Mr. Bill's Adventureland Review
Reviewed by Mr. Bill & Lela
Nacah means 'Adventure' in Hebrew, and this little adventure game is based on a unique concept: using the Bible for clues to solve the puzzles in an adventure game. It is the one man creation of a young Christian with the unusual name of Cheyenne (or Monte Cheyenne Wolford), working under equally unusual circumstances.
Cheyenne lives in a remote abandoned 1800's mining area, well beyond the last commercial electricity and phone lines. Nevertheless he was determined to create an adventure game that would offer a biblically oriented alternative for Christian families. So he bought a gas powered generator to run his computer (along with a battery backup to continue running it when he had to refill the generator), put in his own phone lines to be able to access the Internet ..... and began. The result of that amazing dedication and perseverance is this game, and considering the circumstances under which it was produced, it is remarkably well done.
There is no story. Instead it is a game of Exploration, and the player must find objects and solve puzzles to progress to new areas. Drawing inspiration from the countryside around his home, the author begins the game in a dark and deserted mining cave. So your first objective then becomes finding the light in order to know where to go and what to do ..... which of course is what we all must do in real life, if we are to progress.
That is the author's stated theme for the game: "From Darkness To Light". And once you find the light, and solve the puzzles, you do eventually make it out of the darkness of the caves and emerge above ground, into the light. But there you discover that you must solve more puzzles before you can go further, riding in a cable car between islands, until you finally do succeed and sail away to your unknown destination.
This is a very short, linear, 1st person, 3D, point and click game, with a small inventory, subtitles, and a brief introductory tutorial for those who have never played an adventure game. There are few ambient sound effects, no other characters to interact with, and no voice except for a short recording near the end. The opening credits videos are excellent, and the slide show style graphics within the game are varied, detailed and interesting, especially toward the end. But the quality of the graphics leave something to be desired, because they often look pixelated or grainy, even dim, when viewing them full screen directly in front of the computer. The music however is atmospheric and very good, consisting of short original pieces played by the multi-talented Cheyenne on the harp, panpipe and plucked violin.
The puzzles are not difficult, but do require some sleuthing and logic. Clues are found in the King James version of the Bible. They range from fill-in-the-blank ("And God said, Let there be ___" ), to multiple choice (which passages contain a reference to a ship), to simple math problems (how many times is the number 1000 mentioned in Revelation 20). The Waterpipes Puzzle to get the generator and elevator running, early in the game, is probably the most complex, but we had no problem with it once we ignored what was described in the manual and simply used the biblical clues to decide what to turn on or off. And there is one timed puzzle, late in the game, where you are required to choose the books of the Bible in order, but this should present no real problem if you keep your Bible opened to the Table of Contents.
However the primary quest of the game is to find 6 different pages listing the books of the Bible. They are not all easy to spot and you can't return to an area to search again if you miss one. So look carefully from all viewpoints, including behind you, and save a separate game in each location as a precaution. And make sure that you note down which book begins each page when you first pick it up, because you will not be able to look at it again, and you will need to know it in order to solve one of the final puzzles and complete the game successfully.
That was the only real problem that we encountered in the game: that is, not being able to go back and search again, or get another page if you messed up. And we do wish that the biblical clues had been designed to teach and reinforce ideals, rather than just being used to solve word problems. That would have made the game a more valuable learning experience, and been more likely to inspire further study.
But the concept of the game is excellent, and addresses an unfulfilled need in the gaming community. Nacah should inspire other would be game developers, in addition to providing entertainment for Christian families.
Be sure to watch The Making of Nacah, which is included on the CD. Also check out the sequel to Nacah now being developed, called Derek, on Cheyenne's website, Virtue Games.
Developed (2001) by Virtue Games and published by Bible Games Company.
Minimum System Requirements:
PC: Pentium II 300 MHz Processor; Windows 95 or Higher; 64 MB RAM; 6X CD-ROM Drive; Sound Card Recommended; 4 MB of Free Hard Drive Space (200 MB for Full Install); Mouse
Where To Buy This Game:
Walkthroughs or Hints: