Noah’s Ark, an old NES platformer never released in the US, is now on Steam

Noah’s Ark, an old NES platformer never released in the US, is now on Steam

Collect animals for your ark, before they all drown.


Releᴀsed ɪɴ Euʀᴏᴘᴇ ɪɴ 1992, Noah’s Ark wᴀs ᴏɴe ᴏꜰ tʜᴇ ᴠᴇʀʏ ꜰᴇᴡ religiᴏɴ-tʜᴇᴍᴇd ɢᴀᴍᴇs ᴛᴏ ᴏꜰficiᴀʟʟy ʜɪᴛ tʜᴇ Nɪɴᴛᴇɴᴅᴏ Entertaɪɴᴍᴇnt System. Pʟᴀʏɪɴg ᴀs Noah, ʏᴏᴜ ᴛʀᴀᴠᴇʟ tʜᴇ wᴏʀld ᴄᴏʟʟᴇᴄᴛɪɴg ᴀɴimals ꜰᴏʀ yᴏᴜʀ ark ɪɴ ᴘʟᴀᴄᴇs ʟɪᴋᴇ ᴀɴcient Roᴍᴇ, Egypt ᴀɴd Chɪɴa. It wᴀs a ᴘʀᴇᴛᴛʏ sᴛʀᴀɪɢʜᴛꜰᴏʀᴡᴀʀd 8-ʙɪᴛ plᴀᴛꜰᴏʀᴍᴇr wɪᴛh ᴏɴe fᴀɪʀly crucial (ᴀɴd ᴀɴɴᴏyɪɴg) twɪst: wᴀᴛer auᴛᴏmᴀᴛicᴀʟʟy rɪses ᴀs ʏᴏᴜ traverse tʜᴇ ʟᴇᴠᴇʟs, ᴀɴd tʜᴇ higʜᴇr tʜᴇ wᴀᴛer ʟᴇᴠᴇʟ ɢᴇᴛs, tʜᴇ ʜᴀʀᴅer tʜᴇ ɢᴀᴍᴇ ɪs.

It’s definitely a relic of its time, with its strong Mega Man and Ghosts ‘n Goblins vibes. But if you reside in America you probably never played it, thanks to Nintendo of America’s then ban on in-game religious references. Nintendo wasn’t quite as restrictive in Europe though, and publisher Konami had success getting the game released in that market with the ‘Original Nintendo Seal of Quality'.

The good news is that if you’ve ever harboured a desire to play Noah’s Ark, it’s on Steam right now. It looks like a fairly straightforward port with no bells and whistles: it vigilantly maintains its old 4:3 aspect ratio, and there’s not much evidence of any other improvements or changes, save the box art now adorning the sides of the 4:3 gameplay window.

It’s probably not a whole lot of fun, but it is an interesting time capsule, being one of the only religious games released commercially for the NES. Nintendo of America’s policies were so restrictive that it inadvertently spawned an underground market for unlicensed religious games, most notably those developed by Wisdom Tree of Super 3D Noah’s Ark fame. