this game is not to copy the game play of Oregon Trail, but just the look.

      • UmmonTL says:

        Ok but if the only connection is looks that’s pretty lame and nothing more than increasing the popularity of the game through nostalgia.
        I guess the deer icon on the right is your food and it looks like there are hunting sessions so they seem to have that. And one section looked like it was a river crossing, so yes they do have some elements of the original game.
        I’m not sure what else I’m expecting, the major focus of the original was trading for what you need and dealing with the randomness. And I’m guessing they want to keep out stuff that slows down their action like sitting around for a week waiting for a guy to trade you a new wheel or waiting until your buddy gets over his disentery.

        • MadTinkerer says:

          There’s plenty going on here that connects the game to the original:

          * Naming/customising your settlers
          * Hunting for food with guns (just rifles, though)
          * Crossing rivers
          * Randomized events
          * An overall goal of surviving long enough to complete the journey

          …and so on.

  3. Ailwhin says:

    As an Oregonian, I am mildly surprised they made British children play this game. Also the 5th grade field trip to Ft Lewis kinda blows. Just so you know.

    • danimalkingdom says:

      I’m positive that they didn’t make British children play this game. I do remember having to play a similar game about Columbus sailing to the new world, and you could die of scurvy and get thrown overboard in a mutiny. No idea what it was called, alas.

    • JB says:

      Nathan’s not a Brit. He’s a filthy colonial. But we love him all the same.

      • Ailwhin says:

        Ah, well, that is disappointing. And I am also curious about what it is like to die of scurvy in game, as opposed to dysentery.

    • ancienttoaster says:

      As a Ft Vancouver valedictorian, I found the beaver pelt display deeply engrossing. Can’t speak to Ft Lewis, tho. We Portlanders never ventured s’ far afield.

      • DD says:

        Go Blazers!…. I wish I didn’t feel like crying when I say that.

        • ElVaquero says:

          Wow, there are seeming hordes of us Oregonians on here. It’s too bad this idea is being used on a twin-stick shooter cause there are lots of other Trail-alikes that might be very much more interesting. Just never got into em

  4. kukouri says:

    THIS. LOOKS. AMAZING.

  5. kalelovil says:

    In the spirit of F**k Oregon let’s go find El Dorado:

    http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-16/?action=preview&uid=505

  6. gwathdring says:

    That is an absolutely beautiful thing.

  7. deadly.by.design says:

    My father was one-quarter buffalo and I find this highly offensive.

  8. Fumarole says:

    This version would have made grammar school so much better thirty years ago. I must say it pretty much accurately reflects what white folk did to buffalo and other fauna back in the day.

    As mentioned above, Organ Trail is a fine imagining of this game as well.

  9. Dark_Oppressor says:

    How come they seem to be traveling east in the video?

  10. Jerakal says:

    I cannot wipe the grin off my face after watching that trailer.

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