Remember the glory days of riding in a covered wagon across the prairie on the way to Oregon? Maybe fording a river or two and hunting for buffalo and rabbits? And especially not dying of dysentery or cholera?

No? Well, how about playing Oregon Trail in the comfort of your school computer lab? I remember the simple black screen and blocky green outline graphics. My husband remembers the fancier full-color version of the game. Either way, we both had fond memories of playing.


Pressman, which makes games and toys such as Elf on the Shelf, Tri-Ominos, Rummikub and Shopkins, has taken that beloved computer game, which was created by Minnesota teachers, and turned it into a card game: The Oregon Trail.

Recently, my husband, brother and sister-in-law joined me to give the game a go. The game has trail cards, which you use to make your way to Oregon; supply cards to help you fix your broken wagon axles and recover from cholera; and calamity cards, which throw even more obstacles into your path. All players are on the same team and can work together, sharing supply cards, to help other players stay alive. The goal is to have at least one person make it all the way to Oregon without dying.


This game is hard! We played five games and not once did anyone reach Oregon. I had the dubious honor of being the first to die in three of the games. Twice from dysentery and once from drowning in the river.

The game, which is sold exclusively at Target for $12.99, and is not available from Target's website, sells out quickly after being restocked. I finally snagged my copy a month after the game was first released.

I don't know that this version is quite as much fun as that computer game. For example, you don't really get to hunt, and we all know that was the most fun part of the computer version. But it was definitely good for a trip down memory lane. Just be ready for the dysentery.