The Bible Game PlayStation 2
Published by 505 GameStreet
Developed by Crave Entertainment
Release Date: Out Now
The Bible Game, an introduction.
It's quite surprising that we don't see many games based on the most popular book in the world, The Bible. Quite a few literary works have been transformed into games and you would have thought the potential was there to use The Bible as, after all, it's filled with many different stories that could probably be used as a basis for many different types of games. The Bible Game is the first game based on The Bible that we've come across, which is pretty surprising in over six years of reviewing software. What kind of game is it then? Is it an RPG? No. Is it a strategy game or an adventure? No. The Bible Game is in fact a fictional quiz show that contains 20 mini-games.
What's the game about?
The Bible Game sees you taking the role of one of four contestants in an Old Testament flavoured quiz game called "Do Unto Others". The game offers two modes, Challenge Games and the TV Game Show. Challenge Games allows you to play any of the 12 challenge mini-games you want to. The TV Game Show mode is where you'll spend most of your time with the game. Essentially you'll pick one of the six character models and give them a name before playing out an Old Testament flavoured quiz show. The quiz show has two rounds and a final round called Grace of God which basically gives you the chance to come from behind to win the game.
What's good about the game?
Aside from having a game that has a rather refreshing theme for once, it's also good to see a party game that is quite flexible. You can alter the difficulty of the biblical questions; you can alter the length of the show and the difficulty of the games. This makes the whole thing suitable for both inexperienced and experienced gamers. The challenge games are suitably themed. There's the Tower of Babel where the idea is to destroy sections of a tower by drawing an outline around the piece of a building. Noah's Ark has you pairing up animal icons that happen to be moving quite quickly. Lion's Den has you claiming traps and then attempting to lure the lions over the traps to score points. Other games include Staff of Aaron, Red Sea and Leap of Faith.
The format of the quiz show is the usual kind of thing but it works well. During each round each player, when it's their turn, can either pass or choose to pick a square from the game board (which are randomly highlighted in true quiz show fashion). You'll get a new game board for each of the two rounds. Each square has different possibilities. There could be a 4-player challenge game, a 1-player Blessing Game, a Jackpot (where you have a 1 in 4 chance of winning the jackpot) and a Testament Trivia question that challenges your Old Testament knowledge. Other possibilities include Do Unto Others which allows you to randomly choose from giving your turn away, give points away or play a Blessing Game and then give away any points you've earned, Commandment squares gives you points taken from other players and finally there's the Wrath of God square that is basically the square you don't want to get, as it wipes out all of the points you've accrued in that round. Once both rounds have finished you'll play The Grace of God round that gives you the opportunity to come from behind. You'll see a picture of a tree with eight question mark icons. If your selected icon turns out to be a fruit you'll gain points and can pick again. Should you pick a snake though all the points you've earned in this round will be lost, so you have to know when to pass and when it's worth taking a risk.
What's not so good about the game?
Any game whose main content is mini-games has to have a good amount of quality mini-games to keep things interesting. This is especially so when the number of mini-games on offer is not great and when you compare The Bible Game to titles such as any of the Mario Party games the number on offer is paltry. It's also rather disappointing then that the mini-games on offer are rather disappointing. Even Job himself would be tempted to lose patience with many of the games on offer, so it doesn't bode well for the rest of us. Sure the mini-games do have a biblical theme but what good is that when most aren't very enjoyable? Like most party games, The Bible Game is not so good when played as a single-player game. The reason for this is that you'll spend a good deal of time watching the AI, which is OK for a short while but eventually it becomes rather tedious.
How does it look?
Graphically The Bible Game can simply be described as passable. You get a choice of six bobble head type characters to play as which don't look anything special. Some of the challenge games are played on a split-screen but others don't require this. The presentation of the game on the whole is OK and it definitely captures the look and feel of a quiz show. There are no frame rate issues and no long load times to complain about.
How deaf gamer friendly is the game?
It's no surprise that we see games that make little effort to cater for deaf gamers (otherwise this website would be a complete waste of time) but it is surprising that a game of this nature doesn't make any attempt to be accessible for deaf gamers. The game doesn't offer subtitles. The voice on the character select screen and all comments made during the game show by the host, Justin Warren, are not subtitled. However, you do get text instructions, hints and a biblical reference that are all in text. The manual also does a decent job of explaining what needs to be done for each of the challenge games and blessing games.
I was hoping The Bible Game was going to be good. Over the last 12 months or so the gaming industry has taken a lot of stick for the content of its games (some deserved and some not deserved) and it would have been great to see an enjoyable game that would have impressed many of those who have been anti-PC and console games of late. Whilst the source material for the game is of unquestionable quality, the game itself is another story. The challenge games are at best OK and at worst poor. In short it's a mediocre game which manages to be slightly fun when played with friends but disappointing when played solo.
Overall Game Rating: 5.0/10
Deaf Gamers Classification:
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Whilst it's great to see a game that uses The Bible as its source material it's a shame that it's not a game of real quality. The Bible Game is a passable party game but there are better party games out there.