Peter Molyneux’s The Trail strolls onto PC

Lionheaded bullfrog Peter Molyneux and his 22Cans studio today launched the PC version of their hike ’em up The Trail: Frontier Challenge [official site]. It’s a game where players walk a path across a wild frontier, not to be confused with walking simulators where we get to have a lovely wander where we please. Along the way, folks get to collect stuff, take up a profession, craft, trade, dress up, and build a home. The Trail first hit pocket telephones last year, and has been reworked a touch for PC.

“PC players are looking for a completely immersive and uniquely challenging experience, and I think they will be pleased with what we’ve created,” Molyneux said.

“The gameplay has been developed to be far more strategic; for example, players will now have to balance what they carry in their packs against how fast and far they can travel. Bigger items are heavier and slow you down; smaller items are lighter so you can travel faster.”

The Trail: Frontier Challenge is out for Windows and Mac on Steam, priced at £9.89/13,49€/$13.49 with the 10% launch week discount.

Probably don’t buy this with an expectation of long-term support. 22Cans’ 2013 strategy game Godus and the 2016 fighty spin-off Godus Wars are both still in early access and neither has received a significant update in over a year. The Trail does have the benefit of a publisher, Kongregate, backing it but still, if you are interested I’d suggest buying as-is and treating any updates as bonuses.

39 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    Kinda crazy how far Molyneux’s reputation has tanked. CAn you imagine this article ten years ago? A release from him wouldn’t be given that big disclaimer on the bottom.

    But now? Yeah. And well deserved. Godus was a piece of crap, and this is just a mobile port.

    Makes me a bit sad.

    • durrbluh says:

      I can imagine it ten years ago, hell, I can imagine it (checking B&W release date) 16 years ago!

  2. shocked says:

    Do you think that you’re a pathological hiker?

    • AutonomyLost says:

      Lollerskates.

    • Unclepauly says:

      I have thumb up stickers I stick to my screen and I put one on your post. (then I scrolled down :()

  3. RayEllis says:

    Hmmm… no thanks. I already have a far superior alternative in The Long Dark, and that cost me less than this in a Steam sale.

    Also, did the trailer makers not care about texture popping?

    • Premium User Badge

      teije says:

      Yeah, TLD in easy setting (Pilgrim) is an awesome walking simulator with light survival elements. Like an unscripted Firewatch.

  4. lordcooper says:

    At this point, he’d have to pay me.

  5. Eight Rooks says:

    I actually really liked the original (and I mean really liked it) and pushing the F2P limitations of it – it was a great zen timewaster with some fantastic art and sound design – but, uh, there’s no way I’d pay actual money for it just like that. These ‘gameplay changes’ sound like something that could be absolutely disastrous – you basically had to run around with a full pack at all times to be able to handle the F2P model (to be able to keep your stamina up, always have fresh clothes when your old ones fell to bits etc., etc.) and there’s no way I’d blindly trust Uncle Peter to know what he’s doing at this point. I respect that he really did shut up and stop talking nonsense to the press, I had a lot of genuine fun with this on the iPad, but it hasn’t rehabilitated him by a long shot and I would neither rush into this for a tenner (or more!) nor recommend others do the same. It’s miles better than bleedin’ Godus, but it’s still descended from a F2P game that was monetised to the hilt, and perversely making it paid-only actually feels like it could be a step backwards.

  6. Talahar says:

    Would have tried it if it was f2p like the mobile version, but at this point there’s no way that I’ll throw another cent into the black hole that is Molyneux’s delusions. I’m utterly convinced that he needs professional help, and I’m not enabling more of his self-destructive behaviour.

  7. Scobie says:

    Behold our ever-present horrendous pop-in, we couldn’t even disguise it in the trailer.

  8. Kolbex says:

    The pop in really doesn’t seem that bad, guys.

  9. Freud says:

    The mobile game seemed like busywork disguised as gameplay.

  10. SpakAttack says:

    Screw you Molyneux – I ain’t buying shit from you again.

  11. Chunky Mustard says:

    That last paragraph really illustrates how well 22cans put it to their backers and Early Access customers – The Trail was developed using the money given to them to make what they pitched while they did something completely different all while lying that they really were working on Godus. Then the Godus Wars proof that they weren’t working on Godus itself and just used their customers for testing their mobile products.

    Yeah, not trusting this company to do anything other than blow smoke out their backsides. Lovely company for Kongregate to bed with…or maybe that should be CONgregate?

    • Shinard says:

      Hey, I like Kongregate. Not touching this for a gold clock, though (well, I probably would for a gold clock, but you know what I mean), because of Molyneux.

      • Chunky Mustard says:

        I, too, rather enjoy Kongregate.

        But if publishers are going to grab onto any ole thing without any sense of brand preservation then it’s their brand hit.

  12. Sgt_Moose says:

    I almost can’t believe Molyneux is still trying to make games. He should have retired years ago.

  13. Mattd says:

    Sorry, but after the disaster that was Godus there is no way I will touch this.

    They’ve blown their reputation to pieces. Shame.

  14. caff says:

    People can hate Molyneux for Godus – fine, it was rubbish. But you can’t hate the man – he’s got such passion and wacky ideas, most of which will never work, but some really did work and turned out to be classics that I will cherish forever. I’d rather have people like him in the games industry, at least in an educational capacity if not a creative role, than a lot of the developers on steam that churn out shit with stock assets.

    • noodlecake says:

      Yep. This.

    • Chunky Mustard says:

      Sad thing is that most of what we remember him for was by his teams and him taking all the credit. All of that talent have since moved on.

      FFS, the man was going to redo what made him a name, remember?

      Then he manages to fail Populous by making Godus into a total scam.

