2011-08-19

The Journey of Moses – The Bible On Facebook

by Yo Snyder

How do you take one of the most epic stories in the Bible and turn it into a Facebook game? Good question, and The Journey of Moses is the answer. In what’s being touted as the first Biblically based Facebook game, The Journey of Moses
allows you and your friends to follow Moses through many of the pivotal
moments of his career, and you can share the experience with your
friends (after all, Facebook is a social medium). The question is, does
it work? Or rather, does it work as a Facebook game, and does it work as
a retelling of one of the Bible’s most famous stories? Well…

This is where being an objective critic comes into play. I’m ore of a core gamer. Give me games like Gears 3, Zelda: Skyward Sword, Mass Effect, or Arkham City. I like my games involved, immersive and even a bit complex. The Journey of Moses is more of a causal game, like Nintendogs
(another game that wasn’t really my cup o’ tea). So this isn’t
typically the type of game I would play, however, I’ve tried not to let
that color my approach in reviewing it. To be perfectly honest, I was
surprised as to how well made and thought out it was, and I even had fun
in short spurts while playing it; something I did not expect. 

The Journey of Moses is described as an adventure game, as opposed to something more sim-like such as Farmville.
In it, you explore various areas in order to find the necessary
materials to advance the story. For instance, early on you had to find
all the pieces to your Egyptian prince outfit so you could properly
present yourself to Pharaoh. As you move through each area, you’ll hit
upon various milestones in the life of Moses, like his life as an
Egyption prince, the realization that he’s actually Hebrew, his
expulsion from Egypt after a confrontation with a guard, and so on (and
yes, you will get to part the Red Sea). The very fact that this game
does a pretty good job of clearly relating these events in such a simple
format like a Facebook game is pretty impressive.

There are also some Animal Crossing
type elements as well. When you aren’t moving the story forward, you
can always help improve your camp area with new furniture or plants, or
things like fig trees and wells which can help provide materials you’ll
need for the journey. A big part of doing all of this is sharing items
with friends and asking them for things you may not have. The more
friends you have to help you, the further you’ll get in the game and the
more bonus tasks you’ll be able to finish. Of course, all of that only
makes sense for a game that’s on a social media platform like Facebook.

For those of you who like Facebook games, you can’t go wrong with The Journey of Moses.
It’s does a pretty good job of telling the Biblical story, it has
plenty of collecting challenges for those of you who obsess over such
things, it gives you an opportunity to share scriptures with friends,
and it’s a fairly enjoyable way to kill fifteen minutes or so whenever
you have a few minutes to spare.So to answer the question we started
with, it does work. It works well enough as a Facebook game for casual
gamers (although it’s appeal to me was somewhat less as a core gamer),
and it works surprisingly well as a simple telling of Moses’ story. 

Score out of 7:

Graphics:
5 – While it’s hard not to think of it as the “Bobble-head Moses” game,
the look of the game is bright, colorful, and friendly. Not sure how it
compares to other Facebook games, and it doesn’t compare to console
games, of course, but I thought it looked good.

Sound: 5 – Not a
whole lot going on here, just some background music that isn’t too
intrusive and little sound effects for when you find stuff. Again, it’s
all bright and friendly.

Controls: 6 – It’s basically a point-and-click adventure. If your mouse works well, so will the controls for this game.

Gameplay:
5 – It’s a pretty simple game. You click on tiles, collect the stuff
revealed, hope you collect enough of the right items to solve simple
puzzles to help the story push forward. It’s straight-forward and easy
to pick-up, but not designed for long play periods.

Story: 5 – If
you didn’t think a simplified version of Moses’ story could be told on
Facebook with cartoony graphics; you were wrong. All the important beats
of his life are here, and pretty well represented too.

Content: 7 – A thoroughly family friendly Facebook game.

Final:
5 – Personally, this game is more of a 4 for me, but I that’s just
because I’m more of a core gamer than the audience being targeted by The Journey of Moses.
I still enjoyed it a bit, and for the casual gamer it’s meant for, I
think it’s a well made and potentially pretty fun diversion. Besides, if
you’re going to waste time on Facebook playing a game, why not play a
well-made one that’s about the Bible?