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Note: "The NO Shelf" article has been retired.
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A listing of the software we don't recommend for Christian Education ..and why.
Now including "the Maybe Shelf" :-)
Some titles marked below as "maybe" if they are your sort of thing...
Below is a list of the software we DO NOT RECOMMEND
you think I'm "an old nay-saying fart" ...you're probably right.
Though I'm actually not that old.
Is it un-Christian to un-recommend some Christian developer's program? No, I don't think so. If they were giving it away for free, maybe. Buying software isn't a love-fest, it's about YOU making an informed choice about spending God's money. I occasionally hear from a developer or web surfer who thinks I should NOT express an opinion about other people's Christian products. But it's no sin to have an opinion, --as long as I'm specific and fair, and upfront.
Christian software is my full-time work, not my weekend gaming or programming hobby. I've been playing and teaching with Christian software for over 20 years, --probably more than anyone else. And I've always made it a point to try and play everything. In fact, most developers and distributors send me their titles hoping I'll carry them. The "No Shelf" began as an actual shelf we had in our stockroom for titles we had reviewed.
Disclosure: My BIAS is towards non-violent, non-dark themed games (battling evil demons, etc). I am also NOT a creationist, and I am NOT a dispensationalist, so those types of software tend to get nixed here. If there was a really good one, I might give it a good review for those with such theologies. But silly me, ....I draw the line at KILLING, or Christian titles that are overtly violent, -even if they are targeted at the teen/young adult male gamers. I don't believe we need to imitate the violent secular games to reach the gamers with a message of hope and love. The developers making such titles are usually good people, and some have built technically great games. I just don't agree with their content choices -regardless of what audience they say they're building it for. We can carry ANY of these games, and already carry a number of other developer's titles, so it's not about competition, it's about opinion.
If you have questions or personal experience
with any of these games that you want to share with me... Email me at email@example.com
Update: I'm no longer adding to this page. I moved to a new site platform and decided not to bring every article over to it.
And now here is our "NO" and "Maybe" list smooshed together in no particular order...
The most recent reviews are toward top. Lucky for you, many of these CDs down the list can no longer be found!
IF you want to find these games on the web, google their titles.
|Monsters from Hell||hahaha....I thought this was a joke, but it's a real game. You beat the monsters in an Atari 2600 era style "invaders" shooter, and are then greeted with "life changing" messages. *shakes head* "No"|
|Heaven the Game||Maybe? I didn't play it, but a review by a Christian game developer pretty much says it all. "Somebody inside Genesis Works should have realized that their headline will read “Heaven: Get a Tour of The Throne Room and a Lap Dance While You’re There.” Axis (the main angelic character) and her stripper boots will be the only thing most people see here and the truth is I can’t blame them. There are too many slow pans across her chest to her belt buckle, tail swinging and upskirt camera shots to conclude that this is an out-of-context thing. Genesis Works either made the decision to sexualize this character deliberately or they have a profound degree of naivety about how this game appears to the average gamer." Here's the funny clincher: In the game, "Axis" the main angel turns out to be your grandmother.|
|Tomb of Moses||Maybe.
Tomb of Moses is a new 3d style game that's surprisingly similar
in some ways to our own Exodus Adventures CD, but vastly different in some
more important ways. The 3d environment/graphics are terrific. The
mystery you must solve is intriguing, though a bit difficult. You must
follow in the footsteps of a Professor Fogg to solve the mystery of where
Moses was buried. The mystery takes you through various levels running,
jumping, looking for objects, hearing narrations of a mysterious storyline
(mostly not directly related to the Moses story, but about solving the
game), keys to unlock doors, etc. Moses story info is presented through
pictures and narration along the way (though graphically less interesting
than the 3d game itself which was too bad). You ask how it is the
same/different than our own Exodus Cd... well, both have a 3d St.
Catherine's monastery. Ours is more extensive and open and merely a jumping
off point for the story, whereas theirs is more like a trap you have find
your way out of. Our Bible story content is presented through videos and
better graphics. For example, Tomb of Moses glosses over the Burning Bush
story and only presents a flat old-fashioned graphic of the story, whereas
our CD has an entire level just devoted to that story, and even has a 3D
burning bush. Different intents. (I'm also a bit mystified by their claim
that Moses was buried at St. Catherines in the Sinai, when the monastery
doesn't make that claim and the Bible says he was buried somewhere near Mt.
Nebo which is in Jordan.)
IMHO, they made a poor choice in how you navigate through the game, requiring you to manipulate both a set of letter keys (W to go forward, A to go left, etc) and the mouse at the same time, in addition to accessing objects you've picked up, such as keys, to click on doors, etc.. It's rather involved and frustrating at times. They should have enabled the ARROW keys (and I know that the A6 game engine allows for better navigational control because we used the same engine to create our OWN Exodus CD!). I got through 2 of the 7 levels before I had to put it aside. The game advertises that it takes 5 to 7 hours to play. I wonder if a 6th grader would stick with it that long. Developed for the German Bible Society, comes in both English and Spanish versions and extensive documentation/discussion helps. Definitely "No" for Sunday School or church use, but "maybe" for an intrepid older gamer. Distributed by VIDA out of Norfolk VA.
|Inverse Bible Memory software||Hard to argue with freeware...but the interface is so spartan as to make it a program only for Bible students with steely discipline. inversememory.org|
|Light Rangers: Mending the Maniac Madness||No/Maybe. Nice graphics, an editable Bible trivia module, but the actual game has almost no Christian content. The gameplay is rather limited (jumping around collecting points and avoiding things like terrorizing teddy bears shooting something at you). It looks and feels like a game that has been "re-purposed" from a generic kids game into the Christian market. Japanese anime style graphics. For early-mid elementary. Being distributed by Digital Praise.|
|Jewels of the Sinai||No. Good graphics, baffling game. I spent over 40 minutes just trying to figure out how to play it. That's too long. Had my videogame-adept 15 year old try it, ...same results. There's a difference between "challenging" and "how does this actually work?" Documentation/helps are no help and quite scarce. This is essentially one type of game, --matching jewels as they drop down the screen. How you play it, or why you'd play it for very long is the question. Another one of these games that looks like it was generically built then re-purposed / redesigned to fit someone's market theme niche.|
Probably NO. This game isn't even
released, so why is it here? I never pass judgment without seeing the
software first. But this one put me in a mood, in part because it was
ALREADY recommended in a magazine before release. Its story is right out of
some Christian sect's dispensational end-is-near pamphlet "warning against
world government." It's designed to brainwash kids with this minority point
of view (if not outright heresy). I quote from their website:
Storyline Excerpt: "The world government has taken control of the all countries, all news media, and all local security systems. Everyone can be identified by the computer controlled video cameras, and citizen scanners located throughout the cities of the world. A "Tribulation Knight!" is an agent of an association originally created by a now destroyed collection of Christian churches. Their mission is to save lives. Knights have to insure the freedom and safety of the last Christians left on the planet during the Tribulation. Knights have a heavy burden, to help those being subjugated by the new world leader and his armies. New Christians are seen as a threat to the new government."
|Rebel Planet: Orion||This one is said to be in development. Looks like yet another new "attack" style of game, this one taking place before the time of Noah. "Filled with quests, creatures, friends and villains." Quite high-end looking graphics similar to the level of textures we did in Exodus Adventures. Looking forward to seeing it. But I'm a bit concerned that it will be one of these subtle creationist titles.|
|Eternal Forces: Left Behind||Definitely No Way. If you're into the Rapture and battling the devil....be my guest: From their website: Conduct warfare using the power of PRAYER and WORSHIP as more powerful weapons than guns. Recover ancient scriptures and witness spectacular Angelic and Demonic activity as a direct consequence of your choices. Fight against negative spiritual influences against the Antichrist and his forces. Command your forces through intense battles across a breathtaking, authentic depiction of New York City. Control more than 30 units types - from Prayer Warrior and Worship Leaders to Spies, Special Forces and Battle Tanks!|
|Deliverance: Moses and Pharaoh||No. Another ambitious "attack" style of game. Moses must fend-off all sorts of stuff. Controls somewhat hard to use. Mild violence but no dieing or blood. Challenging game play through every chapter of Exodus. Not my cup of "Christian education" tea. I played a demo of the game.|
Truth Seeker: Battle Against the Lies
|A definite "maybe" in the right setting. Nicely done Zelda like adventure game with hours of gameplay (thus, not for church use). From their site: "A lite-hearted and thoroughly enjoyable game with a powerful Christian message. The story is ultimately a parable speaking of the healing and forgiveness that takes place in our lives when we give God access to our hearts, but also the danger and tragedy that occurs when we give the enemy access to our hearts by believing his lies." You play as Axys, who has been asked to get rid of all the weeds on Pacifico Island. Wearing the 'Armor of God', Axys sets out to destroy all the weeds on the island and encounters various puzzles involving books of the Bible. Pretty fun game.|
|Bible Champions||A definite "maybe" in the right setting. An ambitious collection of games themed on Bible stories but short on actual Bible content. The 3-D games follow text of the story and some words during the game to reinforce. The games are fun, but somewhat repetitive after a while. The developer's concept is to give your kids a game they can play at home after you've taught the lesson.|
Ehud and Devorah CDs
|NO. I was looking forward to seeing these two 'Jewish' titles. They obviously spent some money on development, graphics and packaging. But the content was obtuse, the lack of animation was surprising, and the game play was uninteresting and a little frustrating. In addition, they were age-ranged at young teens, and these just aren't good enough for that age group.|
|Bibleman: A Fight for Faith, CD
||NO or maybe. If you're into the Bibleman videos, you'll probably like this game. It features gameplay with videoclips from the program. The "wacky protestor" tries to turn kids away from God, and Bibleman uses the Word to save them. Characters "deflect" shots aimed at them back at the enemies. Includes an altar call. A "Maybe" if you like Bibleman.|
|The Bible Game
Released October 2005 for Gameboy Advance, Play Station and XBox.
