Recently, Biblutainment developer Wisdom Tree held a Kickstarter to raise money for the Arkcade, a plug-and-play collection of their Christian NES titles. Wisdom Tree has always held a special place in my heart. I knew they were back in business, so to speak, when I saw their lone SNES title Super Noah’s 3D Ark available on Steam. They’re now in the process of offering collections of their library as the aforementioned plug and play system as well as Sega and NES multicarts.
Wisdom Tree was born from the ashes of unlicensed NES developer Color Dreams and is interesting for two reasons. They made Christian video games in the 90’s, which is about as niche as you can get, but they were also the only company to successfully circumvent the Super Nintendo’s lock-out protection. Super Noah’s 3D Ark worked by piggybacking off an official SNES cartridge and using it to boot up.
The Arkcade Kickstarter tiers are all over the place. The $150,000 tier promised to port Super Noah to Dreamcast, a seemingly random choice that I will comfortably assume no one asked for. The $350,000 tier promised a fully-animated Super Noah’s Ark movie and I am a little sorry the Internet didn’t deliver on that one. The rewards are various ports and multicarts of their existing catalog. I’m not sure who they can successfully market these games to outside collectors and unsuspecting Christian bookstores. About 50,000 Steam players own Super Noah, which has been priced as low as $1.74. Concurrent players peaked at 138, which is typical for cheap impulse buys.
I have written about Wisdom Tree extensively. In fact, my Wisdom Tree page was one of the things I managed to salvage on the Wayback Machine. This blog is new so my obsession with video game oddities isn’t apparent yet, but let me assure you: Wisdom Tree is exactly my kind of oddity. The old site provided ROMs and copies of the instruction booklets. Obviously I can’t provide those files now. Not only is Wisdom Tree preparing to sell digital and physical copies of their old library, they are also selling a few of the instruction booklets[^1]. But I can revisit these titles in anticipation of the Arkcade (MSRP $44.99-49.99), which is undoubtedly the most important Christian video game release of the decade.