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Forty years after three college students programmed the original “Oregon Trail” educational game, Facebook has brought it back to computer screens everywhere.

Last week, the social media giant launched a revamped version of the classic game.

Anyone who went through elementary school during the 1990s probably has fond memories of the video game, which was widely used in schools during the last years of the 20th century, carving out its own place in our culture.

The basic premise of the game has not changed. The player starts at Independence City, picks a job, buys provisions and grabs a few friends to join them on the journey out west to Oregon. All of this has been updated for Facebook, but not all of it has been improved.

The best update to the game is the social aspect. The original "Oregon Trail" had its own makeshift social dynamic to it. Players would enter their friends’ names for the different party members in the group and wait until tragedy befell one of them.

Facebook now allows the player to look through their friends list and add their friends to their party. Any one of your friends who plays the game will also appear on the map, allowing the player to track their friends’ progress and even help the player to hunt or repair his or her wagon.

In the original game, the player had a limited amount of money that they had to spend carefully on many different items, from clothes to bullets. In the Facebook version, the player only really needs to worry about the amount of food they have. Wagon parts, bullets, clothing and number of oxen — all important parts of success in the original game — have been removed from the simplified game.

A simpler game is not necessarily a worse game, however. The Facebook version of the game is designed to be played in short intervals; simplifying the game makes it much easier to jump in and out.

Although the game benefits from the social aspect of Facebook, it suffers a great deal from the game design trends it borrows from other Facebook games, such as Farmville.

The player’s party only has a certain amount of stamina, which means they can only travel so far without having to wait to recharge, which can take more than five hours.

The game has also been updated with a few modern gaming improvements. As the party gets closer to Oregon City, it will gain experience and, in turn, a level up. This gives the player more room to carry items, more energy and stamina, and even opens different jobs the player can choose at the beginning of the game.

Although the game suffers from a few questionable design choices and annoying Facebook game conventions, the overall experience is a fantastic trip down memory lane.

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