Do you remember playing Oregon Trail as a kid? Computer class was such a blast, wasn’t it? (Well, it was a blast until you died of Dysentery!(
I have recently discovered The Oregon Trail Card Game… and it’s a completely hilarious trip down memory lane!
The Oregon Trail Card Game Is a Fun Trip Down Memory Lane!
This post is part of my Growing List of My Little Poppies Game Reviews. Slowly but surely, I am making my way through our game closet and sharing our thoughts. Stay tuned for more posts in this series!
The Oregon Trail Card Game is a blast from the past!
The Oregon Trail Card Game will bring you back to sixth grade! I have thoroughly enjoyed sharing this game with my children.
My kiddos find this card game to be both challenging and absolutely hilarious (in part because they cannot believe I was “alive when computer games looked like that!”)
Included in the game:
The Oregon Trail Card Game includes:
- 1 Dry-Erase Marker
- 58 Trail Cards
- 32 Calamity Cards
- 26 Supply Cards
- 1 Die
- 1 Laminated Wagon Party Roster Board
Goal of the game:
This collaborative game is a nod to the original computer version. The game simulates a trip over The Oregon Trail in 1847. All players are members of a wagon party that is attempting the 2,040-mile journey from Independence, Missouri to Willamette Valley, Oregon.
The goal of the game is for one player to make it to Willamette Valley, Oregon alive.
And, if you’ve played the game before, you already know that this is easier said than done!
How to play The Oregon Trail Card Game
The Oregon Trail Card Game is simple to setup and fun to play.
- Write the name of all wagon party members on the Wagon Party Roster Board
- Place the Start (Independence, MO) and Finish (Willamette Valley, Oregon) cards on the playing surface. (We typically play on the floor- you do need some space with this one!)
- Divide the cards into three decks and shuffle each deck:
- Supply Cards
- Calamity Cards
- Trail Cards
- Deal five Trail Cards to each player and place the remaining cards face down in a deck.
- Deal the appropriate number of Supply Cards (this number is dependent upon the number of players in the game) to each player.
- The remaining Supply Cards become the Shop. The youngest player is the Shopkeeper… until the first wagon member dies. And then that person takes over as Shopkeeper.
Playing the game:
- The player born closest to Willamette Valley, Oregon begins the game by connecting any of their Trail Cards to the Start Card.
- Play then passes to the left.
- Once the trail as started, players have two choices on each turn:
- Play a Trail Card or
- Play a Supply Card
- All Trail Cards will connect to a Fort, Town, Start, or Finish Card.
- Players must follow instructions listed on the Trail Cards they place. For example, if the card reads “Press Spacebar to Continue,” the player must draw a Calamity Card and follow its instructions.
- If an oxen dies or the wagon breaks down, no one can play a Trail Card until the situation is resolved.
- Players do not have to play a Supply Card to remedy a calamity. In other words, sometimes it is better to have a player die than to fix the calamity.
- When players die, they “will” two of their Supply Cards to other players. Their Trail Cards are returned to the bottom of the Trail Card deck. The Shopkeeper erases that player’s name from the roster and flips the board over to write the player’s name, and a short epitaph, on one of the tombstones.
Ending the game:
The game ends when one player makes it to Willamette Valley, Oregon or when all players have died.
Note to parents:
It’s important to warn young players that most people die during this game. The instructions included with the card game state this, so show it to the kids ahead of time so as to avoid tantrums. (I have had my share of board flipping and this is what I did to make the game fun and not filled with tears!)
Love card games?
We do too! Check out this article for more of our family’s favorites:
Do you love games and gameschooling?
Be sure to check out these related posts:
- Growing List of My Little Poppies Game Reviews
- Ultimate Gamelist: A Free Library of Gameschool Resources
- Gameschool Challenge: Add More Play To Your Day!
- Ultimate Guide to Family Games
- 100 Picture Books and Games for Play-Based Learning
- 10 Tips for a Successful Family Game Night
- Top Educational One-Player Games
- 10+ Amazing Math Games for Your Homeschool
- 10+ Science Games for Your Homeschool
Do you want to see our gameschool in action?
Be sure to follow My Little Poppies because we share snapshots of gameschooling moments… and heaps of incredible books!
You are also invited to join the My Little Poppies Gameschool Community, a private Facebook Group for parents who wish to add more play to their family and/or homeschool routine.
Now, it’s your turn. Tell me: What is your family’s favorite game right now? Share here.
Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast and is co-founder of Raising Poppies, a community for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children. Cait is also founder of the Family Book Club at My Little Poppies, a fantastic community of book-loving parents and the Gameschool Community at My Little Poppies, a vibrant community of gameschoolers.
Cait is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool and GeekMom. Her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, and Scary Mommy. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram