Now available as a download
with a free copy of the Expansion Pack pre-installed!
Bongo Loves the Bible is a collection of 8 computer games for ages 7* and up featuring an orangutan named Bongo. Your students navigate Bongo through jungles, canyons and caves –learning about and testing their basic Bible knowledge.
Bongo’s game collection is designed to introduce, reinforce, measure, and have fun learning:
General Bible Knowledge -info about key stories, famous verses, and more.
Books in the Bible -order & types.
Where in the Bible would you find…
Who’s Who of major Bible characters.
What is scripture? How does it help our faith? How should it be part of our life?
and How the Bible came to be: Who wrote it? What is it? How do we read it?
Bongo’s content was researched and written to address “what every young person should know about the Bible.” It’s not a trivia quiz. It’s designed to both teach and reinforce basic content, give the teacher opportunities to elaborate on basic content, and show the teacher/church what students already know and need to work on.
You’ll need plenty of class time to play each game and leave room for discussion. Younger children will need help, and will enjoy playing. It is a game, so it’s a great idea to practice playing ahead of time! (especially if you’re the teacher). See each game’s specific description below, as well as, more age range note, and tech specs.
View a low-res video montage of Bongo in action:
Click a Game Tab to open up game details:
Game 1: “Bongo KNOWS the Bible” is a collection of four Basic Bible Knowledge games, -each with 20 multiple choice Bible questions the kids must answer correctly in order to win the game. That’s 80 basic questions about the Bible if you play through all four games.
Each of the four jungle games has a different set of 20 questions that need to be found and answered in Bongo’s jungle. When Bongo opens a question, he must choose the right answer. If he chooses the wrong answer, he must try again. In this way, students WILL learn the correct answers! We designed the original 80 questions to help teachers and leaders KNOW what their students knew about the Bible, or didn’t. In that respect, the four games function like a proficiency exam, though we’d never tell the kids that!
About the 80 questions in Bongo Knows the Bible
The original set of 80 questions that install with the game are split up among the four “jungle” games in “Bongo KNOWS the Bible.” Some of the sets are easier than others. None are intended to be “difficult,” and the games are designed to help them learn the right answer if they get it wrong. The questions were written for 3rd through 8th graders, though younger children can play them if they have some help. Bongo keeps answering til he gets them right! And each question is a great opportunity for a teacher-by-the-side to do a little teaching while they help.
The questions are NOT trivial. They are “Bible basics” about key stories, key Bible people, and key facts about the Bible that every young person should know. (Open the TOGGLE box below to see samples of the questions and how we came up with them.)
→ We have released 80 new Bongo questions described here. (Sold separately)
About the 80 New Questions on the Expansion Upgrade
In addition to rephrasing key questions about the Bible, the 80 new questions Upgrade also adds some new questions, and includes one game set about “famous and fun verses.” This new set is a little easier for younger students, has better question graphics, and was especially designed for Bongo fans who have already been through the original 80. Learn more.
More about Bongo’s gameplay:
AS you look for the 20 questions in Bongo’s jungle, Bongo is chased by his annoying friends, Sid the Surf Mummy and the Bad-boy Bongo-eating Plants. Collecting bananas and slinging them with Bongo’s slingshot takes care of them (or you can just run around most of them). (Teachers: Make sure you print the guide and maps to the jungle so you look like a genius!)
Note: The demo video above on this page shows you the “Knows the Bible” game in action.
Have your kids already played through all the questions? Or do you want to add newer slightly easier questions? Then order Bongo’s 80 New Question Expansion Pack. See details in the TOGGLE box below.
Game 2: “Bongo Needs the Bible” is a game about What is the Bible? – What is the “Word”? How does the Bible describe itself? Why should we read it? What are the benefits of knowing God’s Word?
Bongo Needs the Bible starts teaches about the various metaphors which the Bible uses to describe itself: Light, Lamp, Bread, and the Word. This is why it is played in a cave, because God’s Word becomes the Lamp unto our feet!
Your kids will learn Isaiah 9:2 “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light…”
Bongo must find his way through the “darkness,” find the lamp for his feet, and search for the True Word (Jesus himself). As he does, he’ll find his way into the Isaiah cavern where he learns about Isaiah’s hope for the Light of the World that’s coming. As that cavern collapses, he discovers the True Light and Word –Jesus himself, and receives the key to finishing and finding a fun treasure.
Throughout the cave, there is fun stuff to solve and get across (like lava pits, rolling boulders, bats, and narrow paths), and there are reinforcing Bible verses that appear in the landscape or pop-up on the screen. (They are great for discussion after the game). It takes about 25 minutes to get through the cave. Our guide and cave map can make that shorter. View and Print our “Ultimate Cheat Sheet” for this particular “Bongo NEEDS the Bible” game.
