A new kind of Trail

I loved Oregon Trail. Let’s face it – we all did. I was in grade school, and we had one computer in our room – an Apple II. We also had two games – Oregon Trail or a choose your own adventure quiz for Madeline L’Engle’s The Wrinkle in Time. When it was computer time, the choice was obvious – we all scrambled for Oregon Trail.

Thule TrailIt had everything we could want in a game – guns, adventure, personalization. Your friends would end up with a broken leg. You always tried to ford the river. You always lost all of your oxen. You always wondered what the hell Independence Rock was supposed to be; after all, 4-bit glory didn’t do it much justice.

It might not have even been 4-bit. Regardless, it was awesome.

Well, I’ve just stumbled upon its heir apparent.

Thule has created a wonderful little user-generated/lifestyle site called Thule Road Trip. It’s everything you’d want in a subsite – great pictures, a dedication to the brand and tons of fun distractions. It even has a list of “Road Tunes” available for free download.

Best of all, it has Thule Trail – a remake of Oregon Trail that takes you and your family from Chicago to the (fictional?) Atlantic Music Festival in California.

Choose your vehicle. Check the map. Stock up on supplies (CDs and games for the kids, bags of food for the ride). Hunt for food with your pellet gun, if you run out. See scenic outposts like the largest Pickle in the world. Compete in biking, kayaking and snowboarding contests. Pick up smelly hitchhikers.

It’s Oregon Trail for the rugged yuppie. It’s pretty brilliant. And it’s a fantastic time waster.

Ask my co-workers. I played through the entire game this morning (in the guise of advertising research, obviously).

Check it out. And good luck – at our stop in Vegas, Sierra fell in love and left the family.

(And for a longing look back at what Oregon Trail meant to us as kids, check out this article from Classic Gaming.)

This was lovingly handwritten on January 31st, 2008