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The Oregon tourism commission created this very Oregonian take on the classic game that bears the state’s name.

Mike Pomranz
November 06, 2017

Oregon’s tourism commission, Travel Oregon, has unveiled possibly the most Oregonian way ever to help promote travel to the state. Tapping into millennials' infamous love of everything nostalgic, the agency has released Travel Oregon: The Game—a fully-playable web-based spin on the classic computer game The Oregon Trail. But in this version, players are less worried about dying from dysentery and more concerned about making sure they have enough ibuprofen to fight off a wine hangover.

Yes, this latest take on the game pretty much nails everything an outsider would expect from a modern version of traveling around Oregon. The seven personas you can choose from are yoga teacher, apple farmer, ski pro, rancher, fly fisherman, winemaker and surfer. And at the first shop, forget about grabbing bullets and spare wagon axles; instead, players can start off by purchasing artisanal coffee, craft beer and kombucha. The key to keeping morale up: Stocking up on dry socks. (Don’t worry, you can pick up the aforementioned ibuprofen at a later store.)

Needless to say, the game has a serious food and beverage component. In the Willamette Valley, players go wine tasting—whereby you are immediately prompted that “A wine tour has mistaken you for a sommelier. See how long you can pretend you are an expert.” From there, the game really does grade you as you work your way through ten wine questions to prove your worth. At the next stop, Silver Falls State Park, you go truffle hunting in an extremely straightforward 8-bit style minigame. Once you get to Portland, a brewery tour name checks some fantastic local beers before slipping you into an ID checking challenge. And so it goes.

Overall, the game is engaging enough—at some points more than others. If you had the choice of playing it instead of spending time in a third grade math class, you’d definitely go for the former; though whether you have the time as an adult to really dig into it is far more unlikely… especially if you are working overtime to save up for a vacation to somewhere like  Oregon. But at the same time, if you are considering a trip to Oregon, and don’t know much about the state outside of a few Portlandia sketches, there are certainly more boring ways to inform yourself! Just make sure you keep your socks dry or your education may end early.