The Trail

App review by
Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media
The Trail App Poster Image
Lovely, engaging wilderness adventure with fiddly controls.

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Created for entertainment and not intended for learning.

Ease of Play

Fiddly controls and realistic obstacles make conquering the wilderness a healthy challenge. 


Players hunt small animals with slingshots, but cartoon depiction keeps it from being disturbing.


Unlucky trail walkers can end up traveling in their underwear, but there's nothing suggestive, and animation style is blocky, not realistic. 


Players are often prompted to watch commercials to get free gifts, and users can make purchases with real money.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know The Trail is an adventure game set during the settlement of a fictional country resembling America in the days of the new frontier. The game is free to play, but its difficulty encourages in-game purchases, and it frequently prompts players to watch commercials in exchange for in-game items. Players craft their own clothing, and if they're inefficient at it, their characters are shown traveling in their underwear. At trading posts, there is also occasionally a character whom some may feel plays on Asian stereotypes. Without enough food or clothes, players can run out of stamina and collapse on the road. When that happens, other players can steal their items. The app's privacy policy details the kinds of information collected and shared.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's it about?

THE TRAIL players become adventurers, crafting items and trading on their way to building a home in the frontier town of Eden Falls. Letters from home detail the dire financial circumstances driving players to seek their fortunes in a strange land; they also explain players' willingness to endure all manner of discomfort in that pursuit. Success depends on becoming an expert crafter and trader. To that end, players must learn to gather raw materials in the wild, collect blueprints and recipes, and create useful items that can be traded and sold to other players. Once established in Eden Falls, players' goals shift to building up the town and competing with other towns for rewards and status. Though users are playing with and against other real players, there's no chat feature beyond canned phrases and no combat.

Is it any good?

This adventure game's wilderness setting sets it apart from the get-go, its flat colorful graphics are appealing, and its gradual progression outweighs the fiddly controls and occasional glitches. In The Trail players work their way up from gutsy explorer to successful citizen by turning raw materials into valuable inventory. They start by learning how to collect things like wood, stone, and animal skins. It sounds easy enough, but weather and hunger chip away at an explorer's stamina, and those not well-fed and clothed are in danger of collapsing on the trail and being robbed of their goods. Once established, players work together to expand their town and make it prosper. Several small issues keep it from being an unqualified success, including a pesky save issue (that only affects some players) and a set of reluctant swipe controls. Some may also feel the trader with specialty items who sometimes appears reinforces Asian stereotypes, though it's not a main part of the game. Still, it has tons of charm and a dry sense of humor in letters from home. And though it's far easier if you're willing to lay out some cash, its simple but entertaining formula minimizes the pain of no-pay play.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about ads and in-app purchases in The Trail. What are your rules around spending real money on games? Is it OK to watch ads to get rewards in games?

  • Discuss the challenges faced by early explorers and settlers. What do you think the biggest dangers were? 

  • Talk about how communities rely on cooperation. What makes a successful community? 

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPad, Android
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free (with optional in-app purchases)
  • Release date: November 3, 2016
  • Category: Adventure Games
  • Topics: Adventures
  • Size: 574.00 MB
  • Publisher: Kongregate, Inc.
  • Version: 1.0.5
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 8.0 or later; Android 4.0 and up
  • Last updated: October 21, 2019

Our editors recommend

For kids who love adventure apps

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate