Zynga’s Pioneer Trail: Like Oregon Trail without the dysentery

Technology News Blog

If there's one thing Zynga's good at, it's coming up with games that get people hooked and playing for hours on end. Take, for example, FarmVille: Some may find it inane and boring, but it's also addicting — so addicting you won't even realize how much time you wasted on it until it's too late. Zynga's new game, The Pioneer Trail, is a vastly different gameplay experience than FarmVille, but it has the potential to be just as habit-forming.

In The Pioneer Trail, you follow a storyline that begins with the kidnapping of a child named Ezekiel. Together with three of your friends, you embark on a rescue mission, and go through each of the game's maps — Beaver Valley, High Plains, Avalanche Pass, and final destination, Fort Courage — using your covered wagon. Sounds familiar? If the title of the game isn't enough of a dead giveaway, The Pioneer Trail's gameplay flows in the same vein as the 70's educational game, The Oregon Trail.

The Pioneer Trail is a game within a game, and is featured as part of Zynga's FrontierVille. So if you already have FrontierVille installed on Facebook, there's no need to install anything else. UnlikeFrontierVille and other Zynga games, though, you don't have to keep adding people as neighbors to advance. With only four individuals going through quests, Zynga aims to offer a more intimate gameplay experience.

Like in The Oregon Trail, each of the members of your party has a designated job with the skill sets necessary to get the group through challenges. Upon successful completion, prizes are awarded that can be used on the main FrontierVille game. John Osvald, general manager of FrontierVille, says The Pioneer Trail takes "approximately three weeks to complete." But the fact that a number of dedicated players finished it within just 36 hours proves that it's another Zynga game that could suck your soul into the casual gaming abyss.


Post by Mariella Moon

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