|NO. This is
another 'Bible trivia game' like we've seen over and over and over again. A
new face on an old concept. (Would be great to see a new concept) Without the ability to control or add content, it remains simply a good
trivia game with limited usefulness in a Christian education setting. The
Xbox/Playstation version is fun for up to four players as entertainment, and
does have some redeeming messages in it.
Gameboy version: Reviews at various
gaming sites are mixed. It's 1500 trivia questions from a conservative point
of view. Example Question: Who wrote the Pentateuch? Answer: Moses (accding
to the game). So if you're not a conservative evangelical-type, this game
may present an understanding of scripture your church agrees with.
Gameplay: You collect crosses. You need to convert crosses into Holy
Water. To obtain a piece of the Armor, you need a "key". ...To get a key you
need to locate and battle a "Deceiver"
(devil-looking beings). Once you find him, you throw Holy Water
at him, this stuns him for a moment. (Ug!)
Treasure of the Incas
and Sword of the Spirit
|NO/maybe. These two titles arrived in 2005 with a lot of publicity. The fact that they are spin-offs from Dobson's Focus on Family radio show (Adventures in Odyssey) is sure to help sales. These are two very nice programs for home use. But neither mentions Jesus or the Bible. Each CD is essentially a long list of computer puzzles/games threaded together by an Odyssey storyline and characters. They are meant to teach "Christian values" such as patience, virtue, peace, etc. And they do that -if that's what you need software to teach! And the graphics are very nice. But to me, there's something amiss when a Christian ministry produces software that doesn't mention Christianity. To turn a phrase, "are they ashamed of the Gospel?" Neither of these CDs is useful enough for Sunday School. "Maybe" if you really like Adventures in Odyssey.|
|Heavenword Children's Bible||No. And older title that's not a bad Children's Bible, but again....but not nearly as good as Play and Learn Children's Bible CD. HCB has 140 Bible stories in non-kid-friendly translation, plus only one illustration per story. Poor Bible Paint tools too. Should have been better.|
|Fiery Darts -battle against darkness||No. A Bible "trivia" game from Flume Creek, which includes avoiding "malo" an evil creature. The program asks questions like "What were the two great evils that grieved God in Jeremiah 2:12-13?" I'd have to look it up, but I'm sure the third one is creating a Bible trivia game with an evil being in it. But hey, if you're theologically ok with that, be my guest. And don't forget to order their special edition with creation science questions.|
|Eternal War: Shadows of Light:||No. I know some of you think I make this stuff up. But here's an exact quote from TwoGuysSoftware's website describing the Eternal War CD: "Walk with John Coronado, trapped in torment by his own will. You were sent to help save his soul. With awesomely high powered weapons with alternative firing modes it is your turn, to turn the tide." Sorry 2guys, high powered weapons are not Jesus' weapons of choice. Good production values and game play, and designed for male teens and young adults (action/violence), so it may appeal to them.|
|War in Heaven||
Definitely No. "12 levels of heaven and hell. Outwit and outfight immortal beings with lethal weapons. Exciting, uncompromising 3D action combined with spiritual lessons straight from the Bible." Hey....I'll bet it's fun, but I can't find the word "lethal" in my concordance.
