The owner of Bible Games Central sent me four of the games they offer on their website for me to review. Although I don’t generally do product reviews on this site or on my YouTube channel, I considered it an honor to do so in this case.
Full disclosure: Alvin Gan, the owner of Bible Games Central, is a contributing author on this website. However, nobody has paid me for this review nor is it being sponsored. My evaluations are solely my opinion.
A Little About Bible Games Central
Bible Games Central develops and sells games designed for children to discover and learn about God and the Bible. Their mission fits very well with what I strive to do: help people know, show, and share the gospel of Jesus. As such, I thought it was worthwhile to offer as objective a review as I could.
On their website, they describe the company this way:
We believe that the Bible is the infallible Word of God that has the power to transform us and make us more like Jesus.
We believe that Games, when designed and executed purposefully, are an excellent tool for teaching Biblical truths.
We aim to be the Central site for Sunday school teachers, youth ministers and church leaders to discover fun and captivating games and activities to engage their students to get them excited about the Bible!
In this review, I’ll be looking at four games: Bible Bingo, Christmas Bingo and Memory Card Game, Bible Memory Game, and Parable Parade Card Game. First, I’ll describe each game, then give my overall thoughts on the games as a whole.
Summary of Each Game
Bible Bingo is a bingo-style game designed to familiarize players with the Bible (hence the name). However, it’s more than just Bible trivia. The game boards introduce the player to a major theme or character in the book, it’s location (New Testament or Old Testament), as well as discover the overall genre (law, history, general letters, etc.).
The game pieces include 24 full-color, double-sided game boards, an instructional booklet, game cards, plastic Bingo chips, and a resealable bag for storing the chips.
The artwork uses vibrant colors and an angular style of drawing. The board is divided into the two Testaments and then further broken down into genres or sections. Both the game boards and cards are made of sturdy card stock and are laminated, and the game cards themselves feel like good-quality playing cards, which should improve their durability. The chips are translucent green plastic.
Bible Bingo comes with an instruction quick guide that introduces you to the game board layout and how to play the game. Although it is paper, it’s not cheap. Rather, it’s laminated similar to many gospel tracts or other pamphlets.
Not only are the game pieces seem to be high-quality in their materials and artwork, so is the box. Unlike some games I’ve purchased over the years, the Bible Bingo box is relatively thick and sturdy.
The only two weaknesses I noticed I noticed were that, at times, the colors lacked enough contrast, such as white text on a light green background without enough dark border around the text to make it stand out. As a result, those with poorer eyesight or color blindness may find some text difficult to read. Additionally, some words are, I believe, too small. However, that’s due in part to trying to fit long words (such as “Ecclesiastes”) into a small square, resulting in a much smaller font face.
Christmas Bingo and Memory Card Game
This game contains two games in one (I didn’t emphasize this as much in my video review): bingo and a memory game. Like Bible Bingo, the construction and design are well-thought out. This game comes with high-quality cards, game boards, Bingo chips, and a chip storage bag. Additionally, the construction and design are colorful, vibrant, and sturdy.
The key differences between Christmas Bingo and Bible Bingo is the theme. Whereas Bible Bingo introduces players to the organization and themes of God’s Word, Christmas Bingo is . . . well . . . Christmas-themed (calling Captain Obvious).
Although red and green dominate, the card and boards are full color and include both religious and non-religious holiday ideas. On the same board you might see Jesus in the manger and a Christmas sweater.
One significant different between Christmas Bingo and Bible Bingo is the gameplay instructions. Whereas Bible Bingo includes separate instructional booklet, Christmas Bingo places the instructions on the back of the box. As such, while it may be easier not to lose the instructions, if the box gets damaged, so might the instructions (though I doubt most people really need instructions on how to play bingo or memory). The biggest issue, however, is less the location of the instructions and more the inconsistency regarding their location.
Bible Memory Game
Bible Memory is a pretty simple game: trying to remember the location of various cards, matching pairs until you turn over all the cards. However, this one has a higher purpose. Bible Memory is designed to help you learn about God’s Word.
