American Christians are rarely ones to let a pop culture moment go by without finding some way to create their own sanctified spin on it, but that’s easier said than done with video games. Making a good game takes time, money, skill, resources and — even if you have all those things — a bit of luck. Making a not-so good game? That’s a lot easier, and that is where most of the games that have attempted a Christian crossover fall.
But just because they’re not good doesn’t mean they’re not worth playing. The truth is, many of these are so wild that they really are worth seeking out, if only to marvel at the ingenuity. You ready to dive down the rabbit hole of gaming for God? Here’s just a tiny taste of what’s in store.
Eternal War: Shadows of Light
You’re the archangel Michael, and you’re roaming around the soul of a troubled guy named John, wrestling with his inner demons with extreme prejudice. Spiritual warfare hasn’t been this literal since This Present Darkness.
In Catechumen, you play a Roman soldier trapped in the Catacombs, on a mission to rescue your friends from …demons? Good thing you’ve got a laser sword. The lore here is a little complicated but it tips over into being a Christian game on account of the whole demon thing.
Spiritual Warfare went more of the Zelda route, allowing you to roam around collecting biblical artifacts like the Armor of God and Samson’s Jawbone to do battle with bad guys. But don’t worry. Your attacks here actually turn your enemies into Christians (they fall to their knees in prayer when they’re “defeated”) so beat as many of them as you can.
Red Sea Crossing
In the 1980s, Atari dove into the religious video game sphere with this stab at a Moses game. It wasn’t exactly a hit. In fact, less than 100 copies were made, one of which netted a whopping $10,400 at an auction later, making it one of the most expensive Atari games ever.
A goofy NES game which mostly involves picking things up and putting them down. You might be Noah picking up the animals to put them down in the ark, Miriam picking up Moses to get him into the Red Sea or David picking up his sheep to keep them safe from wild animals. It doesn’t sound very fun and the game has garnered an infamous reputation online, but it’s surprisingly charming once you get into the rhythm of it.
Super Noah’s Ark 3D
One of the strangest games Super Nintendo ever released. In fact, Super Nintendo didn’t even technically release it. It’s the only unlicensed game released for Super NES in the country, and that’s not even the weirdest thing about it. It retools the Wolfenstein 3D game engine but, instead of blasting Nazis, you’re shooting food at the animals on the ark so they fall asleep.
I Am Jesus Christ
What would Jesus do? You make the call. An absolutely wild open world game in which you play out the ministry of Jesus Christ in first person, all the way through his crucifixion and resurrection. You can perform miracles like healing the sick, casting out demons and even helping fisherman. It’s actually kind of soothing.