If you weren’t around for the great Enviro-Bear 2010 [99¢] fiasco of, well, 2009, here’s what you missed- Imagine you’re a bear, driving a car, and you have five minutes to fatten yourself up as much as possible before finally driving your car in to your bear cave. The ridiculousness of the game’s premise was matched only by the terrible controls and even worse pixel art which in our review we dubbed the best bear driving simulator on the App Store. (A worthy title.) I invoke the unholy name of Enviro-Bear because it’s from those same fiery depths of hell that So Long, Oregon! [$1.99] was forged in.
So Long, Oregon! is “A fun new game about American history" according to the developers, where you pilot (I say pilot because you spend most of the game airborne) a Conestoga wagon from Independence, Missouri to El Dorado— The legendary city of gold. Much like the original Oregon Trail, you’ll need to cross rivers, travel the countryside, murder swaths of helpless animals, become afflicted with various diseases, and lose your loved ones in the process of searching for said ancient gold.
Unlike the the original Oregon Trail, you don’t make it to El Dorado through intense simulation, ration management, profession selection, caulking and/or floating the wagon across rivers, or anything else. Instead you just hold down the left arrow and go flipping over hills, and tapping the screen to let out a barrage of bullets to kill anything in your path to then collect its meat for your food stores. The hills and mountains are tall, and will often send you flipping end to end or just flat out landing upside down forcing you to wait until your wagon rights itself.
Along the way you’ll find various settlements such as indian camps that give you food, disease, or flat out curse your wagon. There are also trading posts that you can trade for food, bullets, or sometimes even see a doctor. There are other surprises along the trail, but I won’t spoil them.
The novelty value of So Long, Oregon! is out of this world, especially if you have fond memories of the original Oregon Trail. But, much like Enviro-Bear 2010, both the controls and gameplay seem to be intentionally bad so if you’re looking for something serious So Long, Oregon! is not what you need. If you do like these kinds of silly games, there’s a lot to love about So Long, Oregon! such as multiple ridiculous game modes with tons of wagons to race, tons of animals to shoot, a case of the super-measles to deal with, and others. There’s also all kinds of Open Feint achievements and online leaderboards.
The windows version of the game can be downloaded for free and likely will provide more So Long, Oregon! than one person would ever need in their life. If you need more, download the iOS version which also happens to be universal and is equally weird regardless of which device you’re playing it on.