The highly addictive educational game “Oregon Trail” challenge players to survive when they travel on the Oregon trail in a covered wagon during the mid-1800s. Players face many difficulties ranging from hunger and starvation to drowning to death by dysentery as they accompany their families to a new life in the West. Developed to bring history to life for elementary school students, this classic game has been recreated for modern gamers, with upgrading versions available for the PC, and various other gaming platforms and even on Facebook. “The Oregon Trail” series not only helps kids enhance their history and geography knowledge, but also teaches them real-life problem-solving skills and techniques, including the consequences of various actions or choices.
In this deceptively simple-design looking game, players must base their decision on basis of the principles of physics to navigate a ball around obstacles that seem so simple as though they were drawn by a child. A mouse, trackball or stylus (for version on touch screen computers) can be used to draw tools to help navigate the ball in the right direction. As objects are drawn, they affect on the ball according to the principles of physics. This game teaches kids about motion, energy and gravity as they play. If the children draws a series of stairs, for example, the ball will go down them realistically with the momentum dependent on the height and angle. Children learning by doing, and because there are plenty of way to complete each level, children are encouraged to experiment and be as creative as possible. While younger children will absolutely enjoy the basic version of the game, older kids might want to try out the deluxe version, which allows players to design on their own and share custom levels using an online interactive playground.