The Yukon Trail
The Yukon Trail is an educational strategy video game developed and published by MECC for Macintosh Classic and Windows 3 in 1994. A later CD-ROM release was made in 1997 for Windows which included voice acting. The game follows the formula of previous games from the Trail series where you make decisions to outfit yourself for a journey and then play several minigames as you travel to your destination, in this case, Yukon Territory. If you're able to make it there, you setup camp and search for gold. During the process, the game will help teach you information about what life was like for a prospector during the gold rush of the 1800s.
My cousin had this game and we played it a couple times. Having only played much older versions of The Oregon Trail prior to this game, I was very much impressed by it initially, however, as I discovered the game is essentially the same after every replay, I didn't have much desire to play it after I was able to make a successful camp.
I don't own this game, but I have beaten it.
- Though certainly not technically impressive for the time, the art is well-drawn. The game also has a lot of maps and scenes from the regions you travel through.
- The game features several period songs for music which really help immerse you in the game.
- The game is chock full of historic information about the gold rush as well as NPCs of relevant historical figures. Even if you ignore all the educational bits, you can't help but pick up some history.
- There are a whole bunch of minigames throughout your travels that keep it interesting. These include gambling games and reactionary action games.
- None of the educational bits are every really necessary for beating the game because the game holds your hand through most of it. You don't have to study maps, read old diaries, or learn about anything to successfully beat the game.
- The controls during the action sequences, like navigating the rapids, are awful.
- A large amount of the game is random. When disaster strikes when you're walking, you can only react to it, you can't really do anything to avoid it. Worse still is ship travel where you can't even do anything to react to the bad events. Placing stuff outside of the player's control does not make for an enjoyable gaming experience.