|"Walls of Jericho"||No. Very little content. You click and drag blocks around on a puzzle screen. Nice graphics but not much here that learning-oriented folks will want. A new game from Full Armor Studios. Not to be confused with "Fall of Jericho."|
|Noah's Ark Deluxe||NO. This is a downloadable content-free game you can find on download sites for $9.95. Even if it were free, it would be useless. Match the animals! And then what?|
|Noah: You are the Star of the Story
"Build your own Story" Bible series
|No. Nice packaging. Confusing program. Confusing controls. Poor sound quality. Then it locked up. Looks homemade.|
|Pentamedia's Storytime CDs: Miracles of Jesus, Birth of Jesus, Noah, Daniel...et al.||No. Imported from India, and starting to show up on some website and bookstore shelves, these older CDs look and sound odd to the American ear. Animation is overly simple and unappealing. Games have nothing to do with stories. Some interesting animations of objects from the 1st Century A.D. Visually, however, some things struck me as odd, such as the "spinning Jesus on the Cross" animated mouse pointer used throughout the program.|
|The Living Gospel CD
|No. This CD has quality animation, but the rest of the CD's content falls short (which is too bad). The program uses video clips from a Spanish language animated Bible video series and includes a Spanish option. Unfortunately, the rest of the CD doesn't match the animation standard. The sound had quality problems. Story activities were very limited, and the interface was below average. 11 stories. Overall, wish they'd add "dig deeper" content and fix its problems. Until then, there are better choices. "Maybe" if you need a spanish language game|
|Stickman Bible Series CD -Genesis||No. This is the first effort of a new developer who has announced an Exodus CD in the works. I hope it is better than this Genesis one. "Stickman" is just that -stickman graphics that just aren't good enough. Graphics are poor, the sound quality is poor, and the interface looks more like a rough draft.|
|The Beginner's Bible Classic Bible
|How many more times will they repackage this stuff and sell it as "new" and "just released" ? It's not bad, it's just not that great, and isn't suitable for elementary age students. Out of print now but copies keep appearing like whack-a-mole. "Maybe" if you have old equipment and find these dirt cheap. Not very content rich.|
|The Bible: "A Multimedia Experience"||...isn't (a multimedia experience, that is) This bible on CD has been around the block. Now selling for 9.99 on spinner racks near you. It's last gasp let's hope.|
Exploring the Life of Christ
**NOT to be confused with Discovery's "Life of Christ" CD by Sky Media
Man, I thought this was going to be better. The box looked real nice. The developers combined some Bible study Q & A -with a database style Bible (WORDsearch) you can read, and some nice graphics, quizzes and video of Israel to produce something that isn't half as good as Discovery Interactive's Life of Christ CD (in our catalog). A joint project of WORDsearch Bible CD and Back to the Bible, Inc. Commendable, but falls short.
Recommendation to all developers who want to do a Jesus CD --buy a copy of Sky Media's Life of Christ CD first to use as your measuring stick.
|Godspeed 3D||No. I have played several of the test versions and the demo of this game and it quite literally gave me a headache. Killed my eyes. It plays like a rollercoaster ride through space or the sky and at times just keeps going and going without a sense of what it's really all about until you hit a "truth" you have to decide about. Basically a "rushing graphics quiz game" that wears on you very quickly. KJV only.|
|VeggieTales Veggie Carnival CD||No. Silly games like "Watch robotic veggies sing your favorite songs." No real Christian content. A well-designed piece of software for younger kids that seems created merely to capitalize on the Veggie Tale name. Much more engaging "game" software can be found elsewhere.|
|Veggie Tales Jonah CD||No. Nothing more than movie clips from the Veggie Tales Jonah movie interspersed with sailor themed games. Pirates Tow, Paperboy Game, a shooting gallery, Cave Maze etc. Hey "BigIdeas Co." ...get a better idea than creating movie merchandising products.|
The Mystery of Veggie Island interactive PC game.
(I like VeggieTale videos, but their software is Christian-less)
No. Another "zippo" on the Christian content scale. Assisted by Bob the Tomato, Larry the Cucumber, and the rest of the VeggieTales characters, players join the veggie kids on a Cub Sprout camping trip on Veggie Island. Kids explore the island, completing 11 "fun and challenging" activities to help Junior Asparagus earn his Achievement Certificate. Yawn.
If you want a TOP NOTCH Childrens adventure software, get any of the CDs from the Putt-Putt series (Humongous Entertainment).
