[Beyond PlayStation] The Trail: Frontier Challenge Review

by Tracey

The Trail: Frontier Challenge from 22cans and Kongregate is a relaxing and colorful adventure on Nintendo Switch. Learn more about it in our The Trail: Frontier Challenge Review!

The Trail: Frontier Challenge is quite an interesting game, and not quite what I expected when I first booted it up! Based on the title, I was sorta expecting something like The Oregon Trail with revamped graphics and gameplay with the overall western theme. Instead I got a fun and colorful adventure/simulation with RPG elements with entertaining challenges to complete.

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The game is certainly pretty to look at, but you can tell that the game was not initially developed with the Nintendo Switch in mind since the menus and controls do take some getting used to – not to mention that the game’s text is a bit on the small side which is usually the issue with games that go from PC to console. But if you’re playing in handheld mode, then you won’t have an issue with the text’s size.

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The game is difficult to describe, since some might call it a walking simulator since you do walk around the country, but this is more of a jog since you can run around the lath with the left trigger button, but you do need to be careful since you can faint if you run too hard! There is a mix of several gameplay mechanics to make things interesting.

When you first start you will get to choose from a variety of characters, stick a picture on your profile, and select from a handful of professions. Once you start in the new world you will be tasked with reaching Eden Falls, a town where you can set up your home/base. If you do things right, you might even have the chance to become a politician and run for Mayor! But first you will need to learn to walk before you can run, so to speak. You will get going with a load of horrible looking and smelly clothes and an old used backpack.

While you get busy achieving your goals you can get in touch with your family via mail, and as you progress in the game you can tell them how you are doing. Certain family members are part of the game’s sub- plots, but to be honest the game’s focus is on the gameplay, keeping you set on traveling from camp to camp, sometimes within a speed limit. The game is very linear since you’re traveling down a single path, so there’s no chance to explore beyond that.

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As you progress you will be able to pick up highlighted items with the ZR button, placing items in your backpack. At camps you can use the items you collect to craft items for sale or to barter for better items. You also have access to a very large skill tree you can use to upgrade your character’s abilities. These are important since they will help you to complete the many challenges you can accept. Challenges involve collecting X number of items or chopping Y number of trees, to name a few examples. Collecting items, crafting other items and improving your skills is the cycle you will enter when playing this game.

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The game is not perfect since there seems to be a bit of lag with your control inputs, not to mention that menus are far from ideal – there are also long loading times which are never fun. Hopefully this can be addressed with a patch that can lower loading times and make controls to work as intended.

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If you’re looking for a colorful and charming simulation/RPG with streamlined gameplay mechanics and a relaxing pace, then you might dig The Trail: Frontier Challenge on Nintendo Switch. It’s not without its issues, but the overall experience, the challenges to complete and the skill tree for progress make for a fun release.

This The Trail: Frontier Challenge review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Kongregate.

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