Saturday, May 21, 2016

Orion Trail: survive space, not the old west

If you are as old, or as "old school" as me, you have probably played the old dos game Oregon Trail.

Orion Trail is a Oregon Trail type game, set in a very Star Trek-ian feel of a game. (Probably as close as they could get without being sued by Paramount or CBS.)

Oregon Trail game art, just in case you are scratching your head:

It's made by Schell Games. Their official website for the game is

"Orion Trail is a single player space adventure for Windows, Mac, and Linux. In the game, you are captain of the Indestructible II, flagship vessel of Galaxy Force. Your mission: to explore and survive the dangerous and enigmatic Orion Trail. With the help of your trusty officers, ship, and crew, your success is ensured... Probably.

Orion Trail’s gameplay centers around making the tough calls that only you, a starship captain, can make. The galaxy is full of strange, stupid, and terrifying Things, and you’ll need to make the decisions that ensure the survival of Your Crew. Well, most of your crew. Each journey, you’ll pick your captain, Officers, and Equipment. Each pick will give you a leg up when dealing with Encounters in specific ways.

However, you can't apply all strategies to every situation. Sure, you could stock up on guns and aggressive officers to crush your Enemies, but you'll be in trouble when you need to host that alien dinner party.

Starships don’t run on good intentions alone (not the ones you can afford, anyway). Each decision you make will increase or decrease the resources that keep your ship functioning. Run out of any, and you’ll be in deep (space) trouble." -

I am covering the "prototype version" which is more apt to say, the "dumbed down" version of the game because I am a poor bloat and food and rent are more valuable to me than paying for this game.

The full version can be found currently on steam. The version I show here is on

Here's some pretty game art, just because. :)

Just as a side note, I only use Linux. I played this on Ubuntu 16.04 64 bit edition using the Gnome 3 desktop environment.

Here is a mini walk-through video made by me for you YouTube fans out there:

There are 4 phases to the game.

These include: Mission Starter Choices Phase, Travel Phase, Encounter Phase and End of Game Phase.

Mission Starter Choices Phase

Mission type: Keep x amount of food, fuel, crew to the end or keep you ship intact to the end.

Captain: I usually try to start with either a Captain with many skills, or with a few strong ones. Some of the best captains are the test captain and Jean Luc. (No, not Picard, you'll see.)

Ship: You have 3 ship types. Often but not always, it's a good idea to pick a ship that can carry an abundance of the item you need. In this game, "Scourge of the Stars" would be an excellent "finish with lots of food" ship to choose. (Usually).

Choice of Officers: The only real use of your officers is in filling in weak skill spots of your captain. Since all encounters will rely somewhat on your ship's overall captain+crew skill scores.

Travel Phase

In the prototype version, this is nothing more than a progress meter. you want your ship to go all the way to the left.

Previews of the full game show a lot more choices in this section.

Encounter Phase

3 options screen: Here you choose based on 1) what your reward will be, 2) what if any punishment this choice brings, and 3) which of the 5 skills (attack, tactics, diplomacy, science and bravado) you want to use.

The roll of the dice screen: Here is where your chosen skill level is added with a roll of the dice to see your outcome. If you have high enough of that skill, or if you "roll" high, you may not get any punishments at all. Then again...

The outcome screen: Here we see that I gained 50 food but lost 20 crew. Poor red shirts! ;)
You can lose food, fuel, crew, hull points (armor) and/or any combination of these.
You can also lose skill points.

I.E. Choose to use a weak skill, and you could lose crew, fuel and bravado skill points, for instance.

End of Game Phase

This is a successful game end screen, because it's in green. It's a simple list of 1) Your skill levels at the end of the game, 2) your cargo and hull allotment at the end of the game, and your grand score. 

You get a x2 bonus for succeeding, and in this case, since this was a "finish with lots of food" mission, you get x5 to your amount of food value, listed here as 77 x 5 = 38500. 

To finish up...

If you like what you see, then check it out here: or on Steam!


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