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Hereís a true obscurity, a Quill game written by one man, with no publisher, probably moving very few copies. I went in expecting very little, (and fearing an early Jarod's Journey) only to be pleasantly surprised. This is a well-designed piece that humanizes Noah, and tells his story without ever dipping into Sunday School farce or Hollywood apocrypha. It's a tale we all know of course, but it's about the journey, not the destination.
What a fun journey it is! While technically in the Cruel category, it's not an unfair or difficult game. Sure, you will restore a few times due to death, and there are two beginner's traps that can make your game unwinnable early on, (Spoiler - click to show)(missing the key and cutting down the wrong trees too early) but they're not abundant and you can usually tell where you went wrong. It helps to know the story, as the game has you act out every key moment, and it assumes you have that knowledge for at least one scene; namely the olive branch. There is a well-written introduction though, and praying to God in the beginning reveals His plan, giving even someone unfamiliar with Scripture the info they need.
The gameplay is solid, mostly consisting of preparing for the Flood. These are actions that are obvious, but still fun. People forget that text adventures don't have to be slogs, running the player through an interminable gauntlet of brainteasers. There is pleasure to be found in the mundane. Think of all the happiness people have felt maintaining gardens and digging mines in a game like Minecraft. I enjoyed buying supplies, preparing food, finding drinking water, building the ark. The writing is solid. Itís a serious game, but itís never stoic, stiff, or preachy. Noahís piousness and care for the animals that God has created comes through, as you move about the Ark and feed each one. Just like when preparing for the Flood, it becomes quite meditative. Though you do need to be careful who gets what food item; thereís just enough for everybody, and some animals will only accept one kind. Itís pretty easy to figure out who gets what. Just be attentive.
Itís a shame that religious games are so often made just to proselytize. This title shows that you can make an approachable, enjoyable game with religious subject matter. For those who fear that I am writing this out of bias, I will disclose that I am an agnostic, though I don't think being Christian would discredit someone from writing objectively on a Christian game. (Not many folks out there singing the praises of Bible Games.)
All in all, I really enjoyed Noah, and have no real complaints. The author went on to write one more game six years later, a text-with-graphics adventure based on The Plagues of Egypt. I can only hope that it maintains the same level of quality seen here.
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