B.C. Kids: The Bible Online Beta

By Quintin Smith on September 7th, 2010 at 1:28 pm.

Up till now, browser game The Bible Online has escaped the unsettling gaze of RPS. No longer! The public beta went live yesterday (you can sign up here), so I figured I’d have a nose and see what it was like. And, well, this may be stating the obvious for anyone familiar with the Bible, but the most surprising discovery I’ve had so far is how violent it is.

The Bible Online is a game of Travian type real-time village development. You develop farms and mines, build warehouses, workshops and barracks, and slowly increase your hourly income from a trickle to a steady flow, while protecting yourself from other players. The difference is, the whole thing has a crusty, old testament flavour. You collect shekels, build temples and sacrificial altars, place curses, and the highest level of warrior is an angel.

Also, the character select screen is amazing. You can play a student from York:

A student from Glasgow:

A student I like to call “I have no lips but I must scream”:

Or this guy, who I suspect is currently having sex with a student:

And then you’re off! Off, into Bible world.

Sounds good, Eliezer. I think I’ll sacrifice a goat an–

Ah. Right.

And so begins a thoroughly dry series of tutorials in which I build a level 1 farm, a level 1 timber yard, a level 1 mine, a level 1 clay pit, a level 1 warehouse, a level 1 sheep pen… and I’m still going. And I’m bored! And I’ve stopped. I’d have made a rubbish villager in olden times.

Still, it seems like a perfectly competent browser timesink. Go give it a shot, if that’s your thing. Or if the bible’s your thing! Or if creepy students are your thing. Maybe creepy students are your thing.

__________________

« | »

, , , .

61 Comments »

  1. Lars Westergren says:

    Ok, no one stones Quintin. Even, and I want to make this absolutely clear, even if he did say Yehova.

  2. robrob says:

    The character selection is reminding me of TMWRNJ’s Sunday Heroes. Consider the lilly.

  3. Chris D says:

    It’s good to see they’ve kept the violence. I bet they’ve edited out all the sex though.

    • Csauli says:

      Indeed.

    • Carolina says:

      As every other videogame based on a popular fiction, I expect the geek outrcy for not being true to the source material:

      And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? … Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

      If there isn’t rape of women and children commanded by God, it’s not the Bible! I want a refund!

    • Matt says:

      That particular passage reads more like servitude with implied future-rape to me.

  4. Corporate Dog says:

    APOSTLE RUSH! KEKEKEKE!

    • Sweedums says:

      apostle rush fails to my tax collector i chrono boosted out, you shall pay to Ceaser what belongs to him, and to god what belongs to him!

  5. James says:

    I don’t know what they were going for here exactly. Mr. Smith seems ambiguous.

    Do they want to teach me about the bible, or are we making fun of that or what? EXPLAIN IT TO ME.

  6. We Fly Spitfires says:

    I can’t figure out how to cultivate my wasteland!! Help me Lord!!

  7. K says:

    Surely I can sacrifice my children to appease the Lord to get +5% more crops? Or possibly stone a few women to make the others work faster, à la Dungeon Keeper “slapping imps” feature?

  8. Rich says:

    PA’s take on it, which was actually where I first heard about it. I honestly thought they were kidding.

  9. Urthman says:

    PA’s “Click on burning bush to receive quest” is genius.

    the most surprising discovery I’ve had so far is how violent it is.

    Surprising? Bless me, what do they teach them at these schools?

  10. Rush Ton says:

    Apparently the game features the “Turn-Battle system of an RTS.” hmm

    • ZeroByte says:

      I suspect they mean turn-the-other-cheek based battle.

    • Matt says:

      Strike me down, become more powerful than you can possibly imagine, etc. etc.

  11. Ginger Yellow says:

    Moses leads the Israelites to Canaan: history’s longest escort mission

  12. Ginger Yellow says:

    Also, is it just me, or does the third mugshot look like Belushi in Animal House?

  13. Dinger says:

    What about in-game vehicles, huh? If I can’t drive like Jehu, I ain’t picking it up, dammit!

