Super Amazing Wagon Adventure, an Xbox Live Arcade (Indie Game) made by sparsevector, is true to its
name. It is a super amazing wagon adventure. Full of twists, turns and comedy, this game is as
welcoming as it is difficult, as loving as it is deathly grim and, perhaps most uniquely, as straightforward
as it is weird.
To begin to understand what really makes this XBLA title click, you have to know the basics. This is an Oregon Trail type of game. You have a wagon, you have a party and you have goal: reach the Promised Land. And if it wasn’t for these direct and easy to understand objectives, this game wouldn’t work. For some reason, in America, our public education all but requires you to have played the computer game Oregon Trail at least once, and for some reason, it has taken until 2012 for someone to take that timeless model and run it through a very colorful 8-bit meat grinder. This game has its flaws, but because of sparsevector’s brilliance in giving us maybe the most contradictory game ever made, it always feels enjoyable. Even when you’re last character is dying from Small Pox, for no damn reason whatsoever.
If you could highlight one aspect of the game though –it has to be the journey itself. The journey in this
game is always different and loaded with player choice. And most of the times, you get dealt a bad
hand. Try to steal supplies from a group of sleeping travelers? Well their eventual ghosts are bound to
haunt you. Or let’s say you come across a river. Do you want to ford the river or jump over it? Yes that’s
right, you, your party and your wagon can jump over a river. So obviously you have to pick jump, right?
Well if you do, this may happen:
And then, you have to deal with this unlikely scenario:
Until you beat the low orbit space boss (a giant satellite) and land in the middle of a herd of buffalo. And
so, naturally, with historical accuracy and the brutal violence level of this game you proceed to do this:
And then, before you know it, a buffalo decides to fight back and stomp on your head. Game over.
The journey always feels this unique every time. From the ability to pick your wagon, to the party
customization to the incredibly random gameplay events Super Amazing Wagon Adventure manages to
deliver a fresh story every time. I mean, it’s a game I’ve personally beaten about 5 times, and tried to
beat roughly 60-70 times. The journey is short, but for a game this difficult (and random) short feels
Overall this is a game that any Oregon Trail fan could sink their teeth into for hours. It’s very well-paced,
has a really cool soundtrack (have to mention the soundtrack – awesome retro sound), and most
importantly is unique through each and every play through. The journey to the Promised Land is at your
hands, it’s just up to you how you get there. And if you don’t die on the way – this game is hard as hell.