Wisdom Tree is best known for ruining a countless number of Christmases for children in devcolaout Christian homes. Although they tended to stick with NES games, they made one single venture into the SNES scene before shutting their doors to console gaming. This lone SNES game, which is also the only unlicensed American SNES game, is Super Noah’s Ark 3D. Instead of developing another crappy game engine, Wisdom Tree took the existing engine from Wolfenstein 3D and made it shittier with new levels, new graphics and new sounds. Being that Super Noah’s Ark 3D is such a blatant mod of Wolfenstein 3D, no review is complete without a comparison of the two games.
The original PC version of Wolfenstein 3D was an innovative and fun game about running around a castle and shooting Nazis. Though most gamers never made it further than the nine-level demo, the game’s influence as the first popular first-person shooter was vast. Wolfenstein 3D for the SNES was a sad attempt to update an old favorite. The graphics were never that great, but I always felt it they seemed to be worse for the SNES. Also, any mention of the Nazi party was removed, making your enemy some nameless soldiers, which made them somewhat less fun to kill than Nazis. Despite all this, Wisdom Tree found a way to make the game worse.
I’ll ignore the irony of a Christian game company choosing to get into a videogame genre that has often been accused of teaching kids to murder. Super Noah’s Ark 3D avoids the violence of killing by replacing all the guns with a variety of devices designed to launch food. Instead of Nazis, your enemies are escaped animals. You can’t kill the animals, but you can put them to sleep by shooting them with food. And that’s the whole game. You wander through about twenty levels, shooting food at animals.
By today’s standards, there isn’t much exciting about the original Wolfenstein 3D. There’s very little variation in gameplay, so a nine-level demo was all you needed. Even with this fault, it was a great game because you got to kill Nazis. Super Noah’s Ark 3D hangs onto the boring aspects without any of the Nazi-smashing satisfaction. This makes for a boring game that gets old fast.
I hate to admit this, but I’m running out of things to say about Super Noah’s Ark 3D. The sound sucks. Wisdom Tree replaced the sounds of Germans crying out as they died with a few generic animal sounds. It actually seems like more sound was removed than replaced. Wolfenstein 3D had excellent music; Super Noah’s Ark 3D has the same looped background music that many Wisdom Tree games possess—it’s about a subtle as it is inevitably irritating.
Meanwhile, the graphics actually seem to have gotten worse than Wolfenstein 3D. The game’s setting is on the many floors of Noah’s insanely designed ark, though it looks more like someone punched you in each eye
In the end, Wisdom Tree rode Wolfenstein 3D’s coattails to bring us a game that, while technically better than many other Wisdom Tree games, is still very insulting to our intelligence. Well no, insulting to my intelligence. Most of the gamers that I know share IQ scores with rocks. I give Christian’s more credit for their intelligence than I do gamers. Though I also happen to believe that Christianity is God’s way of keeping dumb people away from me on Sunday mornings.