I’m not a religious man, so when I was asked to review the Secrets of Jesus by the developer, I was a little hesitant. However, it is my favourite genre – a point and click adventure – and it does promise not to be too preachy, so I thought what could go wrong?
A gift from God
For a game that is made by a one-man-band, the Secrets of Jesus is pretty well put together. By far the greatest weapon in its arsenal is the game’s humour. Not afraid to not take itself too seriously, the game throws in plenty of light-hearted jokes about the Christian faith, and the stories within the bible. I can’t say I’m well versed in anything religious, so I’m sure there are plenty of hidden jokes within that would appeal more to a player with a bit more affinity with Christianity. Despite that, I did have a fair few chuckles while I was playing at the game, and the writing is generally pretty solid and good.
For a game that’s made by just a single dev, there are some pretty nifty things. Admittedly the art isn’t exactly the best out there, but it’s bright, colourful and varied. There are a lot of different areas to explore and everything is hand drawn and animated to look surprisingly decent. The game also lasts quite a while with some solid puzzles to unpick as well, which really is a testament to how hard Amir Matouk has worked on it.
Straight to Hell
I mentioned it above with the game probably appealing to someone who actually knows the bible well, and that I feel is also it’s downfall. As someone who hasn’t read the Good Book, a lot of the Secrets of Jesus goes over my head. It doesn’t rely too heavily on having an in depth knowledge of the bible to play the game, but if you aren’t religious it does seem like it’ll be a bit full on, especially with everyone mentioning various parables or other aspects of the bible. It’s a little tiresome, and genuinely offputting, to be continually barraged with references to the Good Book.
One serious area of improvement for the Secrets of Jesus is actually something relatively simple – a little bit of extra polish. There are occasional sections where you will not have arrows that tell you where the screen transitions are, meaning it’s not always obvious which way you need to go, or how to exit the current screen. Most of the time it’s easy enough to figure it out, but for players that aren’t familiar to the genre, not seeing the arrow can be quite jarring and confusing.
The Final Word
If you’re into games with a strong Christian message, this is it. It is a pretty good point and click adventure with some decent puzzles in it too, but I do fear that the overt Christian message will put off a good percentage of the potential customers for this game. There is an enjoyable game within the Secrets of Jesus, but it will be a challenge for all audiences to pull it out.