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    The Yukon Trail

    Game » consists of 0 releases. Released 1994

    Partner up and set sail, Dawson City awaits in the hunt for gold on The Yukon Trail.

    Short summary describing this game.

    The Yukon Trail last edited by Nes on 05/07/23 12:18AM View full history


    The Yukon Trail is an educational historical strategy-simulation game developed and published by MECC for Windows PC and Macintosh computers in 1994.

    A spin-off of The Oregon Trail series, The Yukon Trail switches the theme from the mid-19th century U.S. westward migration to the late-19th century Klondike Gold Rush in North America. As a rookie prospector in the tail-end of the gold rush, players are tasked with forming and supplying their two-man party as they make their way from Alaska, through the Canadian Yukon Territory, to Dawson City in search of gold.

    The core gameplay is similar to that in the mainline Oregon Trail games, in that players follow a path in an automated pace, which is interrupted at various points throughout the game due to supply management, travel choices, and random events. While time management still plays an important part of the game, most of the series's survival aspects, such as hunting for food and managing illnesses and morale, are not brought over. Players are scored at the end of the game based on how much gold they acquire, which is based on both the time they arrived at and the plot they staked their claim on.

    The game is known for its partner system, where players choose from one of four NPCs to accompany them throughout the journey, give them various advice (both good and bad), and use their talents in certain situations. The partner system was later expanded on with both The Oregon Trail 3rd Edition and The Oregon Trail 4th Edition.

    Similar to The Oregon Trail, the game's educational value involve teaching not only problem-solving skills (with supply and time management, as well as managing random events), but also various aspects of life during the journey, as well as the famous landmarks players encounter along the way. The game also includes various authentic photographs from the gold rush, and allows players to have conversations with voiced NPCs based on notable figures from the gold rush, including prospectors George Carmack and Skookum Jim, author Jack London, philanthropist Nellie Cashman, and Mountie Sam Steele.


    The core game is split into four parts:

    • The game starts out in Seattle, Washington in August 1897. After choosing their partner and having the option to purchase supplies, players then have the choose the ship to take them up the coast to Alaska. There are two destinations to choose from (Skagway or Dyea), each with three ships to choose from (with less expensive ships leaving a week or two late and having a greater risk of damaging supplies). The party then travels by ship to their destination.
    • After purchasing further supplies from either Skagway or Dyea, the party then travels through Alaska on-foot through either the safer White Pass Trail from Skagway or the shorter Chiikoot Trail from Dyea (although they could travel to the other starting town). Eventually, they'll reach one of two camps (White Pass City or Sheep Camp) to resupply, followed by Customs at the Canada-U.S. border for taxes and a supply check (as there is a food shortage in Dawson City). Failing to get past Customs forces the party to trek back to camp, while succeeding allows them to hike up to Lake Bennett.
    • At Lake Bennett, the party will have to wait until Spring 1898 where the ice melts. As they wait, they must also build a boat that would carry them and their supplies down the Yukon River. There are three boat designs to choose from (a balanced dinghy, the stable raft, and the quick canoe), which not only determine the amount of time it takes to sail down the river, but determine how difficult they handle in the game's rafting mini-game (which happen at three points: Miles Canyon, White Horse Rapids, and Five Finger Rapids).
    • After reaching Dawson City, the party will then need to stake their mining claim at one of various points on the claims map. This involves moving between these plots and testing various spots for gold dust, both of which take time to do. Once the player is happy with their choice, they can stake their claim to have a mining team dig for gold. The game then proceeds automatically, accumulating the player's score based on the plot chosen, until the game ends at November 1898.


    In the beginning of the game, players start out in Seattle in August 1987. The player then has to choose from one of four partners, each with a different bonus:

    • The Banker-Increased money
    • The Carpenter-Builds a boat the most effectively.
    • The Journalist-N/A
    • The Yukon Native-Carries the most supplies

    If he chooses to, the player can then buy supplies. Finally, the player purchases a ticket for a ferry which will take them to the mining town of their choice. There are 3 ferries available per destination, each with varying safety.

    In Seattle, the player can buy supplies/provisions for the expedition, including:

    • Outfits
    • Dogsleds
    • Whipsaws
    • Caviar
    • Eggs
    • Kittens
    • Canvas boat
    • "Gold-sniffing Gophers"
    • Trail Bicycle

    All of the items can either be used to some advantage on the trail, or sold for a profit later. There are also several items that are not worth the purchase.

    The Trail and River

    The player than proceeds to travel across the Trail, making decisions such as how much of a load to carry, and how much food to consume. Eventually, the player will arrive at Lake Bennett, where they will have to build a boat to move downstream. Finally, the player will get to choose a claim, and mine for gold there. At the end of winter, the player's costs are calculated, and they are told how much gold they have mined.

    Random Events

    Several random events can happen in the game, including:

    • A character being injured
    • Bandits stealing goods or supplies
    • Harsh weather
    • Items being lost, including a trail bike being thrown off of a boat


    Throughout the game, the player also has access to several activities, whether as entertainment, or an extra way to make money. These include:

    • Gambling
    • Watching/betting on dograces
    • Mini-games including steering the boat

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