The Organ Trail


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TrickyThe Organ TrailThe internet loves nostalgia! The internet loves zombies! What do you get when you mix these two great tastes that taste great together? The Organ Trail, a parody of a certain retro edutainment adventure simulation, developed by The Men Who Wear Many Hats! It tasks you with the familiar goal of safely leading a party across the US to the west coast. However, this time your Conestoga is replaced by a station wagon, there are no buffalo, and, oh yeah, there are legions of the undead just waiting for a good ol' fashioned brain chomping. You'll need all your wits and luck to successfully ford the river of monsters out there, but with your shotgun by your side, you just might make it.

The play of The Organ Trail will be very familiar to anyone's who has played the original. Using, [1-9], [enter], and the [spacebar], you'll start by putting together your party and scavenging for supplies in Washington DC. Soon, though, you'll set off for the trail, reaching a series of landmarks before getting to Safe Haven, 3000 miles away. You must manage your speed and your supplies, balancing a quicker trip against the health of your party. Random events will help or hinder your progress, though, in a pinch, you can pull over to the side of the road and hunt for canned goods with [WASD], fending off the undead by shooting with the [spacebar]. Naturally, the presence of zombies affects gameplay, especially in how you can use medicine kits to boost your party's health, but they can get expensive... especially if someone gets bitten. There's rumors of a cure at Safe Haven, but if things get too bad before you get there, you may just have to shoot them. Lord knows that's an option MECC never thought necessary to include.

Undoubtedly, The Organ Trail is the flash gaming equivalent of junk food: something that will be easily played and enjoyed, but not particularly filling. That said, junk food can be tasty, and The Organ Trail is very entertaining. It manages some striking, even evocative, Apple ][ depictions of the apocalyptic landscape, a genuinely eerie background music, and a number of hilariously esoteric shout-outs to the original game (including the "peperony and cheese" grave marker that shows up in the most commonly pirated version of the original.) The game suffers by sticking too close to its inspiration, especially in the mid-game where, like the original, there's not a whole lot to do but wait around and hope you don't get cholera. It's worth playing all the way the climactic finale, though. There's not much beyond what you'll see in a single play-through, but The Organ Trail has horrific charm aplenty.

Play The Organ Trail

11 Comments

Echoloco Author Profile Page May 3, 2012 1:07 PM

Sorry if I'm being obsessively nitpicky, but is the link for the word "nostalgia" supposed to lead to games tagged with "zombie"? I'm having trouble making the connection...

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BubbaJoe Author Profile Page May 3, 2012 2:56 PM

@Echoloco

Presumably, it's nostalgic for Oregon Trail, not for zombies.

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True, what BubbaJoe said.

As a side note, playing zombie games have convinced me of only one thing: I have better chance at surviving the Donner pass than a zombie apocalypse. So, if/when that day comes, be on the look out for a one-armed "elle" zombie! I give you fair warning now.

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themenwhowearmanyhats Author Profile Page May 3, 2012 3:08 PM

Creator here. Thanks for the review! We are attempting to fix the boring factor in the newer version of the game we are working on. Also, feel free to ask me any questions. Cheers!

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Orangenelly Author Profile Page May 3, 2012 4:50 PM

I loved Oregon Trail, and I love to name the members of the party after people. I'm on my first playthrough, and I named my party members Jay, Dora, Tricky, Jeremy, and JohnB. Everything went well until Dora was bitten just outside of Pittsburg. I'll keep you updated.

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I should've thought before I named all my people after Game of Thrones characters. They all died before I even got to St. Louis. Only my main character (Who I named Shaun for no apparent reason) got any further. Then he died of dysentery.

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herds789 Author Profile Page May 3, 2012 8:27 PM

i named them shaun, ed, liz, david, and dianne. the one with the red tie and cricket bat does look a bit like a "shaun" don't you think?

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Melewen Author Profile Page May 3, 2012 9:40 PM

Ha! Liz, I named mine Ned, Arya, Robb, Jon and Sansa. We made it all the way to the end (though Sansa got bit twice and Robb kept getting dysentery). Sadly, we were all killed by zombies before we could make it past the gates...

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jeffrey.j.richardson Author Profile Page May 3, 2012 11:00 PM

This one was way better: http://jayisgames.com/archives/2007/12/thule_trail.php

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herds789 Author Profile Page May 4, 2012 12:42 AM

made 6255 points for playing the lawyer. only problem was Ed wandered off.

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herds789 Author Profile Page May 4, 2012 5:59 AM

Fun game, but i find it to be a bit too easy. If you want a challenge, try playing the lawyer spending one hour searching for fuel and 7 hours searching for money. I got 6780 pts. Good luck!

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