The Yukon Trail

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Transcript:

Hello and welcome! My name is Adrian Simple and I am your guest host for today’s Video Game of the Day!

Back in the year 1985, the Minnesota Educational Computing Consortium, otherwise known as MECC, or M-E-C-C, released a game by the title of The Oregon Trail. It wasn’t an original concept, but it was the most popular entry in the series. So popular in fact, that it spawned a number of educational spinoffs with similar concepts and game design. Today’s game is one of of those spin-offs. Today’s game is The Yukon Trail. Developed by MECC, and released on Windows and Mac in 1994.

The Yukon Trail is one part adventure, and one part educational. You take the role of a budding prospector based out of Seattle, who has been hearing all of the incredible stories of striking gold in the Yukon. The gameplay then becomes a very similar experience to The Oregon Trail.

You prepare for your journey by selecting one of various partners who all have different bonuses associated with them. You can then buy supplies, such as outfits and food, or you can hold off until you arrive at your destination. Next, you have to purchase ferry tickets to Alaska. But do you buy the more expensive one that leaves sooner, or the cheaper one that leaves in later weeks? After all, you don’t want to get there after everyone else does!

Once you’re all prepped in Alaska, it’s time to walk the trail into Yukon territory. Players have to decide how many supplies they bring – if it’s too heavy, they risk injury. But if it’s too light, you might run out and die of starvation on the way. Once you make it to the Canadian border, you need to have 1000 pounds of food per person. Otherwise, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police won’t let you through. Also along the way, random negative events will occur, such as someone stealing your food, or even rockslides injuring your party.

At last, you’ve made it to Bennett Lake, your final stop before you can stake your claim at the legendary Dawson City. There’s only one problem, the Five Finger Rapids are in the way! Since it is still winter, the lake has frozen over, so you’re forced to wait it out. In the meantime, you’re given the opportunity to build your own boat, and recoup from the arduous hike.

Once spring has come, you make your final journey. A minigame begins where you have to navigate your boat through the rapids, avoiding rocks and whirlpools. Assuming you make it out alive, you eventually reach Dawson City. You’re presented with a map of claims that you can choose to stake, and once the next winter comes, your score is calculated. After all of that, some people walk away with nothing. Others become millionaires.

The Yukon Trail is indeed still played in schools in the Yukon territory. It may not be not the perfect game, and it may not have gotten a tremendously large playerbase. But it certainly had a lasting impact on the people who live in the areas depicted. Thank you so much for listening. A big thanks to Katosepe for letting me guest on the show here today. And hey, from one fan of this show to another, I definitely think you should leave Video Game of the Day a review on Amazon. It really does help out content creators like Kato, as well myself. That’s all for now, and don’t forget to check back here tomorrow for another Video Game of the Day!

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Devin "Katosepe" Sloane is a long time gamer and host of the show Video Game of the Day. He firmly believes Darklands is the pinnacle of gaming achievement and this is a hill he will die upon. Where his nickname came from is a secret to everybody.