If you’re of a certain age, the most fun you ever had in grade school was playing The Oregon Trail, the DOS game which attempted to teach children about the hardships of expanding the American frontier, but was really just a 19th century death simulator for a small farming family. You could watch ma, pa and up to four children die by starvation, drowning them when trying to ford a river,?dysentery, cholera, measles, mumps, probably some more I’m forgetting, and I swear to God one of my kids once died of syphilis (the whore). And the best part is that other than feeding your family by the awesome “hunting for food” mini-game, you could solve none of these problems. You just tried to get to Oregon and hoped someone was lucky enough to survive.
The point being that Gameloft has updated Oregon Trail for the iPhone, and it might be the greatest game of the year. Check out the trailer — there’s a ton of new mini-games, people to meet, and it’s all gussied up with adorable Harvest Moon/anime-esque graphics. which I like, but even people who hate anime should like, since they can watch these adorable anime tots die horribly.?The game’s tagline is “Make dysentery fun again!” and frankly, I’m willing to pay GameLoft $6 just to reward them for thinking that up.
Robert Bricken is one of the original co-founders of the site formerly known as Topless Robot, and its first editor-in-chief, serving from 2008-12. He brought the site to prominence with “nerd news, humor and self-loathing” as its motto, raising it from total internet obscurity to a readership in the millions, with help from his savage “FAQ” movie reviews and Fan Fiction Fridays. Under his tenure Topless Robot was covered by Gawker, Wired, Defamer, New York magazine, ABC News, and others, and his articles have been praised by Roger Ebert, Avengers actor Clark Gregg, comedian and The Daily Show correspondent John Hodgman, the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Rifftrax, and others. He is currently the managing editor of io9.com. Despite decades as both an amateur and professional nerd, he continues to be completely unprepared for either the zombie apocalypse or the robot uprising.