The Trail Is More Fun Than You’d Expect.
(AfroGamers.com) Mobile games can be hit or miss—more on the miss side. For every one game that really stands out, you’ll run into several clones. Of those clones maybe two would have potential. This is especially true of the recent influx of battle royal games and has always been true of mobile MMORPGs. Man, those MMORPGs are always so cluttered on screen. Then you have something like The Trail.
What Is The Trail?
Developed by 22Cans and released by Kongregate last year, The Trail is the latest game by Peter Molyneux, creator of Dungeon Keeper, Fable, and Black & White. You might be thinking “Oh, so it’s a god game or something like that.” No, that’s what Godus is for on mobile. This is something different, something new that we should’ve gotten a very long time ago.
The simplest explanation I can give of The Trail is that it’s Oregon Trail on foot. Oregon Trail, the educational classic that has been in schools every decade since 1974, required you to guide a wagon of settlers from the east coast all the way to Oregon.
Being that it takes place in 1847, you had to deal with illnesses, determine how much supplies you need, and determine how you should cross rivers. Trust me, Oregon Trail is harder than it sounds. Your best laid plans will falter at least twice.
The Trail takes that concept and have you play as a new pioneer in a strange land. You could is to reach Eden Falls, the first and only settlement for about 10 miles. Needless to say, your trek will be a difficult one.
Number one: the game plays in portrait view. Perfect since I dread starting up a game that shows screenshots in portrait and I see the picture flip sideways. My lazy side kicks in like “You mean I have to use both hands to play this?!”
That’s not the case with The Trail. As a matter of fact, one of the selling points it lists in the description is that it can be played with one hand.
The mechanics in the game are pretty simple. Your character walks along a path that leads through the land. Terrain changes as you march through and the resources vary. In some you might find bountiful hunting while hunting might be lax or nonexistent elsewhere.
Trade takes place at rest stops, which can be revisited, so hunting for furs and meat and logging are important. Gathering will also prove useful since all quests require it. See, you’re given a backpack that makes use of some interesting physics. By “interesting” I mean everything bounces and jostles about and you’ll need to be good at stuffing everything you pick up.
Crafting and Such
Crafting is probably the most important task. The quests open up more recipes and can determine your specialty the more you do in a quest. You could be an explorer meaning you get better stamina for trekking, a hunter, a trader, or lumberjack.
Just like a number of games now, you’ll need to make your own clothes, a larger backpack and other gear. You’ll need to craft gear regularly since your gears’ durability is determined by how many kilometers it’ll last before breaking. There been no shortage of players traveling in underwear with a backpack because of this.
In addition to this, you’ll make money by crafting and selling whatever you don’t want to carry. You’ll need money to buy your plot of land in a town or to pay river tolls. Once you reach Eden Falls or any town with available plots, you’ll take an occupation and contribute to the wealth of town. Players handle the governance and prosperity of the town.
If townspeople (players) pitch in “favors”—premium currency that you can purchase in bulk or just collect over over a few days—other stuff like town elections can be unlocked.
The Trail is 100-percent a chill game. It’s a player versus environment game but you don’t fight anything. The distance between towns and rest stops and your stamina are your enemies. I would say this is a time waster but you’re going to want to continue your trek to see if you can make it to the next or just to gather and craft.
This title is simple in execution but it presents a fun challenge. In-game chat would be fun but as is, this is a unique sleeper game. There really isn’t anything like The Trail available.
RATING: 8.5 out of 10 (Highly Recommended)
Staff Writer; M. Swift
This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.