If the title doesn’t tip you off, the persistent “Not Licensed By Nintendo… we don’t even know these people, we swear!” title screens should. Wisdom Tree is a group of Christian programmers who specialize in “Christianizing” modern secular video games. Their previous exploits have emulated games such as Pac Man and Tetris, and for some reason they have a real “thing” for Noah. Now they turn their attention and apparent mascot to using a new gaming vessel to spread The Word… Wolfenstien 3-D.
Oh my. Way to go Wisdom Tree. Let’s secretly teach kids the Bible by thinly disguising one of the most violent shooters of its time. I think this same meeting of minds is the group that produced such things as Christian wrestling and Christian Goth music.
Wisdom Tree: “So you like the violent games eh, kid? Here, play this… it’s just like Wolfenstien, but ahh… just not Wolfenstien!”
Little Johnny: “Um… who’s this ‘Noah’ and what’s this ‘Ark’ anyway?”
Wisdom Tree: “Ah! We’re so glad you asked…”
So how exactly DOES one apply the story of Noah and the Ark to Wolfenstien 3D? Well, it’s seven days until everyone and everything can disembark, but the animals have grown restless and generally upset. Playing as Noah, you must descend into the bowels of your wooden craft and feed all of the animals so they will fall harmlessly asleep. Therefore, the guns are replaced with a slingshot firing feed, the Nazis are replaced with goats and sheep, and the levels are still the same twisting mazes but this time taking place within an bland wooden boat.
The graphics in the game are on par with the Wolfenstien port to the Super NES, meaning they are one step away from pure crap. Floors and ceilings are one solid color and everything else is a mass of pixelated textures. When viewed up close most of these textures are pretty decent, and the animals look cute and cartoony. Far away it all just blurs together, and the animals are simply a moving collection of four colored pixels. It’s a similar story with the walls and objects, and such things as broken cages and barrels do add atmosphere but certainly don’t look top notch. The graphics are never so bad that you cannot tell where you are or where you are going, but there’s no eye candy here. Note that the pictures here are much cleaner than the actual game because of their smaller size.
Sound is pretty good. Each level has its own theme and such themes are upbeat and campy enough not to be annoying. The sound of the slingshot and the animals are clear and understandable. The snore of sleeping animals is appropriately cute. Of the whole game, this is the part I have no real complaints about.
Controls are rather muddy, which is unacceptable in a first person shooter. Your turning speed is far too slow, as is your ability to make precise movements. Simply moving around the Ark is easy enough, but trying to flee from multiple attacking animals is quite a challenge. The mouse is available and will be more comfortable to PC gamers. However it is extremely sensitive and a quick jerk will often find you spinning in an unexpected direction. The mouse is fast, but the regular controls are much more precise (which still isn’t saying a lot.)
So is it any fun? Well, it IS Wolfenstein incognito and pretty much gives the same experience without all of the violent content. It’s surprisingly difficult and challenging, especially as the levels progress and packs of goats attack while sheep spit at a distance. Don’t blow this off as a walk in the park (or the Ark…ha ha… ehh..) because if you’re cornered by a pack of hungry goats you can be taken down in seconds. Yet the game is clearly aimed at kids with boss characters such as “Carl the Camel” and so on, so if you’ve become too “cool” for this kind of stuff then this game will just leave a bad taste. Though if you’re looking to play Wolfenstein without feeling like you’re going to hell, then this is a suitable replacement.
‘Wolfenstein Lite’ – same game, friendlier content.
Poor controls, fuzzy graphics.