Remember last fall when The Oregon Trail Card Game first landed at Target and people went NUTS? This year Pressman released The Oregon Trail Hunt for Food Card Game — the part of the computer game I swear everyone liked the best. (BTW if you’ve never played the computer game I’m sorry your childhood was lacking, I have a link to it at the bottom.) This new card game can either be played as a stand-alone game or with the previous game — which might be fun considering you can bring back the food and supplies from this game to the original game. But if you die in the new game, you’ve died in both games — oh this new version gives you “5 new ways to die” so if you do die, it will be in a new way!
Everyone is going to share the bullets in this game and there are a limited supply. There are supply cards and hunting cards. There are 4 supply cards face up next to the deck and then ALL of the hunting cards are laid out in a 6 x 6 grid with 3 cards in each stack. The nice little hunter character has his own little stand and everyone gets a die. The goal is to collect 600 lbs of meat (6 animal cards) before everyone in the wagon dies.
You know how in the original game you would go to hunt food and there was stuff in your way and so you’d see that slow-moving bear but because you were standing behind some trees or had already shot a squirrel that was in between you and the bear, you couldn’t shoot it? This game is based on that premise. (No idea what I’m talking about — play the emulator below.) The first player will place the hunter on the grid of hunting cards on an edge card. They roll the die and that’s how many actions they can take. Actions are: move the hunter piece, flip over a card, or shoot. When you flip over a card your die roll determines how far away that card may be in your row or column (no willy-nilly or diagonal card flipping here!) The cards are either going to have something on it or be a blank card, and you must have all blank cards between the hunter and an animal to be able to shoot and kill it. Some of the other cards are: animals, obstacles (those annoying things from the game), “calamities” which are probably going to kill you, and abandoned wagons that allow you to select supplies from the supply deck but then become a permanent obstacle.
Let’s just say that you’ve managed to get to a point in the game where enough cards are flipped that you have a clear path to shoot a bison. Great! But now everyone must roll a 1 or 2 for you to actually shoot it. If they do, it’s only cost you 100 bullets. If anyone misses (and rolls a 3 or 4), the you as a group must decide if you want to spend another 100 bullets to let the people who didn’t roll a 1 or 2 to roll again so that you can collect your 100 lbs of meat. If everyone is able to roll the correct number then you’ve got 100 lbs out of your 600 lbs! You may notice that there are squirrels and rabbits in the game and fear not — you’re not wasting bullets shooting at those cards, instead those cards represent well over 100 lbs of squirrel meat. (Remember from the computer game you can only carry 100 lbs back to your wagon.)
There are also ways to help heal those who have flipped a calamity cards. If you’re suffering from dehydration, someone can cure you but drawing a water card before someone else starts to suffer from dehydration. If someone else flips a dehydration card before you’ve been given water go ahead and add your name to a headstone (if you’re also playing the original game).
Overall, I’m amazed at how complex (in a good way) they could make a game about the shooting portion of The Oregon Trail. I’m looking forward to trying it with varying number of players, because it’s going to be harder to get everyone to roll the necessary number with more, but easier to wipe out everyone out with fewer players. The two thing I didn’t like about the game? The long instructions — but they have a video of the rules that I’ve embedded below so watch that and make life easier. Second, there are only 4 floppy disc coasters — how do I choose who isn’t worthy in a 6 player game? Maybe it’s whoever brings the best game night snacks. 😉
The Oregon Trail: Hunt for Food Card Game Stats:
~$12-15 Target Exclusive!
Game was provided free of charge from the manufacturer with no guarantee of review (I’ve got to like it).
Link to The Oregon Trail emulator: https://archive.org/details/msdos_Oregon_Trail_The_1990 and I totally played it after looking up the link. After losing most of my stuff in a fire on day 3 we made it to Oregon with 4 people in very poor health. HA!