I’m not a big fan of religious jokes, no matter which religion is being made fun of. That being said, I’ll try to forget that the game Jesus Revenge is clearly making fun out of Christianity and just try to look at it as a 2D platformer hack ‘n’ slash game with a sense of wicked humour.
Jesus Revenge was created by Raul Ando – it’s a 2D platformer game in which we take control of Jesus Christ and fight our way (with swords, not kind words and fish) through hordes of Roman Soldiers with the sole purpose of avenging our own death. Oh yeah, also stopping Romans from using our preaching to create a new religion because that’s not what we really want.
“Forgive me Father, for I will sin“, says Jesus before embarking on a bloody mission through levels rich in detail and obstacles including spinning wheels of death, dangling blades and bottomless pits where one can fall if one’s not careful enough.
If the entire game was built by one person, as the Google Play page would suggest, then this game is most impressive. Levels are fairly large, carefully crafted and rich in detail. The animations are smooth, and the colour contrast between characters (Jesus, the Romans, etc) and the environment creates an overall amazing atmosphere.
The way our character moves, the way he jumps and wields his sword, as well as the animations of fighting and eventually dying (again??) has been done with great precision and quality. After playing countless mobile games I can say this one has among the best graphics I’ve seen, especially for a free to play game. I’d only say Paparazzi Run comes close, and as far as I can remember, at least 10 people worked on building that game.
The game is controlled easily. On the left side there are four arrow buttons (or places to tap, I guess), pointing in all four directions. Holding to the right makes our character move right, while up/down arrows are made for us to get a better picture of our surroundings. On the right side we have two buttons, one for jumping and other for fighting. It’s a simple mechanic and a method proven countless times before. It has been executed with quality and makes the game a joy to play. There is one little detail which could improve the game- the health bar. Our main protagonist has one, but the bosses do not. That way we have no means of telling how long the fight will last.
Also, after a few hours in the game, I have not found a single adversary which could hurt me. The enemies just seem to be standing there waiting to get butchered. I’d love to see more challenging fights!
The audio is also pretty good, but unfortunately – lacking. The game features an ambient sound, creating somewhat of a desolate atmosphere, and it is accompanied by the sounds of fighting. However, the game doesn’t have a musical background and it really feels like it’s missing. I’d love to hear some tunes. Just to throw it out there as an idea, there are bands playing a musical genre called Christian Metal.
Replay value and monetisation
The game is free to play, but not completely free. You can only play for a set amount of time, before you run out of candle flames. These flames respawn on their own every 20 minutes, or can be purchased for real money. The game also earns its keep by selling in-game items such as swords. The idea is good in practice, but if these petty Romans can’t touch me with my basic sword, why would I want to buy a better one?
The game does two fairly annoying things, as well. At the start of every level it will offer you the new sword for purchase. After you decline, it will then offer to record you walking through a level. Although the feature of gameplay recording is an amazing one and a highly welcome add-on to any mobile game, it can become annoying after being offered for the fifteenth time. It would be great to offer it once and then have the feature appear in the options menu (or even in the in-game shop?).
Aside from it being a game with a twisted religious theme, Jesus Revenge is a seriously good game. Its graphics are amazing, colours used perfectly, and animations so well executed that many of the big game studios could learn a thing or two.
It incorporates monetisation in a great manner, perfectly balancing between free-to-play and in-app purchase modes. However, it’s far from perfect. Roman soldiers pose little to no threat whatsoever, and the obstacles are far too easy to avoid. It also lacks a musical background which would improve the game incomparably more. Don’t worry about licensing – there are a lot of metal bands out there who would love to be featured in a game of this quality.