Another remake to the popular simulation game set in the midwest. The Oregon Trail: American Settler for Android lives up to its name in a modern and maybe overly simplistic way. The gameplay easily appeals to all the social butterflies with its constant nagging to share each and every achievment. The game’s graphics flow smoothly even on low end devices but that in turn increases loading times significantly. I could not help but notice that the game has a whole lot in common with Farmville on Facebook.
It is well-animated and pretty fast paced from the beginning, you might stay busy for awhile but not long enough. Not only are you doing most of the work yourself (despite having a sizable family) but the tasks seem menial even after establishing a proper settlement. The touch screen controls work surprisingly well making it easy to drag and drop pretty much all the improvements onto whatever grid you want, unless of course it’s blocked with trees, rocks or loitering
people. The transition from one wagon and an ox to a sizable and fully functional town complete with an infirmary, lodges, stores and housing is pretty neat to watch. Your spouse walks you through much of the process so the learning curve is not very steep at all.
There are also little quests along the way although many of the objectives are unknown so don’t go looking for anything specific to complete. If you have time and some concept of management you won’t find the game hard at all. If you don’t have either then I suggest moving on to something else, everyone in-between might play it because it’s one of the many children of a classic.
One of my favorite aspects of this game is being able to chase after wild animals with a boom-stick. There’s something satisfying about running around in a town of shanty’s while effectively failing at ambushing an innocent creature. Who ever said that the pioneers were good hunters anyway? It’s a good thing food is bountiful on the frontier, right? Raising crops is probably the best way to go about feeding your growing community, requiring little energy and micro-management. That’s not to say that you all have to be vegetarians, raising some livestock is an option so you can cater to all those burly townsfolk.
The UI is easy enough to handle, there is an obvious lack of description but that does not effect gameplay to any extreme. Random events spice up what would be a simple minded game otherwise. The decisions during these events cost a tad much considering they don’t really pay off. A little bit of extra wood doesn’t do much to thwart the efforts of Mother Nature.
Besides the accidental tapping (it’s that sensitive sometimes) and reoccurring case of dysentery, The Oregon trail: American Settler is a solid time killer. It’s free to play unless you are impatient and willing to buy resources with real money. Of course you can easily obtain them through practicing deforestation and other means that may or may not be against your morals. It’s up to you.