View a low-resolution video montage of scenes and audio from Bongo’s “Books” game and Bongo’s “Cave” game:
Game 3: “Bongo’s Books of the Bible Game” has two different games, — Old Testament Books, and New Testament Books.
- Students select to play either Old or New Testament books.
- Students navigate Bongo through a series of canyons jumping from book to book IN THE CORRECT ORDER to get to the other side of each canyon.
- Between each canyon the students will collect scrolls with the names of the books. In this way, the game tells them the right answer before they get to the canyon where they just KNOW the right answers to get across!
- Also located between each canyon is a Bongo-eating plant (easy to get around) and a giant rolling boulder (not so easy!)
- Once Bongo makes it across all the canyons/books, a treasure chest opens so he can catch gems for extra points.
- Then they get to record their score on the scoreboard for all to see.
View a low-resolution video montage of scenes and audio from Bongo’s “Books” game and Bongo’s “Cave” game:
Depending on your students, let them use the Table of Contents in their Bible the first time through. This will let them learn how to play the game. After they get across all the canyons (in about 10 minutes), have them CLOSE their Bibles. The scrolls in-between each canyon do remind them of the correct order, and if stuck, you can always give them a hint.
Because it has more books, the Old Testament game will take longer. Some of the books, such as the minor prophets, appeared grouped on individual platforms together.
If Bongo falls, or chooses wrong, he restarts at the beginning of that group of books. As each book platform is jumped on, a short summary of that book’s content or unique fact about it appears on the screen.
Some of the minor prophet’s books are paired on platforms. In the “easy” option, Bongo has more “lives” and easier jumping ability.
Game Play Tips:
Dodging the giant boulders in-between each canyon is easy once they figure out to stay on the side of the chute leading to the canyon. The Bongo-eating plants are also rather tame and can be run around. It is the pesky ravens that require the most attention! If one is flying by when Bongo jumps, it will knock him into the canyon.
At the edge of each canyon are two ‘starter’ platforms Bongo must jump onto. From there you can see all the books in the canyon.
Learning how to jump from platform to platform requires a little bit of practice. The CTRL key makes him jump as you use the forward arrow. Teach the kids keep their finger lightly ON the CTRL key and avoid hitting the “Windows” key next to it on most keyboards.
Consult our Bongo guide for more tips.
In Game 4, “Bongo’s Bible Background” students run through the jungle looking for 7 study panels to read. The panels contain info about “how the Bible came to be.” Once they’ve found and read the panels, they find 10 questions about what they just read, …all the while avoiding Bongo-eating plants by slinging bananas. After finding all the panels and getting all 10 questions right, Bongo finds treasure and gets a score.
Each panel takes about a minute to read. For those who want to go deeper then or after the game, each panel also has discussion questions.
The point of view “about the Bible” is ecumenical. I originally wrote the panels for Bongo for my Presbyterian church’s 6th grade Confirmation class.
You can view/print a copy of the game’s study panels from www.sundaysoftware.com/bongo/bongobackground.pdf
More About the Bible Details
- It takes about 15 to 25 minutes to play this particular Bongo game depending on age of your students and their knowledge.
- The reading level is 3rd grade and up, and the questions were designed to ask BASIC questions which any 5th or 6th grader “should” know if they’ve been attending Sunday School.
- The questions were written so that even if you don’t know the answer, you will!
- For the graphically inspired, the Bible Background panels are bitmap (bmp) graphics which you can change if you like. And you can changed the questions as well if you are technically astute with a photoshop-like program, as well.
Age Range: 7* through adult. Younger kids love Bongo just as much as older kids, they just need help navigating, reading, and answering a few questions. Bongo “KNOWS” the Bible game, -the four levels of Bible Knowledge questions were written with older kids and youth in mind, but younger children will enjoy your help trying to answer them. Lots of discussion possibilities if you play Bongo WITH them.
Make sure you have plenty of time to play a Bongo game. 20 minutes minimum!
Groups can play Bongo together, taking turns navigating Bongo at the computer and taking turns answering questions.
Minimum: 1.2 ghz, 1.5 mb ram
Windows 8/10 users, see our Windows tweaks.
View and Print the Bongo-Game-Guide (indispensable for teachers, includes all the game secrets, maps, and teaching notes)
See Bongo’s Free VBS lessons: “Vacation Bongo School”! …a 4 to 7 lesson unit suitable for any time of year.
VIEW/PRINT Bongo’s Poster for classroom use.
Learn more about the “Bongo’s 80 New Questions”
Visit Sid the Surf Mummy’s Bongo Tech & Tips.
The Bongo Teacher’s Outline has all the game’s secrets and shortcuts. Here are a few more:
- You really don’t have to sling bananas at Sid or the Plants. Just run around them. They can only reach so far.