My 100 All-Time Favorite Bible Stories
and many of the other Baker Book House "Bible Activity CDs"
|Overly simple $9.99 programs made in the late 90's whose the prices are so low they hope you won't return the CD. A waste of your children's time.|
|Gil's Bible Jumble||In Gil's Bible Jumble you must help Gil find the missing Bible verses and then return them to the correct book of the Bible. Basically this is a trivia game with no control over content. The game interface is dated.|
| Heaven Quest
||An interesting trivia game with good 3-D graphics, but no control over question content. "Maybe" if you're looking for just a trivia game|
|Heavensoft... and any number of other "Free Christian Software Download" websites||I keep getting asked what I think about the "free downloadable" Christian software on the Internet that keeps popping up. Most of it is really old PRE-Windows junk that a lot of us rejected back when we had 386s! Even the one or two in the bundle that might be mildly useful are of limited quality. Tech support is non-existent. Most of the scripture versions are KJV. Beware: Quite a few of the websites offering "free Christian software" simply want you to view their ads.|
|Heavenbound||The first game from Emerald Studios. It recreates a Pilgrim's Progress in a modern looking 3-D landscape. Nice if you have several hours and don't require a lot of content. As of July 2004, their main webpage still mentions their "new June 2003 price."|
|Beginner's Bible CDs (various stories on several CDs)||These aren't bad. But for years they were overpriced for CDs of limited content. Out of print now, but you can occasionally still find them for $15 or less, but offer nothing more than the better Play & Learn Children's Bible CD which has 50 stories for $15.|
|The Adventures of C.J.'s Closet
"Children's stories with Bible values"
|I like this CD. It was sent to me by its producer for possible inclusion in our catalog. While it is not Sunday School or really even "Christian education" material, it is a nice CD for younger kids ages 4 through 8. I'm going to keep a copy in my lab for the DCE's kids. Cute animations of fun stories. The trip to outer space to the planet zooland was fun (yes, I played it). The stories are filled with clickable activities your kids must do to advance the story (pop switches, figure out how to open doors). Cute animated characters too. http://www.cjsclubhouse.com|
|Jesus Wants All of Me||Yes he does ...but I doubt he'll want much to do with this CD. Jesus Wants All of Me is another "let's make a CD based on a best selling book and hope people buy it" CD. The idea of the CD if basically flawed ---a "daily devotional" piece of software for little kids? What were they thinking. It is a cute CD for preschoolers and early readers, but I was surprised how much TEXT they have on it for this age group. Cute graphics and music though.|
Manna Bible Maps Deluxe ...an atlas
Accordance Bible Atlas
Carta Bible Atlas
And any other Bible Atlas
OTHER THAN "Walking in Their Sandals Atlas"
Manna's Bible Maps Deluxe gets an 'A' for all the maps, but a C- for the graphic quality of the maps and background notes. Low on multimedia. General graphic design looks somewhat homemade. For $80 a copy they should hire a graphic artist.
Accordance Bible Atlas, on the other hand, has professional looking maps and map creation tools. Two problems, however, put it on our list... 1. It's hard to use (this from all three of us techies who reviewed it), 2. It's Mac Only.
Carta Bible Atlas comes from Israel's premier map company. But the interface is anything but premier. It's like they stopped half way through making it. No click points, just pictures of maps.
Walking In Their Sandals Bible Atlas is the best we've seen --which is saying a lot considering quite a few companies have come and gone trying to make Bible Atlas software.
|Hallmark Christian Greeting Cards||Hallmark has a new line of greeting card making software, including one for Christian cards. It's a nice program but relatively LIMITED compared to the much deeper and versatile American Greetings Spiritual Expressions 3 we recommend at this website. Fewer templates, less artwork, and about the same price.|
Catechumen and Ominous Horizons, from the same company, come with the rating: "Mild animated violence." Yet they also has the Dove Foundation's "Family Approved" Seal of Approval. Dove.org's website proudly vents anger about violence in the entertainment world. What am I missing here? Oh yeah, you have to PAY Dove to get their seal. ...So much for Dove.
Catechumen's main plot (as copied from Catechumen's website): "Your mentor and brethren have been captured by demon possessed Roman soldiers." I wish I was making that up. Do we need a game about "demon possessed Roman soldiers" ?? I think not.
Ominous Horizon's plot -from their website: "Gutenberg's Bible has been stolen by Satan and pieces of it have been hidden throughout the world. Conquered creatures are dispatched in very interesting ways back to the Underworld by the player using the Sword of the Spirit." Alrighty.
The guys who produced these games have a lot of talent. I wish they'd turn it toward positive software, not killing or "dispatching" software with dark "ominous" themes. "Maybe" if you're a 16-21 year old male
|Amen computer card game||Amen has been around as a Christian UNO card game for years -only now you can get it and play it on CD. But why? Ok....not a bad idea if you like the game!|
Not Coming Soon from us...
"Fluffy Battles the Eternal Forces of Evil to save Baby Jesus from the Ominous Angels 2.0"
with a special bonus game: "Cal versus Marty"
Sunday Software has finally decided to copy the other "successful" Christian game producers. Our Fluffy the sheep now has an Uzi and must shoot down the evil angels at the birth of Jesus. After which, the wisemen must shoot Herod's guards on their way back home to avoid capture.
