Captain Bible

Of the Christian video games of the 1990s, Captain Bible in Dome of Darkness stands out as the decade’s most derided. Admittedly, the game’s unapologetic theology and style – not to mention DOSBox compatibility – make it a ripe target for satire. A closer analysis, however, identifies Captain Bible as a successful synthesis of the ludic (in Huizinga’s sense) and didactic principles necessitated by the video game form and its Evangelical heritage. [Read More]

SimCopter / Streets of SimCity

(Originally published at Johan Huizinga opens Autumn of the Middle Ages by describing a mindset alien to us: “…all events had much sharper outlines than now…every experience had that degree of directness and absoluteness which joy and sadness still have in the mind of a child.” The arresting power of the original SimCity in 1989 can be just as alien to us today. The simulation is distant, hoisting the player heavenward and granting him the power to zone land for commercial, industrial, or residential development. [Read More]

Saints of Virtue

2022 Update: The 1.0.0 version of SaintsX has been released. Check out the website and download the patch here. It’s the quiet end of a working day, and I just Googled “Saints of Virtue". Yes, that Saints of Virtue. The Christian first-person shooter from 1999 that is sometimes mocked, sometimes derided, but mostly forgotten. I haven’t played the game all the way through in years, yet here I am running a search and scrolling through the results. [Read More]

Christian FPS Games

(Originally published at Any discussion of Christian video games must inevitably start with Wisdom Tree. Wisdom Tree was a group of former Color Dreams employees who developed and self-published a series of unlicensed religious games for the NES, SNES, Genesis, and Game Boy. After the dawn of 32-bit technology, Wisdom Tree shifted their focus to edutainment games for the PC – a space they continue to operate in to this day. [Read More]

The Story of Thor (Oasis) Series

(Originally published at Context Perhaps it’s a bad rap, but the Genesis/MegaDrive is not remembered for its RPG library. Despite being the birthplace of such classics as Phantasy Star IV, Shining Force, and Lunar, Sega’s 16-bit hardware built its name with platformers and secured its legacy with rollicking action games. By 1994 this was a weakness that Nintendo was fully exploiting in Japan with a strong Super Famicom RPG lineup spearheaded by the wildly successful Final Fantasy series. [Read More]