Oregon Trail Board Game Review

Tonight my family played the Oregon Trail board game, based on the video game, for the first time.

The instructions were fairly self-explanatory as to how play progresses. A few things were unclear at first, even after watching the short tutorial video.

The game has three types of cards, supplies, trail, and calamity. The trail leads you to calamity or supply cards and supply cards are used to resolve calamity cards. You can die from calamity cards or while fording rivers.

Each turn, a player can play a trail card, to progress, or a supply card, to resolve a calamity. This changes when you get down to two players, when each player can play two supply cards on one turn. If you can’t play a trail card and you aren’t stuck because of a calamity, you draw a trail card.

To win, the wagon team has to get through 50 trail cards (10 stacks of 5 cards) to reach Oregon. At least one player has to make it for everyone to win.

Some calamities are unclear when you get down to one player. For example, our first game, my mom drew a card that said she broke her arm and she had to skip two turns. Then I died, and I was the only other player. We had her continue anyway, because it was unclear if it would have any other effects.

We had a lot of fun playing this and will certainly play it again!

Adventures in Meldrick

I have found myself thinking about Adventures in Meldrick, the card game I am developing. As I mentioned last month, it is still in beta and I need to finish the card database.

Currently, all the cards are handwritten and on half of 3×5 lined index cards. I want to change this. A friend of mine has worked with me in the past, suggesting ideas for the card design and game mechanics. She would likely be willing to help again if I asked. Some aspects of the game can be worked out remotely, such as card design, but most of the problems are related to the game mechanics and the play time.

The game is still Monopoly. Not literally, of course, but due to the length of play time. I have played Adventures in Meldrick numerous times with my friends and family, but not even once did we finish. I’m working on changing the rules, mechanics, etc. to shorten it. Most people dislike long games simply because they are so time-consuming. I want to avoid that.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about making new, printed cards on cardstock. When the game is ready, I would like to make and sell it myself, though it is possible this will make it more expensive. It will be a while because I still need to fix some of the problems and edit the rules.

I plan on making posts about Adventures in Meldrick, and once it’s released, I will make a page on my website with purchasing information and links to FAQs, rules, instructions, etc. I want all the information about and for the game to be easily accessible. I might even make the rule card(s) or booklet optional since all of the information in it will be online.

As I work on this game, there will be more information. I won’t update this post, but I will make more posts in the future about it, detailing progress, specifics about the game, etc.