Cal and Marty Scripture Memory Game now features a battle royale between the Calvinists and Lutherans. If you miss a verse, Cal (John Calvin) mauls Martin Luther with extensive weapon choices while Luther says his famous line, "here I stand, God help me."
Enough lame humor...back to our NO list:
|Lion Publishing's "Encyclopedia of The Bible & Christianity."||Available only in Canada, Australia and the U.K. It's pretty dry and stuffy in any country.|
|Sunday School Crafts||A program derivative of Spiritual Expressions 2 (which we like). Not enough good craft ideas to warrant the purchase unless you are fanatic about doing this sort of stuff on the computer. Can't find it anymore anyway.|
|Jesus 2000||Jesus 2000 -A Walk in the Holy City comes from Israel. I imagine it is mainly being marketed to tour operators. It's mainly a slide show of photographs of pilgrims visiting the tour sites in Jerusalem. This program isn't worthy of even untying the sandals of Pathways Through Jerusalem.|
|Ultimate Bible Collection CDs 1, 2, 3 and 4||Distributed by various companies, including Logos Software and Sovereign for $9.95 each. A CD collection of many old games that weren't any good when they were new. Some real turkeys. Three or four demo versions of software we DO like. Some "free trials" (free for 9.99?) of new "Christian" games like "Adventures with Chickens." (I'm not joking). The three webpages touting these programs are riddled with spelling errors which shows you how much they're putting into it. They aren't exactly forthcoming in their ads about the DEMO nature of most of these programs on the CD. 95% of these programs we tested and rejected many years ago. Total "Zombie Ware" ....they keep coming back to haunt us.|
"Bible Champions" CDs from Baker Book House
**Life & Ministry of Jesus, Paul, David
**Life of Moses
| **Warning! These programs have the same name as the GOOD CDS from the Kids Interactive Series! And they're from the same development
company. When Tyndale House decided not to renew their contract
with that team, the team tried to create the two most popular
CDs in the Tyndale series for Baker Book House using the same
names. They are NOT THE SAME program however.
Here's why we don't like the Baker titles by these names:
>>>No Kid friendly translation (The NIV for Kindergartners?),
>>>Only one page per story (only the text changes--a major pet peeve),
>>>A section advertised as a "Bible Timeline" that's nothing but text (for ages 3-8 ??). You get what you pay for at $9.99. Really a shame there wasn't more thought, development money and features put in these two.
Mini Mike's Adventures in the Bible
The Children's Bible Library
Mini-Mike: A German/Danish produced Where's Waldo using Bible stories dubbed in English. The program didn't seem to properly function all the time. When it did, it wasn't anything to write home about. By Scandinavia Publishing.
Children's Library: Another CD collection of Bible stories with one picture per story and (in this case) poor sound quality narration. Published by Scandinavia Publishing.
|Adventures with Chickens||No...this is not a joke. Your goal is to rescue purple Chickens from suffocating in the harsh confines of deep space. At one time this was advertised all over the web ---which just goes to show you. Should be renamed "Adventure Software for Turkeys."|
|Acts of Apostles||An old shareware "game" that's, well...."old" and rather dull.|
|McGee and Me||One
of the most expected CDs and one of the biggest flops. A Tyndale
Publishing House salesperson admitted even many of them think
it is a dud. What a waste. Looks unfinished or dull, or both.
Hey Tyndale House... when are you going to stop selling this turkey? (it should have been better)
|My First Christmas||A thin offering from Porchlight Ent. being distributed by Tommy Nelson Publishing (Nelson's kid div).|
|Bible Birdie & Bible Brain||Two
rather graphically uninspired -i.e. "old looking" but
brand new programs. Why?
If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right.
|Standard Publishing's series of Preschooler Christian CDs||These CDs are so poor in quality Standard should change their name to "sub-Standard." Released in Fall of '98. Eight in the series published under the name Standard Kids.|
Baker Bible Encyclopedia for Kids
Baker Bible Dictionary for Kids
Encyclopedia: A rather dull program with tons of obscure bible info hardly useful to kids. Three sentences about the Last Supper. Where's the content AND multimedia?
Dictionary: Another rather dull program. WHY would kids want to use this?
|Jesus -The Man-The Message-The Messiah||Great content ...for a book. Lousy, if almost non-existent multimedia. Focus on the Family invested a lot of time and money in this ...and rarely advertises it anymore.|
Little Ark Interactive's
Story of Creation *
Daniel and Lion's Den
Good graphics, cute, but only one story for
the $25 !
