1/17/11

Bible stories that need a video game

If you can imagine the scenario, there's a game available for it.

Be it something you can download from the App store, or a quirky DS title, if you can imagine it, there's probably a video game of it. One of the top games available for the iPhone is a game called Angry Birds. If a game about furious fowl can be successful, then why can't you take a story from the Bible and make it into a good game?

Sadly, I'm not a game designer, Otherwise I'd try and implement some of these. Regardless, I think some of these biblical tales would make a good game if done right. How do you do it right? Don't beat us over the head with Biblical themes: concentrate on quality gameplay, and weave the spiritual aspect into the game.


1. David and Goliath
I think Wisdom Tree tried to do this a long time ago. It was a standard platformer. Kill scorpions before you get to the boss battle with Goliath. However, the story of Israel's greatest king is ripe for video game treatment. David started as a lowly shepherd boy and became king, but not without his own trials and tribulations. Why not turn this into an action RPG? Level up David's attributes, get him through his battle with Goliath, his dealings with Absalom, and the day-to-day dealings with a kingdom.


2. Sodom and Gomorrah.
This one would be a little trickier than the King David RPG. Take control of Lot, build up your status in an open-world version of Sodom (think Grand Theft Auto) and escape before the wrath of God comes down on the city. Might not be an in-depth RPG like David, but it would make a great time-killer on the iphone while trying to escape a maze of buildings while dodging fireballs and corrupt men.


3. Bible Trivia
This seems like the easiest one to do. You could take it one step higher, and do it a Bible-style Scene It. Get people to decently act out Bible scenes (and for the love of God, please avoid campy acting scenes), and then you could guess where they came from. If you skipped the video scenes, this one would be insanely inexpensive to do. Just make sure that you add some creative modes so it doesn't become your standard boring trivia game


4. The Apostle Paul
Remember my idea for King David? Do the same thing, but with St. Paul.


5. Life in Biblical Israel
People actually had every day lives in the Bible. It wasn't all prophets, priests and kings for most of the common folk. It was a day-to-day existence, working cattle, tending to sheep, homemaking, education and so on. And with the crazy popularity of games like Animal Crossing, The Sims, and Harvest Moon, something like this could make a great game. Put yourself in the shoes of an Israelite and try to make a great life for them. You could control how the money is spent, what kind of animals to tend to, what kind of skills you'd have (and pass on to your children), who you'd marry. Do you live in the city of Jerusalem, or do you tend to flocks of sheep? Join the army or make equipment for the army? And every now and then, you might run into a Biblical character here or there.

Of the ideas I had, this one might be my favorite.


6. Noah's Ark.
Wisdom Tree tried this one 20 years ago as well, and not surprisingly, it sucked. In the version I propose, gear it to the kids, and manage the animals Noah had on the Ark. Decide where to put the lions, the bears, the zebras, etc. Clean up the ark, feed the animals, keep them happy or they get really angry and harder to deal with. Noah's Ark is a story that has traditionally been aimed at kids, so why not aim the game at them as well?

Just don't let them play the hidden level "Noah gets hammered."

2 comments:

Jeff Geerling January 17, 2011 at 8:14 PM  

I actually liked playing Noah's ark on the Nintendo when I was a kid... of course, throwing bales of hay at animals to put them to sleep probably didn't teach the best lessons in life...

dustin (The 16-bit Catholic) January 22, 2011 at 11:32 PM  

I probably shouldn't rip the game too much. At least they tried, and the effort is commendable. But in 2010 there's no reason why games with a spiritual side can't be good.

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