A few weeks ago The Oregon Trail Handheld was marked down to under $10 and I picked it up. If you don't remember, last year Target had the Oregon Trail handheld exclusively in stores alongside an Oregon Trail card game. I picked up the card game and wasn't impressed but when I recently got the handheld I took it to a beach trip with some friends and asked them if they wanted to play it. We had a very lucky run and made it all the way to Oregon only having one person in our party die on the rapids on the Willamette River. The Oregon Trail Handheld is a great port of the game that looks like it might not work with the odd controls on front but I was very surprised how seamless everything worked. The games screen is light enough to see quite well and the speaker is good enough to do the original bleeps and bloop effects justice.

At the end of the day these kinds of handhelds are a great way to come back and play a game you miss but if you didn't grow up in the glow of Oregon Trail on the Apple II this might not be interesting to you. The game itself is quite good and i'd my only critique is that some runs are so punishing as to be quite dark in tone. In one run everything might be going in your favor and the game seems easy and the next run you can have everyone in your party wiped out before you hit the halfway point.

As I said before I took this game to a beach house and played it with friends and if you are so included, I recommend playing it that way. Not that you must play this game from a beach house but playing this with friends feels like a shared experience game akin to Dungeons and Dragons. Basically you have one person take the roll of the Wagon Leader who controls the game and reads out what's happening on screen and everyone takes part in what choices you make to head west.

It seems that the incredibly cheap price I picked up the game for was a discount to clear out stock but if you can find it, i'd recommend getting it. As LGR says in his video above, this handheld will become collectable at some point and if it's well worth a couple bucks to play every so often to die of dysentery, a broken leg or actually make it to Oregon alive.

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