On the other hand, if you really need a CD for young children ABOUT Creation (there are no others in existence) then the Story of Creation isn't a bad purchase at $15 or less. Occasionally our company finds Story of Creation in liquidation for $12. Check with us.
|Jonah & The Whale from Parsons/Etica||A nice preschool/early reader program with three major flaws. 1) If a kid can't complete a game they are stuck and can't move on (duh). 2) You can't skip any of the content (duh #2) 3) If you quit in mid-game you must start back at beginning next time (Duh #3). Here are the undocumented solutions to fixing the problems: From the start page, click on "Jump". The treasure chest will open. Then use the arrows to scroll to the scene that you want to jump to. Then click on the picture in the treasure chest. If you get stuck, hit escape. It will take you back to the start page. Change the difficulty level to something easier and then jump back to whatever scene you wish by using the jump button and the treasure chest pictures (solution submitted by Ed Jones, a grandad). We still don't recommend Jonah and the Whale because a preschooler can't follow these instructions!|
|David & Goliath||Two versions: One from Parsons Tech, the other from Etica Entertainment actually both made by Etica. Just mediocre and kind of old. Life of David in Kids Interactive series is much better.|
Noah, Noah and the Ark from Logos Research
|Our ministry has lost count of the number of Noah programs that have come on the market. It's the most "done" title because it has cute animals. In the one Noah CD you can easily find online from Logos system, you can actually click on a kid hanging from a tree to drop him into the flood waters in front of a shark. Another Noah program tells the story in 8 languages. Most are cute and merely OK. If you want a good Noah program, by far the best is in the Noah and the Ark CD from Kids Interactive series (found in our catalog).|
...and any program with "Jerusalem" in the title
except Pathways through Jerusalem
Conflict in Jerusalem is the worst Christian program I've ever seen. Even an exec. with the company which distributes it (Logos Research Systems) admitted it was a dud. But they keep selling it.
Simon and Schuster's Jerusalem CD,Cambrix productions' Jerusalem CD, and Doko's Holy Land Mosaic Jerusalem CD are all interesting but they pale in comparison to our favorite: Pathways Through Jerusalem.
|Point and Play Children's Bible||Not a bad Children's Bible, just not nearly as good as Play and Learn. Point and Play gives you 62 one-page only stories and no control over which puzzles or games you can play.|
|Compton's Interactive Bible, a.k.a. Zondervan's Family Bible||We did a big review of this Bible because you could find it in every bookstore and it looked pretty good. Problem was that none of our teen or kid evaluators liked it! Life Application Multimedia Bible was more warmly received.|
Bible Baseball, Basketball and now Football....
(the one from Baker Books)
Should have been better.....and should have had a question editor.
We still recommend the Grand Slam from the Bible Games company.
|Version 1.0 of Bible Grand Slam||Version 1.0 is still being marketed by some distributors who are bundling it with other programs. Problem is that the players run the bases so fast in version 1.0 that you can see them run! Same problem with the shareware version of Bible Baseball floating around.|
|Bible Wonders||If you're going to make a Bible Trivia game for an already crowded Bible trivia software market, make it cool and give it a question editor. They didn't.|
"Maybe" if you have older computers are don't need much content in your games
Bible Adventures is collection of three pointlessly fun Nintendo style games with a circa 1994 look. There are other more modern looking games and we do sell some of the Wisdom Tree games, just not these.
Spiritual Warfare makes a game out of "saving" people and battling demons. Enough said.
