Yesterday’s Amazon Trail game, along with its ancestor, Oregon Trail, got me wondering how far the concept could be extended. Any reason that the same setting can’t be extended to an outer space quest? You find yourself at a space station at the edge of an exotic solar system and you have to choose from among several strange aliens and perhaps a robot to be your guide. Pilot your spaceship and explore different areas of different planets, photographing the flora and fauna and cross-referencing them in your guidebook, trade with locals, learn the ancient secrets of the solar system, wind up being visited by ghosts of ancient aliens imploring the other galactic species to not pollute the solar system. It could be educational, in warped, useless way.
Then again, the concept could work a whole lot better in an established Tolkien-type fantasy world. Peer-reviewed encyclopedias for such a quest surely already exist.