- The Jungle and Cave layouts are actually very simple, though at first they may look like mazes. Consult the teacher’s guide for maps.
- When you hear the crow sound on the Bible Books platform, Press your ‘end’ key to duck. If you jump into a crow, he will knock you off.
- In the Bible Books game, stay to the right or left and let the rocks roll by you. Jump to the small platform just past the edge on either side of where the rocks fall.
- In the Bible Books game, use your mouse to change your point of view to get a better look at the names of books.
- In the Bible Books game, you don’t have to click out of the notes about each book that appear on screen. They will disappear when you jump.
- In the cave game, things must be done in the correct order. Look, read, and listen. At the beginning of the game you can adjust the “gamma” to brighten the cave for easier play. When you cross over Faith, Hope and Love, turn left and go down the skinny path.
- The treasure key in the Jungle quiz games is in the waterfall where the dolphin is squeaking, but it won’t appear there until all questions in the level have been answered.
- Before teaching with Bongo, preview it yourself, and let your students play with it at the end of class prior to using it for a lesson.
- HUGE TIP…. On some keyboards, the “Windows” key is right next to the “CTRL” key which you use to jump. If you hit the Windows key, it can take you out of the game, and going back into the game can create problems. Warn the kids. Show them the ‘other’ CTRL key on the keyboard.
Bongo is a HUGE favorite. Here are a few reviews from our customers…
My students’ favorite software right now is probably Bongo loves the Bible. We just recently purchased it and they are loving it!! This year we are emphasizing daily Bible reading in our children’s classes and I am using Bongo (or “that Monkey game” as some of the kids call it) to help me teach the importance of knowing what our Bibles say. My oldest group (4th & 5th grades) has had about four turns using Bongo since June and they are not tired of it. We have just scratched the surface of what Bongo has to offer. I plan to use Bongo frequently this school year.
~ Terri @ Fairview Hts Church, Swansea Illinois
I love what you’re doing at Sunday software and I love teaching with computers. Keep it up!
~ Terri @ Fairview Hts Church, Swansea Illinois
The kids really love Bongo, and we even have good cooperation between kids working at the computers. My 12 year old son has been playing with Bongo since it arrived and enjoys it; he’s become the “Bongo maven” at church. Hey, even *I* have managed to complete all 4 levels (and yes, I printed out the certificates to show to all). I definitely have to order a copy for home soon! Thanks for the great fun and learning experience!
-Nancy Tarantino, Watchung Presbyterian, Bloomfield, NJ
Bongo is the best! Exactly as described on your website. It is a blessing to have modern computer type games with a biblical format. My ministry is to 7th and 8th graders… but this game worked well with my own 7 year old daughter as well. We play Bongo together with a children’s bible. Great family time with dad. (The) “mummies and flowers” (chasing Bongo) are only intimidating enough to be fun. I’ve been in children’s ministry for a while, -we need stuff like this, your work is not in vain. Yes the game play is great. (But) in my humble opinion, Bongo works because God’s word is the cornerstone, …around every corner.”
~ Wade Marshall, Kenessas Georgia
Hi Neil, We received our Bongo games. What fun. I really don’t know how to play (computer) games so I asked my 17 yr old son to try it out and I couldn’t get him past the beginning song. He loved it and asked if he could get the MP3 of it.
~ Pam Courtney, Trinity UMC, Mercer PA
Hello Neil, I took one of your suggestions and purchased Bongo Loves the Bible for my deaf son for Sunday School and I wanted to say its working out great. He loves the game and graphics and is learning at the same time. I’m very pleased. Thanks for your help.
~Carol H. Church of Christ, Palm Coast FL
Another awesome title you guys. Worth the wait. Sid (the Mummy) is a riot. I’m ordering one for my church now because (my son) won’t let this one out of the house.
~ James Keeler, Ventura CA
In the downloadable version we pre-installed the “80 New Questions Expansion Pack” for free! We replaced the original 80 questions in the four “Bongo KNOWS the Bible” games with 80 nNew and nicer looking questions (that are also a little easier. They’re still based on our original research into “what every child should know about the Bible.”
Here are the four “new” categories in the 80 New Questions we’ve pre-installed in the downloadable version of Bongo:
- “Bible Basics 1″ focuses on Bible basics for all ages, but is especially written for Second and Third Graders (…which your older kids won’t notice)
- “Bible Basics 2” focuses on “Who and Where am I in the Bible?” Bible Basics 1 & 2 cover 40 stories/people/places which the typical Sunday School students “should” or needs to know. No minor content here, and no trick questions either.
- “Funny & Famous” Set #3 focuses on The Top Ten Most Popular Bible Verses, plus 10 Funny verses and stories in the Bible.
- “Super Bongo Bible Freak” Set #4 is a more challenging set of questions about “Bible basics” for those who have mastered the first 3 sets.