Video Game Review: Super Noah’s Ark 3D

When I was a boy one of my most cherished possessions was my, or rather my sister’s Nintendo (but let’s me honest it was mine! I’m the one who played it all the time). I remember at one point in time my Mom decided to buy me a Christian video game. I don’t know if she was trying to teach me something with that game or if she was worried about me playing games that weren’t good for me. The game I recall was called Exodus; I played it for a while and enjoyed it but eventually went back to playing Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out and Baseball Stars. There were a couple of other Christian video games on the Nintendo like Bible Adventures and a few others whose names I can’t remember. After the Nintendo they seemed to disappear, or so I thought. A few days ago I discovered there was actually one Christian video game that came out on the Super Nintendo called Super Noah’s Ark 3D. It’s been close to 20 years since I played those Christian themed Nintendo games so maybe I’ve missed them, or maybe I’m just curious. Either way I decided I’ve got to play this Noah’s Ark game and see what it’s about. So after searching high and low for it I finally found it and the adventure of Noah can begin.

When you first start the game you see a cartoony picture of an ark with animals standing outside of it. There is also a caricature of Moses. I noticed two things about Moses. One, he’s very short and two, he’s EXTREMELY cheerful for a guy who is about to be stuck in a flood for forty days. You have a few options at the start up screen. You can start a new game, enter a code or change your skill level. I decide to take it down to the easy level for now; I’m thinking any game involving God’s divine power is going to be tough. So you start the game and you get this message from, I’m assuming from God:

“You’ll be out of the Ark in six days, Noah. Unfortunately, the animals are a tad bit restless and want to get out now. Good thing you brought all that food with you. You’ll need it to put those busy ones to sleep.

At the end of the day be prepared to deal with Carl the Camel. He has been a bit cranky lately and is out of control. Good luck and be careful.”

In case you don’t know what that means, let me explain it to ya. Super Noah’s Ark 3D uses the Wolfenstein 3D game engine. Basically what that means is you’re playing a game just like Wolfenstein 3D except parts of it are changed in order to fit whatever the game theme is. So instead running around in a castle like Wolfenstein, you are running around in Noah’s Ark. Instead of carrying a gun you are carrying a slingshot. Instead of Nazis there are animals. Your job is to find food. The animals are restless and are running around causing trouble. You are then to take out your trusty slingshot, put the food in the slingshot and then pelt the animals with food until they fall asleep! Yes! This game is awesome! If there is a better premise for a video game than this, I don’t know what it is. Of course when I see that the game uses Wolfenstein 3D’s game engine I wonder to myself, “does the game have a God mode”. (That’s a Wolfenstein 3D joke people.)

Even the most violent hardcore first person shooter fans get bored by shooting the exact same monster 3,452,245 times. So the way first person shooters work is there are several different types of creatures. Many of these creatures are just your regular enemy; they roam around on the screen creating havoc and as you go along those creatures get harder and harder. Then there are also the boss creatures. At the end of each board you have a boss that is harder than a regular enemy and each boss also gets increasingly more difficult than the previous boss. Super Noah’s Ark 3d has the same kind of enemies. There are regular enemies that chase you on screen and also spit at you. These animals include:

1. Goats – The Goats are the weakest of the enemies. They are slow; they don’t seem to spit at all and can be taken down in one hit.
2. Sheep – The sheep move a lot slower than the Goats but they can spit farther and it takes two hits to knock them out.
3. Ostriches – Ostriches are a bit tougher. They are the fastest animal in the game and they can detect Noah from a room away and open doors. Man, what can’t they teach animals to do these days?
4. Antelope – Antelope are very tough to kill, it takes a lot of hits to kill them. Fortunately they are very slow and don’t seem to be very bright.
5. Oxen – Oxen are the strongest of all the animals but are a lot easier to kill than the antelope.

Then at the end of each level is a boss:

1. Camel – Isn’t too hard as most first level bosses aren’t, two watermelons should take him down.
2. Giraffe – The giraffe is skinny and very evasive, he is difficult to pelt with food.
3. Monkey – Since Super Noah’s Ark 3D takes place in the Old Testament the monkey has a very Old Testament way of thinking: Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, watermelon for a coconut. He slings coconuts at you.
4. Kangaroo – The Kangaroos are much like the monkeys but a lot meaner.
5. Elephant – The elephant can shoot coconuts out of its trunk and can charge across the screen at you.
6. Bear – Finally we face the bear. Strangely the bear uses a shrubbery to disguise himself, because apparently Noah won’t notice a shrubbery in the middle of his ark. Once you get him down to about half his health he starts to charge at you.

Whoever chose what creatures to use did a great job. I don’t know if it was on purpose or not but all of the regular enemy animals are animals that God says are clean in Leviticus and Deuteronomy and all the animals that were chosen for the main bosses are animals that God deemed unclean. All in all this is fun silly game. It’s probably more suited for children, but I liked it, I’m not sure what that says about me but oh well. The graphics are not so hot, obviously since it’s a SNES game which is a couple of systems ago, but this game actually isn’t even on par with SNES games. Still, it’s actually kind of charming that the graphics are very good, if this game tried at all to be serious it would probably just be lame, but they decided to go the fun route. Good idea. There’s also some very cheerful music and each animal makes sounds that animal would normally make, so again kids would probably like that. If you can ever find this game anywhere then definitely give it a try just to see it. If you’d like to know about the story Noah then read your Bible! Genesis Chapters 5 – 9.

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