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Game Info:

Kings of Israel
Developed by: Funhill Games
Published by: Funhill Games
Release date: December 21, 2015
Available on: macOS, Windows
Genre: Board game 
Number of Players: Single-player
ESRB Rating: Not rated
Price: $7.99

Thank you Funhill Games for sending us a review copy of this game!

The board game version of Kings of Israel was successfully Kickstarted in November of 2013 and received more than three times its meager goal of $9,500.  For $45 backers could own a copy of this Christian themed board game that received positive reviews from various media outlets.  The board game is available to everyone at the same price on Funhill’s website.  The video game follows much of the same ruleset and is available at a fraction of the price.  The only downside is that it’s single-player.

It’s up to two prophets with unique skills to cleanse Israel from the sin that is steadily corrupting it.  Their goal is to build enough altars by gathering resources and knocking down idols while preaching God's message along the way.  If the predetermined number of sin clouds or idols are erected, then the game ends.  Another way to lose is to not have enough altars built before the 300 years of good and bad kings has ended.  

Highlights:

Strong Points: Fun digitization of a Christian themed board game; a great way to learn about the good and bad kings of Israel.
Weak Points: No Steam cloud saves.
Moral Warnings: None!

During the reign of a good king, a blessing card will be drawn at the beginning of the round and give the prophets a slight advantage.  Some of the blessing cards include the ability to summon resources or to quick travel to another town of their choosing.  If an evil king is ruling, a Sin & Punishment card is drawn and they work against the progress of the prophets.  Sometimes those cards will destroy an altar and replace it with an idol instead or reduce the number of actions or resources available to the prophets on their turn.  While strategic skills are needed, luck plays a big part as well and sometimes the cards are stacked against you.

After the blessing and curse cards are drawn, the sin increase phase begins and you’ll see sin clouds gathering around various cities.  When three sin clouds are in the same city, an idol is erected.    After all of the wickedness is dispersed it’s time for the prophets to take their turns and deal with the sin.

Most of the actions they take use up one action point but some, including destroying idols or building an altar, take two.  Walking, sailing, or taking a camel to travel use up an action point too.  The camel lets you go further, but the tradeoff is that it costs you a calf or grain for payment.  Other available options include preaching to remove a sin cloud, or making an offering at an altar to remove sin from that town and adjacent ones.  Making a sacrifice also gives you an additional blessing card.  If you don’t have the resources needed to make an offering you can request one at the cost of an action point. 

Kings of Israel
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 86%
Gameplay - 17/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 8/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 100%
Violence - 10/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

Some prophets have the ability to foresee what the next two resources given will be.  Prophet abilities and using blessing cards can be done without costing an action point.  If multiple prophets are in the same town, they can trade items to make altar building easier.  Some blessing cards or prophet abilities allow you to trade freely, but there’s normally the cost of an action point to do so.

Those who know Israel’s history will be aware that there were more evil kings than good ones. In other words, you’ll be getting a lot of Sin & Punishment cards during your gameplay.  If you want to test your Bible knowledge further there’s a Bible Study mode that asks a trivia question and rewards or punishes you depending on your answer.  

If you’re looking for a fun Christian themed board game to play with your family I recommend looking into the table-top edition.  However, if you’re playing solo and want a fun and challenging Christian video game, look no further than Kings of Israel.  The price is a reasonable $7.99 on Steam and it’s bound to keep you entertained for several hours as it scales its difficulty level on your win/lose ratio.  My only complaint is that there’s no cloud save option to sync my progress between my desktop and laptop systems.  

 

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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