You can say a lot of things about this game, but you surely can’t say it isn’t “unique!”
Super 3D Noah’s Ark is one heck of a weird game. It’s a 16-bit first person shooter which runs on the Wolfenstein 3D engine, with the same gameplay and a similar soundtrack. Instead of nazis, robotic Hitlers, or demons straight out of hell, Super 3D Noah’s Ark features cute little goats, sheep, and other adorable creatures you need to “put to sleep” with magical food thrown by slingshots.
This is because Super 3D Noah’s Ark is, above all, a biblical game. Not only that, but it’s educational as well, full of biblical passages, trivia and questions to answer, questions that transported me way back to fifth grade’s Bible studies class in catholic school.
For an educational game, Super 3D Noah’s Ark is also insanely hard, and not because of the religious questions scattered throughout the levels. Enemies are actually fierce, being smart enough to open doors (not bad for a bunch of literal sheep), with spits so strong they take 10% of your health per second. And that’s maybe the best part about this unbelievably cheesy game: it’s challenging enough for hardcore gamers to ignore the in-your-face religious imagery and just enjoy the game for what it offers gameplay-wise: the same Wolfenstein gameplay, labyrinthine levels, secret passages, big bosses, and an “arsenal” so imbecile you can’t help but finding it charming.
The story behind the making of Super 3D Noah’s Ark is as amusing as the game itself. The game was initially planned to be a NES game based off the horror movie Hellraiser, but given the time of its development (1993-ish), the devs suddenly decided to start everything all over again and make a family-friendly game according to their Christian beliefs (even though they were making a goddamn HELLRAISER game). The game was never actually sanctioned by Nintendo, given their strict rules against religious imagery, so the developers had to sell the game as an unlicensed cartridge with a bypass chip, just like a Game Genie. If that wasn’t weird enough already, the game was only sold in Christian bookstores, and not actual video game outlets.
And that’s Super 3D Noah’s Ark, a game so weird not even Nintendo wanted it for the Super Nintendo’s library, a game so weird it was only sold in religious bookstores, a game so weird it’s actually fun to play, with the right mindset, of course.
If you’re curious about Super 3D Noah’s Ark, you can either look for retro carts around the internet, or you can buy the game on Steam. There’s no better time to experience such classic gem of the 90s than right now.
Also available on: PC