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.