Bible Games
Videogames have finally found their way into religion. Or vice versa.
By Seanbaby



The video game market has had it's share of lame games over the years. But the folks at Wisdom Tree took bad games to new heights when they decided to target Christians. Apparently, the Christian community is prey to people who make and sell mediocre crap, because the Christian market is desperate for anything religiously oriented. (Just look at Christian rock.)

If Wisdom Tree had a motto, it'd be "We can't sell our bad games to actual game players, so we'll market them toward their Christian parents!" Here are some of their classics, for the NES:


Bible Buffet
This game introduced Christian gamers to what would eventually be a staple of Christian gaming: food projectiles. Bible Buffet was a combination board game, Bible quiz and food fight, wherein you fling eating utensils at men in gardens while competing against other Christians to see who can steal the most carrots. And after reading that crazy stuff, Iím sure the other Christians will understand if many of you no longer wish to be a part of their organization.

Nintendo Power: Lame
I might be a bit biased here, but controlling a clumsy character flinging spoons at gardeners is close enough to my everyday life that Iím not going to be very excited about creating that fantasy world through my Nintendo.

Divine Power: 2
Itís tough to say what this game teaches you about Jesus other than the fact that some of the people that make video games about him have a lot wrong with them.

 


Sunday Funday
Like all great video games, Sunday Funday was based around getting to Sunday school on time. You played the part of a skateboarding kid dodging his way through neighborhood plumbers and debutantes, who for some reason want to pound you until you explode. Between levels you were treated to harsh scolding and game tips from scenes of your Sunday school teacher. She complained that it was taking you too long and that you should avoid bears. This was handy for players unfamiliar with video games who may have thought that the giant bear opening its mouth around your characterís head was just trying to give you a passionate but innocent kiss. If you were lucky, she would also add, ďSunday is a FUN day, when youíre at church!Ē

Nintendo Power: Super Lame
By any standard you use to judge it, this game is awful. However, it becomes even more awful when you learn that itís just an almost exact remake of a failed game the company released four years earlier called Menace Beach. In Menace Beach, you were on a mission to rescue your kidnapped girlfriend, but instead of a shrewish Sunday school teacher between levels, you were treated to progressively more naked pictures of your girlfriend chained to a wall as her clothes rotted off.

   
The game Menace Beach repented, changed its name to
Sunday Funday and replaced the half-naked girlfriend with the lecturing religious educator.

Plus, many of the villains were reworked to fit the new religious theme. For example, ninjas, a common sight in Menace Beach, were transformed into little boys in their underwear for Sunday Funday. And after reading that, Iíll just let you sort through all the Catholic jokes that popped into your head and trust you to decide on your favorite.


Before divine intervention: Menace Beach's ninja.
After divine intervention: Sunday Funday's little boy in hot pants.

Sunday Funday sold much better than Menace Beach, proving that the public demand for bad products with God was stronger than their demand for bad products with boobs. This is something to keep in mind for those of you who suck at making things, but still want people to buy them.

  
In Menace Beach, you've got to rescue your girlfriend from the end boss, Demon Dan.
In Sunday Funday, the final villain was retooled to be more religious in nature: a bear.

Divine Power: 1
The one thing a player takes away from this game is how likely he or she is to die on the way to church. And while itís true that half-naked children emerging from the alleys to kill you might be some kind of metaphor for lack of enlightenment obstructing the teachings of Jesus, I have no explanation for the gophers that pop out of manholes to throw dynamite at you. I obviously have some pretty shaky faith to begin with, but if I was on my way to church and wild animals were launching explosives at me from the sewer, Iíd take that as a sign that someone or something doesnít want me at that church; someone or something that has power over the very laws of gophers themselves.


Spiritual Warfare
Itís a tradition in religious pop culture for Christian artists to take a well-established secular success and make a bad copy of it without all the adult situations or suggestive pelvic movement. This is not due to a lack of creativity, but the churchís ban on the dark arts of raising the dead. You see, any market research groups sent to Heaven to find out what type of music video God wants to see canít return to give reports. However, when Godís supreme wisdom sees fit to allow music channels to run the same Will Smith video four times an hour, thatís the heavenly go-ahead for artists like DC Talk or Carman to release as close to an exact recreation of it as they can. Spiritual Warfare continues this tradition by adding a Bible quiz to The Legend of Zelda and calling it by a different name.

Nintendo Power: Not bad
The Legend of Zelda was a fun game, but since it was advertised back in the Ď80s with a commercial of children rapping about how it is, and I quote, ďreally rad,Ē Iím going to assume you already bought it and knew that. Spiritual Warfare is much worse in every way, but has a chance of reminding you of the fun you had throwing your sword at goblins in Legend of Zelda before they took that game and transformed it into hurling fruit at people until they kneel and pray. Iím serious, by the way.

  
In Zelda, you get a sword. In Spiritual Warfare, you get a pear.

Divine Power: 4
Pelting someone in the face with fruit until they convert to your religion isnít exactly a positive message to give to impressionable gamers, but it does remind players that Jesus and a well-aimed pear can achieve anything. And youíll feel closer to God when youíre spelunking through the cave and uncover an ancient treasure chest of Biblical trivia questions. Each correct answer is rewarded with the spinning of a smiling headís bowtie, which, if Iím not mistaken, is the iconic representation of Godís approval.

 


Super Noahís Ark 3D
The first Castle Wolfenstein was praised as a break-through in gaming with its immersive 3D Nazi-killing gameplay. However, concerned parents were worried it might accidentally be a homicide-hypnotizer, and concerned Nazis worried that it might be training an entire nation of children to kill them. As you might have heard, parent groups and Nazis are notorious over-reactors, but in this case they turned out to be right. Tomb Raider proved this by creating an entire generation of huge breasted archeologists, and making it official: Video games control menís minds. And in Super Noahís Ark 3D, a shameless exact copy of Castle Wolfenstein, the Christians exploit the brainwashing power of video games to spread positive Christian values. Because in this game, the player doesnít shoot Nazis or vampires. Instead, he or she slingshots high-powered rounds of food at goats until they fall asleep. Just like Jesus would.

Nintendo Power: Bad
If Jesus really liked you half as much as beating a farm animal into unconsciousness with a high-powered food launcher would have you believe, he would have hit your Super Nintendo with a lightning bolt long before you had a chance to play this crap.

Divine Power: 0
I might have stolen a strange translation of the Bible out of a hotel, because in my version, Noahís Ark is not the story of a man rowing around in a boat while waging a terrifying battle against an army of goats. However, I did go in with a color crayon to fix the Ten Commandments so all ten transformed into one giant robot commandment that Moses has to arm wrestle in order to save the rec center. So itís not really the liberties that Super Noahís Ark 3D takes with the story of Godís vengeful judgment that I had a problem with. I just donít think throwing food in a video game has any religious value without a series of Biblical trivia questions to go with it.


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