Wednesday, October 6, 2010

NES Bible Games: So Bad They're Sinful

Disclaimer: This post is in no way an attempt to disrespect anyone's faith. In fact, you honestly might find this informative

For as long as they've been around, people have been trying to figure out ways to use video games to trick kids into learning. Christians are no different, as there have been many video games published that focus on teaching kids about different parts of the Bible. The primary company that published these games was Wisdom Tree, and they are amazingly still in business. Wisdom Tree started off as a small part of Color Dreams, a video game publisher who made unlicensed games for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Nintendo pretty much forced unlicensed game publishers out of business by threatening to not send official NES games to retailers if they sold unlicensed games. Color Dreams, in an effort to stay in business, started Wisdom Tree and began producing Christian themed video games. These games primarily sold at Christian Book Stores or through mail order. this ended up being quite lucrative to the point were Wisdom Tree has outlived it's parent company. The games were essentially conversions of Color Dreams' games that fit the biblical theme. The games were generally panned for their poor gameplay, and parents drove their kids further away from the church by only allowing kids to play these very bad video games. The first game released by Wisdom Tree was actually a three game multicart called Bible Adventures. The game took three stories from the Old Testament: Moses being rescued from the river, Noah collecting animals for the Ark, and David fighting Goliath, and shoehorned them into bad copies of Super Mario Bros. 2. This, however was the best of the NES games made by Wisdom Tree, which has to be some sort of crime. Exodus, a game based on the Israelites journey through the "wilderness", was a conversion of an old Color Dreams game, which was a rip off of Boulder Dash. The difference was that Boulder Dash was actually fun. Spiritual Warfare, was a bad Zelda rip off. Joshua was another Crystal Mines rip off, and so on and so forth. The games were notorious for freezing and having numerous glitches, as well as having horrible collision detection, controls and sound effects. They just weren't very good games, and they didn't sell well outside of the uber religious. This has led to these games being rather rare. If you aren't interested in actually owning them, you can play them on the Wisdom Tree website. I'm not a fan of judging folks, but the original intention for this sad cash in company was far from noble. I'm sure the folks behind these games had to have committed some kind of sin here.

1 comment:

  1. Yet Wisdom Tree continued into the next system cycle with Super Noahs Ark, lol. Aka Noahstein 3D.