HEAVEN QUESTReviewed By: Tim Emmerich, Shepherd's Staff
Genre: Christian board/trivia game
The "Heaven Quest" game utilizes 3-D graphics and stereo sound to attract you to this unique board-style game that weaves in Bible questions and lessons. The game reminds you to use prayer often to keep your grace at its maximum value, the full gift of grace. There are real Bible characters that can accompany you on your quest. They are called Bible Buddies and help you in your trials. The presences of a Bible Buddy will yield you two more squares of movement on your dice roll. In comparison to real life, there are temptations along your path. If you succumb to the temptation, you lose some grace and the rest of your movement for that turn. The test is selecting from one of 12 stones. Some have the names of the apostles and one (or more depending on your level of grace) has Judas Iscariot's name on it. The names are hidden, of course, when you are choosing. If you pick any of the Judas ones, you fail the temptation.
The game starts out by the players selecting a game piece. There are four possible player pieces. The animated icons that you can select from are:
(Yes, they are unique. But does anyone question the thimble or iron in another popular board game?) You also select the difficulty level for your player (it should be feasible for a 6 year old to enjoy a game with an adult). After that, you are ready to start your quest.
The obvious goal is to reach Heaven. The winner of the game attains that goal (although anyone truly seeking Heaven in the non-virtual domain can achieve it through Christ). The quest is following a marked-off path through well-known Bible stories. You roll dice to advance your game piece along the path. Landing on certain colored squares (only one per screen) will bless you with a Bible Buddy. A particular Bible Buddy will help you get through one screen much quicker than normal (you will have to play the game to see, but think “water” for a clue of which Bible Buddy). Also, you will be stopped at all the red squares for your temptation mentioned earlier. You also get one Bible question for each dice roll.
“Heaven Quest” is enjoyable. The game isn't so short that you miss it. But it isn't too long either. One or two players can probably finish in about 25 to 35 minutes. Top Meadow did a nice job of balancing this delicate game design tradeoff. It is not an absolutely perfect game. The animation could have been slightly improved and a continue game feature would've been nice for any remaining players after someone won.
A feature that you don't see in many (any?) games today is a true, honest to God, 3-D feature! That's right, the old blue and red paper glasses come with this game! And wearing the glasses for the appropriate graphic screens will have the characters and picture coming to life. This feature can be disabled if desired.
In short, “Heaven Quest” is a non-violent game that is fun to play, presents some Bible learning and beautifully illustrates some of the stories of the Bible.
The official description of the game from Top Meadows is:
Heaven Quest is a very special computer game with stunning computer graphics, a musical soundtrack, animated movies, and over 1,000 Bible questions. Easy to play for kids to adults, Heaven Quest is a family friendly game in which the players journey together from the Gates of Eden to the Resurrection of Jesus. Along the way they will meet many Bible Buddies, face Temptation, receive God's Gift of Grace, and learn about the many treasures in the Bible.
Year of Release—1998
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