Super Noah’s Ark 3D was originally released by Wisdom Tree games in 1994 as an “unlicensed video game” for the Super Nintendo (SNES), but the game is now available for download from Wisdom Tree as a MS-DOS based game. According to Wisdom Tree, the game’s premise is as follows:
“It's been a long journey. In just a few days, the ark doors will open and Noah, his family & the animals will be back on dry land. But the animals have become a bit restless and are out of their cages. Camels, giraffes, monkeys, kangaroos and more are wandering throughout the corridors of the ark. As Noah, it's your job to regain order & get the animals to sleep until you leave the ark. Your only tool to accomplish this is the food you brought aboard the ark. Can it be done? You bet! But how?” (1)What you encounter upon actually entering the game is a world that seems to be ported straight from the popular Wolfenstein 3D game (2) but with the graphics altered so that, instead of hunting nazis within a castle-like environment, the player is subduing animals inside Noah’s Ark. As opposed to ammunition, the player picks up fruit and feed found on the floor and uses it to feed the attacking animals encountered while wondering through the maze of the Ark. As the animals attack you, your health diminishes. If you are ineffective at putting them to sleep with the food you have collected, you will experience the classic “death” screen of early video games (the screen turning pink, in this case, as opposed to the traditional red). This is somewhat awkward due to the fact that a prominent figure in popular Christian children’s stories has just been killed by the very animals he is charged with saving from the great flood (3). This, however, is the extent of the violence depicted. Animals are never killed, only put to sleep, no matter how infuriating their constant attacks may become.
A biblical disparity is found in the fact that, while Noah’s is only said to have put two of each animal in the ark, the player encounters many, many more than two of each animal represented in the game. This makes since from a practical standpoint, but also shows that the Wisdom Tree Games is willing to sacrifice biblical accuracy for the sake of gameplay. In fact, it is possible that Wisdom Tree Games is not even an earnest effort by Christians to spread Christian or Biblical values, but rather a company who continues to capitalize on an untapped market by producing games centered around Christian narratives and environments while staying away from gratuitous violence but without having any underlying religious goal. While Super Noah’s Ark 3D takes its overarching theme from the biblical story of Noah, the game does not evangelize to the player at any point. In fact, there is no end to the game at all (in my experience). After beating the final bosses, the player simply appears back in places that he/she has already been. If there is an ending screen, a final message, or some overarching moral, it is certainly not easy to find within the game.