The box contained two individually-wrapped deck of cards, one with a reddish-pink background, the other with a blue background. I was impressed with the feel, sturdiness, and size of each card. The cards have a laminate type of coating similar to what you find on many poker-style cards, though without the texture found on common brands such as Bicycle. Also, each card appeared to be heavy card stock.
When laying out the cards on the table, I was happily surprised at the ease and comfort. It was like dealing any good-quality cards.
Like with other two games, the colors were bold and vibrant, something that I believe would appeal to most children (and even ‘kidults’). The illustrations incorporate the same angular style used with the Bible Bingo game mentioned above.
The only two negatives to this game were that, like with Bible Bingo, at times the color contrast was too low, which could make it difficult for some people to read. Also, there were no separate instructions inside the box; they were printed, instead, on the back of the box.
Parable Parade Card Game
Parable Parade is a matching card game that reminds me of other games like Uno, Go Fish, and Canasta. However, instead of matching like items, you are completing parables told by Jesus. As such, players not only try to win the game, they also learn the lessons taught by Jesus in Scripture.
Like with Bible Memory, Parable Parade comes with two individually-wrapped stacks of playing cards, and the cards are the same size as those in Bible Memory. Also, just like the other games, the cards are high quality card stock.
The artwork used in this game uses the same vibrant colors, but the illustration style differs from Bible Memory: where Bible Memory incorporates an angular style, the pictures on Parable Parade are more rounded.
I noticed two distinct differences, however, between the Bible Memory cards and the Parable Parade cards. The Parable Parade cards have a textured finish similar to what’s seen in Bicycle brand playing cards, and Parable Parade comes with separate gameplay instructions.
Whereas some game instructions are cheap paper, the instructions for Parable Parade are a pre-scored, foldable, heavy-duty card stock. This helps improve the durability of the instructions for repeat use, something that would be beneficial for churches.
Strengths: Materials and Design
- High quality materials
- Vibrant colors
- Artistic variety
I found that the games were consistently made of high-quality materials that contribute to an overall sense that the games were made to last. I also appreciated the fact that the boxes were not cheaply made, but designed to be durable and long lasting.
The artwork of all four games is vibrant, attractive, and would appeal to both younger and older audiences. Additionally, the artists didn’t simply copy and paste their designs across all games, but used a variety of artistic styles to give each game a unique look.
- Familiar games
- Easy to learn
- Teaches lessons along with facts
When it comes to gameplay, I applaud the use of games already familiar to many. This makes it easier to teach and begin playing each game. Additionally, the game developers went beyond teaching Bible facts and trivia, and instead delve into teaching biblical lessons and—dare I say—theology.
- Low color contrast
- Small fonts
- Inconsistencies regarding instructions
Despite the praise mentioned above for the materials and design, there are some areas for improvement. There are instances where the color contrast is too low, which could make it difficult for some people to read. Additionally, due to space limits, at times the font size is quite small which, again, can contribute to reading difficulties.
The other design issue is that instructions are not provided in a consistent manner. Sometimes instructions are included as a separate item and at other times the instructions are printed on the box. If someone purchases one game with included instructions (e.g., Bible Bingo), then purchases a game without separate instructions (e.g., Christmas Bingo), they may wonder why they didn’t receive any instructions.
- Competing against electronic devices
- Limited engagement, too simplistic
Kids today are often addicted to their devices: cell phones, tablets, computers, etc. As such, some children may not be as interested in a card game. Some may find that these games offer limited engagement and may be too simple of a game for their tastes. However, board and card games continue to be popular among kids and adults, so this may be less of an issue for some.
I believe that the combination of the strengths of the games and the mission of Bible Games Central far outweigh the weaknesses I mentioned. If you are looking to purchase games for your church or home, I strongly recommend shopping Bible Games Central. The games they offer are more than mere games: they are Bible teaching tools to help people know, show, and share the gospel of Jesus!