      Then we could also consider his ‘genius’ by making a clicker with a finite shelf life.

      The only thing he has been creative at lately is with his excuses – such as why paying Bryan would just be a publicity stunt…right after he made the poor lad into a publicity stunt in the first place.

      • caff says:

        Godus cost me £15, or thereabouts. I’ve spent £15 on a couple of drinks in a London bar, which promptly went down the drain 2 hours later, benefiting my life in no way.

        So in perspective, do we really have to be that dramatic about one project?

        • Mezelf says:

          Yes.
          Just think of what happened if we did the opposite: apathy.
          “Oh, you completely mismanaged a crowdfunded project, and now all the money is gone. No big deal! You’ll do better next time I’m sure. Maybe. Whatever.”

          Also: A game is not a beer. One is poison that rots your brain, makes you violent and gets you addicted. The other is beer.

          (I’m joking)

        • Chunky Mustard says:

          Would be quite different if it were just one project, but apparently new title = shunt memory to ground. Let me offer you some perspective about the whole thing with an abbreviated history lesson of 22scams:

          Curiosity:
          Made a publicity stunt out of someone then the reason given why the studio couldn’t pay him anything was because it would just be a publicity stunt.

          Godus:
          A fraudulent contract by the studio to the tune of £526,563, made fraudulent by the studio doing almost nothing of what was pitched nor doing much of anything for the backer rewards aside from an ‘art book’ of revised history.
          ~287,530 Steam Early Access customers used to test a prototype turned into a F2P mobile product in the hopes of receiving anything of the pitch. The reason why the studio burned through so many employees is because what was really going on in the studio didn’t match what was told to the public – unhealthy work environment, just ask SamVT about why he left:
          link to twitter.com

          Godus Wars:
          Under pretense of ‘Combat Update’ for Godus the studio had abused Early Access customers into refining features for another title to escape the bad press and review score of Godus. When that turned into an absolute bin fire with even their F2P mobile players on Facebook and Twitter the studio dropped the title entirely. Many think it was intentional given the paywall initially found early in the game.

          The Trail:
          The whole reason for the John Walker interview was because months before the interview the studio at large had moved over to NOT developing Godus, continuing to take money for a title effectively left dead in the water to finance the game in question – this game.

          Studios acting like that to destroy brand trust in everything they touch should become normalised and accepted? There’s a good reason why Peter went from being Guru Larry’s guest into becoming his favourite dick pic.

  15. JagdFlanker says:

    i’v posted this before, but if anybody wants to watch very well done detailed documentary series on The Rise and Fall of Peter Molyneux:

  16. wombat191 says:

    Sounds interesting.. oh it’s a Peter Molyneux game. I’m not touching this with a 10ft pole

  17. Be_reasonable says:

    I want to play Black and White 1 and 2. What’s the problem with selling it on GOG.com?

  18. FordTruck says:

    Love this guy and his ideas are mind blowing, I understand that he has messed up massively a few times but I’m always down to see what is possible in the future. I also feel the gaming community is the most vile group of people when it comes to these things they will bash this guy endlessly until he’s not working in the industry anymore, he has kids and it’s his passion and I would like him to keep going but reserve himself to more behind the scenes.

    • Hoot says:

      If a rich stock broker tanked every investment he was trusted with would you say the same? If a fireman bungled pretty much every rescue attempt he made would you say the same? If a policeman hadn’t caught a single criminal in over 8 years would you say the same?

      No offence but at this point, Molyneux needs to just go away. Like, yes, out of the industry. It’s sad that a man who is essentially a big kid with enthusiasm and not much else garnered such a revered reputation in the first place given that every success he’s ever had was on the back of a quality team of developers who reigned this arsehole in.

      Sorry if this sounds scathing, I just don’t like Molyneux. After reading John’s interview with him a couple years back I can’t think anything about the guy except “Man, Molyneux IS a pathological liar, and a wanker to boot!”.

      As for the “amazing ideas” argument, Theme Hospital and Dungeon Keeper yeah, but they were over 15 years ago. I see nothing amazing about a “walking simulator for phones”. What a crock of shit. Shameless moneygrabbing garbage.

    • Kasjer says:

      His ideas are not mindblowing, they were. Back in the 90’s. Since sequel to Black and White, Molyneux have not been involved in any original project. Godus and Godus Wars are bad games which try to mimic his past projects – and he cannot even finish them. The Trail is nothing special, played mobile game and it’s just boring f2p mechanics/artifical paywalls with nice art style.

      It was said multiple times – his former games were often great thanks to a lot of talented people around him. After they moved on, he proved that him being great visionary is a lie – he has not released any game that could be described as a solid 7/10 let alone great, since second Black and White which was just more of the same, as the first one.

      Anyone can make games and if this guy wants to, why not – but people should stop almost worship him because he is the guy who worked as a lead on Populous, Dungeon Keeper and the likes. And they should stop goving him money to fund projects he doesn’t even plan to finish. Also, people DO burn out and there are many examples of this. Ridley Scott was once among my favourite directors, but last good picture that came from him was Gladiator imo – after this, constant stream of poor attempts at film making backed by high budget. These days, when I see his name under a title, I read reviews and depending on them, skip the movie or wait for it to come to streaming services.

    • Chunky Mustard says:

      So a new game cleans the slate? Those who point out that this game’s development was made from the money collected to develop Godus, and was developed while the studio claimed to be working on Godus (surprise, Godus Wars), are the ‘most vile’?

      John Walker missed a question that should have illuminated some of the darker parts of developing with Peter:
      “When will you stop assaulting your employees?

      Get it now?

  19. Elusiv3Pastry says:

    Peter Molynope

  20. Nackertash says:

    *Walking not yet included

  21. dkfgo says:

    Oh, boy, here we go again!