[iPhone] Organ Trail got a new update: Has this cross-country zombie game improved?

mzl.yypboyez.320x480-75If you’re of a certain age, then you undoubtedly have fond memories of playing Oregon Trail…and some not so fun memories of having your oxen die every time you tried to ford that darn river! In the summer of 2012, iOS users got their first look at Organ Trail, a zombie apocalypse homage to the cross-country journey in Oregon Trail. On this past Friday, the Organ Trail iOS game got a big update. If you played the game on its original release and gave it up, now may be the perfect time to give it another go!

What is it and what does it do

Main Functionality

Organ Trail: Director’s Cut is the iOS version of the original Organ Trail flash game, released for the web in 2011.

Pros

  • Intriguing story and retro graphics
  • Great Apple II-inspired sounds
  • Four game settings: easy, normal, difficult, suicide
  • Amusing homage to Oregon Trail’s game mechanics
  • Game includes a variety of minigames, from shooting attackers to gathering supplies to smashing up other cars on the road
  • Built-in tweet functionality to share your gameplay experiences
  • Latest update adds new features, game balance tweaks, and bug fixes

Cons

  • Unlike Oregon Trail, even the easiest setting of Organ Trail can be brutally tough to beat, even after previous updates to the game balance. Certain minigames seem much tougher now than they did in earlier versions, for example.
  • This updated version of the game seems a bit laggy at times, compared to past versions

Discussion

mzl.zfgwydzv.320x480-75The story in Organ Trail is pretty entertaining. After trying to find shelter in DC, you travel across the United States in a station wagon, searching of a safe haven from the zombie outbreak. As you travel across the country, you’ll need to avoid zombie hordes, keep your food rations high, fix your car if it breaks down, and make sure you never run out of ammo or medkits. If your car does break down, you’ll have to scavenge for scrap to repair it with.

I first played this game on its initial launch for iOS last summer, and found it to be brutally hard. I played it over and over again on the easiest setting and never made it to the end. An update was released that re-balanced the game and made it a bit easier, but even easy mode was still tough to beat.

The latest version of the game, Version 1.6.6, has a couple of tweaks that make the game more accessible for players who want to play the game through on the easy setting before embarking on a “suicide mode” quest.

One tweak is a game balance modification that doubles medkit scavenger effectiveness. This makes it easier to recover after a long time on the road with little rations, and enables you to save party members that are suffering from dysentery or measles. There are also some bug fixes for combat scenarios.

Conclusion and download link

With wicked humor, challenging gameplay, and a wonderfully retro look, Organ Trail is a must-play for fans of zombie films or the classic Oregon Trail historical game. If you tried the game when it first launched and were frustrated, now is a great time to give it another look.

Price: $2.99

Version reviewed: 1.6.6

Requires iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch, iOS version 4.0 or later

Download size: 66.5 MB

Organ Trail: Director’s Cut on Apple App Store

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