Oregon (video game)

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Example of teletype print out.

Oregon, also known as The Oregon Trail, is an educational strategy video game developed by Don Rawitsch, Bill Heinemann, and Paul Dillenberger for the HP 2100 which debuted on 1971-12-03. The game was created as a teaching aide for students and meant to educate them on the difficulties pioneers would have faced traveling in a covered wagon along the actual Oregon Trail in the 1840s from Independence, Missouri, to Oregon City, Oregon. The game was originally played, not on a monitor, but printed on a teletype.

After a few years, the game became popular among schools in the Minnesota area, and publishing rights were bought by MECC in 1974. MECC ported the game to the CDC Cyber 70 in 1974 and Sol-20 in 1978. The source CDC Cyber 70 source code was published in Creative Computing in the May 1978 issue. The game became quite successful, and, in 1980, MECC created an updated version for the Apple II which was included in a program called Elementary Volume 6. The game went on to spawn over a dozen sequels and spinoffs in the Trail series.

The HP 2100 original was programmed in HP Time-Shared BASIC, the CDC Cyber 70 port was programmed in an updated Control Data BASIC, and the Sol-20 port was programmed in Processor Technology BASIC. Source code for some of these versions is linked to below. In 2015, Chris Torrence ported the 1975 source to the Apple II using Applesoft BASIC.


In elementary school, I played a later version on the Commodore 64 in a compilation package called Expeditions. I only learned about this original version while researching the history of the game.


Much of the source code for these ports has been released, but I have not played any of them.


I very briefly played the Apple II fan port, and found it to be quite dull.



Source Code


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