Out of the Tombs,
A Father and Two Sons
|These three CDs from the American Bible Society had such great potential. Years ago when these came out our evaluators were very lukewarm about the CDs. We couldn't find anybody who really liked them well enough (and also had seen some other better programs to compare them to). Nowadays they just look old.|
|Baker's Bible Games||Let's put some kiddie games on a CD and sell it for $10.|
|Ark Multimedia's Bible Interactive a.k.a. Family Counselor||An interesting collection of video clips, sound bites, and text to discover about many theological and social issues. The problem is that it's just sort of "there" and rather uninspired.|
Escape from Rome
|An older game that's actually quite fun to play. Pure Nintendo style game with occasional pop-up quotes from book of Philemon about his slave Onesimus. The problem is that it doesn't run on many newer computers and Ark Multimedia won't answer their phones for tech support (or is out of business).|
|Charlton Heston's Voyage Through the Bible||Not bad. Just not real interesting for kids. Your grandma would probably like it.|
|The Multimedia Bible||Found on many CD discount racks in the secular stores, this program defines "multimedia" as "hey look, its on a CD." A dud.|
|Bible Challenge||Another mediocre Bible Trivia program (Baker Books).|
|Red Sea||A shareware quiz program still lurking in download areas on the web. If it were better, you'd be able to buy it in a bookstore or catalog. Fall of Jericho in our catalog is a MUCH better quiz program for several reasons.|
|Amazin Blazin||NavPress hasn't made software for kids in years and is still selling this old dud. Claims to be about Joseph but delivers little.|
|Defender of the Faith||Actually, this is an excellent program. The only problem is that it is REALLY hard even for your Senior High gamers and techies. It's so hard you get stuck and can't move forward. Why did they make it so hard! Still selling it too. NavPress|
|Bridgestone's shareware CD sampler||If these programs were any good, Bridgestone would be selling them separately for $19.99 a piece. This dud has been renamed at least twice. One fellow emailed to say one of the programs in this collection seriously crashed his computer.|
|Bible Sleuth||An interesting "solve it" adventure type game that just doesn't meet the mark. "Bible Trivial"|
|Adventure Bible Handbook||Mad Max has hidden bomb parts in the scriptures and kidnapped your frog. What WERE they thinking!?!|
|D.K.'s Children's Bible Stories||7 Old Testament Bible Stories from Dorothy Kindersly Press. Nice. Some very redeeming qualities, including print-out crafts. We'd recommend it except that Play & Learn Children's Bible is cheaper and offers more, including New Testament stories. Also....the program is a little difficult to use for its intended preschool audience.|
|Zondervan's Bookie BookWorm Bible Series||Three separate CDS you can purchase: David and Goliath, Noah & Ark, Daniel & Lion's Den. You get five Bible Stories on each CD for $30. We sold them back in 1996. Then Play and Learn came on the market. Play and Learn gives you 50 for the same price plus many other extras. We went with the best -which also happened to be a better price.|
|Hunger has a Cure||An admirable if not exciting CD from the Presbyterian Hunger Program. Music is too Joan Baez for a Hootie and the Blowfish generation.|
|The Church's Story||An admirable but kind of boring CD from the Presbyterian Church. Full review found here.|
Compton's Children's Bible
a.k.a. Children's Bible Stories
|Another mediocre (not particularly bad) entry into the early reader/preschool market. It's been around for many years but I just saw a copy in Office Depot with a "NEW" sticker on it. Yep. There are other, better, Children's Bible CDs.|
|Higher Ground||An interesting quiz game concept with a mountain climber motif. Poor graphics. Not a bad effort, but too far down the quiz program totem pole (where Fall of Jericho reigns supreme). Could have been much better.|
|Wiz Art||A screen saver making program. Rather cumbersome to decipher it's tools. More a "novelty" than necessity. Has kind of an "old DOS program" feel.|
|Holy Land Mosaic||An interesting but flawed presentation of the Holy Land. A waste of pretty graphics that don't do anything. No where near as good as Pathways|
|Treasure Study Bible||A fairly lame attempt at creating a children's Bible. Has some redeeming qualities but not enough.|
|Read with Me Bible||Years ago this looked pretty good. Then the Play and Learn Children's Bible came along.|
|Wiz Kid Bible Painter||Actually not that bad. Just wished it was a little more modern.|
|Smart Kids 5 CD Pak||Another unscrupulous bundling of old titles of mediocre and lousy range. Smart Kids, -dumb purchase.|
|Family Fun Pak||See comments on Smart Kids. Though in this one you actually get two decent programs for your $40 (which will only cost you $30 if you buy them separately).|
Beginner's Bible Series CDs
Separately or in a Pack
|A $30-$35 four story pack that's not bad -but no where near the best available. Play and Learn and Children's Activity Bible give you 50 well done stories for better price. Recently these have resurfaced in the UMC catalog at a lower price. But $20 or even $15 for something that isn't that good is a waste of money.|
|Family Bible Collection||This "Deluxe Edition from Encore Software comes in a great looking box. It's another attempt to repackage software that didn't sell well. It does include some interesting programs along with some duds, but they're selling it for $40 or more when you could get the "interesting" programs for about half that. It includes several programs on our "no shelf" and only one in our catalog.|
Journey to the Promised Land
and the older DOS version of Fall of Jericho (not the new one)
|This was a good program when you knew how to edit in your own questions. We sold it for years and had our own editor for it (no longer available). The developer has since renamed it Fall of Jericho and issued two versions --an older and newer version. The company he used to work for (Ark) keeps selling the old Journey version. There is an older DOS shareware version of Fall of Jericho that still floats around Internet download sites. The New CD version of Jericho is a complete re-write and upgrade.|
|The Picnic Miracle||Preschoolish $20 program. Absolutely no reason to choose over a program that gives you a ton more like Play & Learn Children's Bible does.|