In the 1800s, American frontier families suffered heavy losses from broken limbs, dysentery, and rivers that were a little too deep to ford. Today, many people willingly play games that involve paying real money to get rid of virtual inconveniences.

At long last, the classic Apple II computer game The Oregon Trail -- ostensibly, an educational 19th-century trek across the American west; in practice, a hunting sim for bored middle-schoolers -- has been turned into a social game in Gameloft's The Oregon Trail: American Settler, a free-to-play simulation title for iOS devices.

American Settler abandons the original game's trailblazing narrative in favor of city-building gameplay in the vein of contemporaries like Smurfs' Village and My Country. The hunting element remains, but players have to contend with a dwindling energy meter and constant reminders to buy sacks of in-game cash that range in price from $1.99 to $99.99.