One Nation Under God: Christian FoundersReviewed By: Tim Emmerich
Any school-aged youth would respond quickly with a strong “NO” to that question. However, most may be surprised to find they are learning while having fun. Or even clamoring to play this game over others. “Can I play Uncle Sammy” comes a plea from my son and daughter. They are referring to the main character, Uncle Sam, of the game One Nation Under God. And who can blame them. There are many fun elements of One Nation Under God as the player moves Sam through different levels and obstacles in search of keys and stars. Most younger players enjoy sliding on the ice the most.
In order to get through some doors, Uncle Sam will have to answer correctly a fact about the current lesson (see list below). Or some doors will require a certain number of keys. Keys are interspersed throughout. When you have access to a key though, you are presented with a statement regarding the lesson. You must either answer true or false. If you are unsure, be sure to answer false as you can come back to it later. If you answer true and it isn't, the key explodes and damages you. If you answer true and it is, you get the key added to your inventory. Thankfully, you can't destroy true keys and lock yourself out of a door.
Further, some floor sections are uncertain, you must interpret a true statement about the lesson to proceed on them. If you are right, you can stand firmly on that floor. Otherwise, you fall through the floor, taking damage. The graphic of the floor updates after you've confirmed it being true by walking on it. Other floor tiles act like trampolines! Catapulting you upward just by stepping on them. Hint - they are a darker gray than regular floor tiles.
There are many obstacles other than puzzles to overcome in your quest to get a key or star. There are fiery darts blasting away, slippery ice patches to slide on, bouncing boots that will squish you like a bug because they are so huge, precarious pits are set about to ensnare your missteps, etc.
You can also use the mouse which really helps with camera angles. Now you can look down and see the staircase below by moving the mouse downward. Left click to jump and right click to move. And don't jump on that ice! Actually, you may end up frequently losing 25% of your health as you miss a jump and land in a hole in the floor. Or even just walk off into a pit.
You can use the mouse, the keyboard, or both to control Uncle Sam, whichever you prefer. Plus, some of the controls are configurable.
The game design has some neat things like flying, stealth, armor. Armor is needed to walk down a corridor full of fiery darts. There are too many of them to avoid, so be sure to answer the armor star question. Flying is needed for areas where walking and jumping won't get you there. Finally, stealth is needed to avoid some small zeppelins floating around the room. When they find you unstealthed, they hover over you and open fire. Better move quick and get stealth mode!
For younger players, you can set it so the game reads the text questions to them. It is the computerized voice though and can be hard to understand on certain words. This can set to read every text message or only the ones desired by pressing the “R” key. Currently, there are 5 games/maps and tons of lessons that plug into those games.
While some may critique the quality of the graphics or minor things wrong with the engine, it is important to be fair with any comparisons. This project was done in about 6 months with only two people working on it. With that in consideration, I think most will agree it is an astounding feat of development.
Where can players and parents object?
Give it a try!
Year of Release—2002
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.