If there is an award for the game with the most ironies, it certainly
would go to Super 3-D Noah's Ark (SNES), a game originally created for
the Super Nintendo Entertainment System - and more recently converted to
run on PC computers.
What does a religious Nintendo game look like? Pretty much like any
other Nintendo game, in truth. Remember, we're talking about the old
eight-bit NES; those games did not have a lot of intricate detail.
Wisdom Tree made seven games for the NES, the most bizarre of which was
Sunday Funday, a side-scrolling game in which the hero rode a
skateboard. The truly weird thing about Sunday Funday was that it was a
cosmetically altered version of Menace Beach, a Color Dreams game and
one of the most risque ever to appear on the NES. In Menace Beach, the
exact same skater on the exact same skateboard had to rescue his
girlfriend who had been captured and chained to a wall, and wore
progressively less and less clothing. Naturally, the girlfriend was
missing from Sunday Funday.
Of all the games to make religious, Wisdom Tree chose Castle Wolfenstein
Created by the small company, id, Castle Wolfenstein 3D was a
first-person-perspective 3D shooting game in which players ran through
cavernous dungeons killing Nazi soldiers and guard dogs as they
collected weapons and treasures. Castle Wolfenstein 3D was the game
that touched off the Doom/Quake/Duke Nukem phenomenon.
The game designers at Wisdom Tree bought permission from id to remake
and slightly alter Castle Wolfenstein 3D to design a game called Super
3D Noah's Ark. In the Wisdom Tree game, players assume the role of Noah
trying to get his animals back in their pens, as opposed to a soldier
trying to hunt down Adolph Hitler.
The folks at Wisdom Tree did not alter id's original mazes; they used
the exact same dungeons. The only difference was that they replaced the
smooth blue walls with logs to invoke that "in an ark" look. They also
did away with the grenades and machine guns and replaced them with a
single slingshot that players used to shoot food at animals. Instead of
having soldiers that charged at you, then fell in a bloody pool when
shot, Super 3D Noah's Ark has little goats that try to kick you with
their hind legs and fall asleep when you shoot them with food.
In Castle Wolfenstein 3D, you saw dead Nazis lying in pools of blood
when you looked back over your battle zones. In Super 3D Noah's Ark, you
see goats with little "Zs" over their heads to show that they are
Of course, these scenes are a bit difficult to decipher. The SNES was a
great game console, but 3D game play taxes it heavily. The graphics in
Super 3D Noah's Ark are splotchy, to say the least.
Super 3D Noah's Ark retails for $64.95 and can be ordered by calling