Game Info:

Super 3-D Noah's Ark
Developed by: Wisdom Tree Games
Published by: Piko Interactive
Release Date: January 1, 1995 on SNES June 18, 2015 on PC
Available on: SNES, PC, Mac, Linux
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Number of Players: Single Player
ESRB Rating: Not-rated
Price: $4.99 on Steam $100.00 on LeapTrade

Thank you @CBBloch for gifting us a copy of this game to review!

Super 3-D Noah's Ark came out in 1994 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES).  What made this game unique is that it was not approved by Nintendo and was only playable when attached to an approved Nintendo game.  ID Software's Wolfenstein 3D engine was used to make this game and FPS veterans will quickly recognize the similarities between Super 3-D Noah's Ark and Wolfenstein 3D.  

Instead of shooting down Nazis it's Noah's job is to knock out the escaped animals by pelting them with fruits and grain gathered on the ark.  There is no blood or gore in this game.  In fact, when Noah is injured, the screen flashes purple instead of red.  I found that change amusing.  

There are six stages and each section has several levels within and a stubborn boss to knock unconscious at the end.  The bosses include a camel, monkey, giraffe, elephant, kangaroo, and a bear.  Each of these foes will take a lot of patience and food to take them down.  Even though I played the game on the normal difficulty, I found the enemies and bosses to be excruciatingly difficult.  I was sure to save my game early and often to recover from being caught off guard.  Noah can only take a couple of spit wads before going down himself.  While he does have a few lives, when he respawns, he loses his upgraded sling shots and ammunition.

Super 3-D Noah's Ark

Strong Points: A kid friendly version of ID Software's Wolfenstein; challenging Bible trivia questions; cloud saves
Weak Points: Tricky level design; tough enemies (especially bosses) even on the normal difficulty; some answers don't show up in the trivia questions
Moral Warnings: None!

In the beginning of the game, Noah starts off with a standard slingshot that's more than capable of knocking out the escaped goats and sheep.   Later on Noah can find upgraded slingshots that rapidly fire eggs and watermelons more suited for taking down ostriches, antelopes, and oxen.  Maps can be found as well which makes navigating the tricky labyrinths much easier.

Some of these items can only be located in the secret rooms hidden in each of the levels.  Finding these secret rooms is usually optional, but some of the levels have secret rooms that must be found in order to exit them.  

When you exit a level, there are a few stats that you are scored on.  The first is how fast you completed the level.  Out of the thirty levels, I have only finished one under the par time.  I spent much of my time aimlessly wandering and thankfully not suffering from motion sickness with the obnoxiously bright walls.  (Noah is a bad interior decorator BTW).  Other scoring factors include the percentage of animals knocked out and how much fruit was recovered.  Last but not least, is the number of secrets discovered.  Perfectionists will be rewarded with Steam achievements for fully completing the levels and beating the par times.  I was relieved to complete a level and didn't care to return to best my previous scores.

Super 3-D Noah's Ark
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 52%
Gameplay - 8/20
Graphics - 5/10
Sound - 4/10
Stability - 4/5
Controls - 5/5
Morality Score - 96%
Violence - 8/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

One area I can use some improving on is with the Bible quiz questions scattered across the levels.  There are ninety-nine random questions and there is a Steam achievement for answering each of them correctly.  Some of the questions were relatively easy like how many animals of each type did Noah take onto the ark.  I knew that one was two, but the questions get trickier, and if you want to beat the par time, you don't have time to crack open the Bible to fetch the correct answers.  One of the questions I got wrong was the width of the ark in cubits - It's 50 if anyone wants to know.  One issue I noticed is that some of the available answers didn't show up until I arrowed up or down to see all of the options.  Other than that small glitch, this game ran fine for me.

Super 3-D Noah's Ark can be educational if you have enough patience to deal with the stress of the remainder of the game.  While it made me frustrated at times, my kids seemed to enjoy watching me fumble around and showed an interest in playing it themselves. If they do wish to start playing the game, I'll start them off on the easiest difficulty so they don't get flustered too soon.   I like how the game lets you pick your starting stage. Not surprisingly, the later levels are much more challenging than the beginning ones.

If you're good, this classic game can be beaten in five hours or less.  For a perfectionist, it may take longer.  Super 3-D Noah's Ark is a meager 22MB and has dated graphics and sound effects.  The background music can get repetitive but a couple songs did grow on me after awhile.  Even though this game is a classic in its own right, I still have fonder memories of Wolfenstein 3D.  

About the Author

Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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