  14. JimmyJames says:

    You have to unlock that tech tree, duh. Same with the mechs.

    • 12kill4 says:

      it doesnt matter what vehicle you use, you just drive it around their base a few times and it will fall over.

  15. 12kill4 says:

    God is Nerfed.

  16. Berzee says:

    I was really excited about this for a second until I discovered it was just a standard browser game with a Bible skin to try an’ get Christians to play it. Maybe that’s too cynical, I’m just jaded from time spent in the games aisle at the Christian bookstore.

    Mark you my words, someday I will make the whole Bible into computer games — good Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise — and they will be kind of nifty.

    Would play this, were it not a browser timesink. That is most certainly not my thing ^_o

    • Sonic Goo says:

      We need a gaming equivalent of Caligula!

    • Matt says:

      A promising sex game, derailed by the meddling of an incompetent producer?

      Sign me up.

  17. Jhoosier says:

    I’m pretty sure that layout is exactly the same as Nile: Online. The farm and the pit are in the same place but use different graphics, and the building on the far left is exactly the same as the pottery shop that went in the exact same place.

    The least they could do is change the placing of buildings. it really is kinda sad.

  18. theleif says:

    You’re surprised it’s violent?

    “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys. (1st Sam 15:2-3)”

    I bet genocide is not a feature in the game.

    • Okami says:

      Stop trashing the Holy Book! These parts of the Bible are just metaphors!

    • Klaus says:

      Do not spare them; [...] cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.

      Someone should call PETA.

  19. Rei Onryou says:

    Jim = A student from York.
    Alec = A student from Glasgow.
    John = A student I like to call “I have no lips but I must scream”.
    Kieron = This guy, who I suspect is currently having sex with a student.

  20. Malex says:

    Speaking as a one-time Cultural Anthropology student (from York, apparently,) a historically accurate village sim would be probably the first Christian-oriented game that actually made the audience smarter, rather than just pushing some convoluted social agenda that isn’t even related to Christ’s ministry.

    That being said, I’m not about to suggest that this title is such a game.

  21. tomeoftom says:

    Play Now, My Lord!

  22. fabamatic says:

    Why does everybody looks so clean? Didn’t people in biblic times live covered in dirt?

  23. Xercies says:

    I’m guessing that bearded guy was the original godfather back in Bible days.

  24. Klaus says:

    Is the first student supposed be an expy of Jesus?

  25. Mil says:

    I’m waiting for John’s review.

  26. MadTinkerer says:

    “And, well, this may be stating the obvious for anyone familiar with the Bible, but the most surprising discovery I’ve had so far is how violent it is.”

    Some of the major themes of the Bible are:

    1) How evil people can be, and how even the best of the good guys can’t resist at least one major act of total scumbaggery in their lives.

    2) How God seriously can’t stand for this kind of thing and hands out harsh punishments for those who are complete scumbags and light punishments for those who repent. (But also sometimes deciding to redeem whole cities full of apparent total scumbags because he knows peoples’ hearts better than anyone.)

    3) You know how these days folks tend to ignore “Thou shalt not commit adultery” a lot. I mean a lot? Well back in those days there was some of that going on too, but their problem was more often “Thou shalt not kill.” It’s simply a different cultural trend.

  27. Pedro says:

    I don’t know why anyone would bother building farms, everybody knows they’re all gonna be destroyed when the flood expansion is released.

    • Solaris says:

      Won’t it kinda break the illusion when there are hundreds of other arks floating beside yours? Oh, and what happens when some douche is spawn camping the last female giraffe?

  28. soylentrobot says:

    these people are very white for middle easterners

  29. Brian Manahan says:

    Excellent post.

  30. OJ287 says:

    “Three days passed and the apostles gathered and rolled back the entrance to His tomb. Jesus was not there – He had arisen! In his place was a scroll bearing the inscription ‘ I DD Q D ‘”.

    • OJ287 says:

      I’m not sure anyone’s going to play a game with a three day respawn rate either.

  31. bible king james says:

    Hello,
    This is the nice post and this post is really appreciable and if you are looking for kings jemes version bible you can find the best infor from here…..