Review by timnyborg
"I Actually Expected Better"
I'll be honest, I don't expect much of religious niche titles. It's not the nature of the games but rather, when you have a small market, you have small production investment, which normally means a cliched or uninteresting end result. However, The Bible Game somehow, stunningly, failed to meet my expectations. Once in a while, a game comes along that gets me thinking, "I could have actually designed and programmed this better myself." The Bible Game holds a place in this category. It's a simple quiz game that makes you work for the quizzes. You run around stomping on bugs, collecting poorly drawn items, and 'battling' (read: running head-on into) deceivers, in a painful marathon run just to do a quiz. And once you've done the quiz, you can do another 4-7 in that level. I pity the kid whose well-intentioned parents purchase this title for Christmas
The Bible Game sports barebones graphics at the very best. The characters are blurry, undetailed, and are generally drawn with very few colours. Meanwhile, the terrain is extremely repetitive, dull, and uninspired. The presentation reminds of awful adventure games from the SNES era, yet somehow LESS colourful and varied. There are a few eyecandy pictures spread throughout, but they hardly raise the bar.
One of the game's highpoints (relatively speaking), is the inclusion of voice acting. When you come across the people randomly standing around helping you on your fantastic journey, they'll say something along the lines of "I think I saw a key that way". After about three listens, the voice acting goes from intriguing to painfully annoying. The remaining of the sound effects, meanwhile, are minimal. From the squish of jumping on a bug, to the bell and buzzer in the quizzes, all sound like low quality stock effects.
The title "music" is a bit of a misnomer. The Bible Game doesn't possess music, per se, so much as a few tracks of low-grade ambient music on a 15 second loop. It isn't thrilling, or even interesting. Rather, it's a few notches above elevator music (or below. At least elevator music is catchy).
Given such a simple setup, one would assume the controls couldn't be screwed up. However, one would be wrong. You can run and walk in 8 directions, jump, duck (though you never need to), and throw holy water. Yet the simple process of jumping on bugs and jumping over pits is utterly botched. There is a noticeably large delay between pressing the button, and jumping, and movement in the air is painfully jerky and non-intuitive.
Now, the true meat of any game is the gameplay, which is someone personal in a niche title such as this. However, I'll remain objective. The majority of the gameplay is spent on the field, running around, collecting items, and squashing bugs. I can't do justice how incredibly poorly this part was made.
Firstly, you must find the "deceiver" to start a quiz. As such, there are people around who point you in the correct direction. Why? Who knows, since you have access to a perfectly good map showing your location and the deceiver's location. Gameplay element #1, searching, is nonexistent.
Secondly, you must reach the deceiver and 'defeat' them to start the quiz. They're quick little fellows, so the idea is that you can throw holy water (which you obtain by trading crosses you find) at them to stun them, so you can reach them. However, you never actually NEED the holy water, since you just need to actually run into the enemy, which is a remarkably simple task. Gameplay element #2, defeating deceivers to start the quizzes, is nonexistent.
Thirdly, you must successfully complete their quizzes. If you enjoy biblical quizzes, go nuts, because this is the one item they managed not to screw up.
Gameplay element #3, quizzes, perfectly fine.
Meanwhile, to obtain holy water (pointlessly) and scrolls (to help answer questions), you must defeat arbitrary little bugs. This portion of the gameplay, while optional in nature, in INCREDIBLY repetative and obnoxious. No skill is required, just time. Gameplay element #4, bugs, painful.
I give gameplay 3/10 solely because the aspect of quizzing hasn't been butchered. The Bible Game is a quiz game that wastes your time running around doing arbitrary repetitive things, much along the lines of counting to 100 before every question of Trivial Pursuit.
For the quizaholics out there, replay value exists, due to the sheer number of questions, spread across 3 difficulty levels. However, the painful experience of reaching those quizzes causes me to shudder at the thought of playing again.
This game actually lacks a saving function. Rather, players are forced to use an antiquated password system from the early 1990s.
Monotonous, drab, uninteresting.
Rent or Buy:
Neither. Period. If you're interested in biblical trivia, there are far less painful options available to you.
Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 11/18/05
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