#2. Jesus in Space
Not since Do You Like Horny Bunnies? has a game failed so spectacularly to deliver on the mental images the title put in my head. Much like Horny Bunnies only let me fuck lascivious anime characters instead of showing me a single erect rabbit clitoris, Jesus in Space didn't deliver a single scene of Jesus commanding a copyright-dodging Enterprise knockoff. It's just an educational game for churches that want to look hip and kid-friendly but don't want to shell out for a Wii U.
Guys, I don't think this is going to have any animal clitorises at all.
Jesus in Space features Captain Paul Hammer, which is what you get when you combine an apostle with an '80s TV cop; Lieutenant Stu Dent, whose name appears to be some sort of clever reference that I haven't worked out yet; and Shelbot the Overly Brainy Robot, which is a really judgmental name. How appropriate that this game is about Jesus, because poor Shelbot has a cross to bear.
They're on a "Great Commission Adventure" to teach newly discovered worlds the Gospel, which seems like an odd task to assign a child, a psychologically damaged robot, and a captain who looks like he'd rather be teaching the wisdom of James T. Kirk. It isn't as spiritually enlightening, but it will make the lady aliens yell out about God a lot.
Anyway, the first planet they visit is the underwater world of Vet, where players are challenged to explain the concept of baptism to a people who know nothing but water. That's actually pretty cute and clever, and oh shit, these people are direct descendants of the Deep Ones.
"Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!" John 3:16.
Never mind that using electricity to baptize people in water is pretty much the worst idea short of replacing communion wafers with grenades -- "John" and "Jesus" worship a god alright, but that god is Father Dagon. Only the fact that they look like they're tripping all the balls has prevented them from turning poor Stu Dent (does it mean the character is a Stud? Don't tell me, I want to get it myself) into a watery sacrifice.
Let's move on/escape to planet Whammo. It sounds like a game show, but it's actually a world of robots that Stu teaches about the Last Supper. Which for robots would be, what, oil? Bootleg Game of Thrones downloads?
"The son of Robot is going to be betrayed into the hands of robot. They will deactivate him,
and after three days he will be reimaged."
They seem harmless at first, but hang on a second. These planets are supposedly newly discovered, and yet there's not a single flesh and blood being on Whammo. So who built the robots, where did they go, and where did those robots get their facial hair? Dear Lord, this is a planet of evangelical Terminators.
#1. The You Testament
The You Testament attempts to answer the question that theologians have debated for centuries: What would the life of a magical douchebag Jesus have been like if the Holy Land was populated entirely by violent schizophrenics with cartoonishly inaccurate proportions?
The You Testament was made by a man whose lack of religious knowledge is matched only by his lack of game design knowledge. It's built with a modified wrestling engine whose character creation tool allows you to create people ranging from Nephilim who would tower over NBA stars to little people short enough to run under Jesus' legs and catch a glimpse of his holy trinity. This wrestling heritage, combined with the fact that the game's creator thinks "AI" stands for "absolute idiocy," means that the citizens of the Holy Land are constantly picking fights and beating the shit out of each other with two-by-fours.
Although a surprisingly large part of the Old Testament was Roman soldiers assaulting midgets with anachronistic steel pipes.
But there's more to The You Testament than kicking Jesus in the junk until he threatens to murder you -- you're supposed to follow him around the Holy Land and witness a very loose interpretation of his life. Some errors are minor oversights (Jesus asks you to bring him something to be turned into wine, allowing you to witness the amazing miracle of wine being turned into wine). Other deviations, where Jesus teaches you magic powers, are a little more ... unusual.
"Although you have to be, like, super high. Hey, do you have any cookie dough?"
The part of the Bible where Jesus alters his molecular structure to levitate comes right before the part where he teaches his disciples to use the power of their chakras to create swords from thin air, slow down time, and control other people's minds -- the part that exists only in the brain of the developer, right next to the proof that JFK was assassinated by Robo-Hitler. Then things get weird:
And then Jesus teaches you kung fu.
This is all part of the developer's belief that Jesus spent his formative years in the East, a theory that will supposedly allow us to unite all world religions and unlock their "inner meanings," which is to "open our third eyes to an inner world" so we can "master the human experience." Those are bold claims from someone who goes on to quote Sylvester Stallone and Eminem on loading screens.
So on one hand, The You Testament claims to help gamers grasp the true meaning of all religions and life itself. On the other hand, it's a game where you can mind control Jesus and make him kick midgets in the face. I know which selling point I'd use.
But don't kick too many midgets or a weird bald guy will come troll your crucifixion.
Undaunted by the fact that he's the subject of widespread mockery, the developer went on to make a sequel about the life of Muhammad. I'm sure that offended absolutely nobody whatsoever.
You can read more from Mark, including his proposal for a cooking game about Buddha, on his website.