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Christian Text Adventure #1

by Bob Nance

Religious
1986

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
"Pilgrim's Progress" this ain't, November 4, 2017
An 80's game made with a system called "GAGS", which I'm unfamiliar with, but judging from the datafile's structure it seems rather inflexible (no synonyms, room or object descriptions cannot be changed during the game, and there's only a handful of verbs, which leads to awkward commands such as having to type (Spoiler - click to show)"push computer" when you want to press a key on the keyboard, as well as repetitive and simplistic puzzles.) A lot of the inventory items and rooms seem useless and are there just for show.

In case the title hasn't clued you in enough, the author based the game on his religious beliefs; in the readme file, he states that this is "more than a game" and that he made it as an alternative to "games involving the use of "magic"". So instead of magic you have artifacts like "the sling of David", "the rod of Truth" etc. used to kill allegorical monsters like the "wolf of unbelief" (although one of the monsters (Spoiler - click to show)is instead killed with an ordinary coin for some reason... I'm wondering if it's a bug.) There are some hints regarding which weapon to use on which critter, but on the whole you probably won't need them, as, barring parser problems, the game is rather easy (apart from a single illogical puzzle where you need to (Spoiler - click to show)"turn diamond" to get out of the mirror room -- the diamond is an item you can pick up and carry around, so how can you "turn" it?), and even though it's possible to get stuck by leaving items behind locked doors, it's usually obvious which inventory items you're missing. Be warned, though, that the ending is very unsatisfying.

PS. One rather cringeworthy moment in the game is finding a newspaper and a magazine which have no role in the puzzles, and seem to exist solely to push the author's wish fulfillment about how USA becomes a completely Christian-run country by 1994, and how future generations will shake their heads at today's heathen pleasures of "cigarettes" and "television". It's not wrong to promote your personal beliefs through your works, but it's risky business and the way it's done in the game feels very much on-the-nose.