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--
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.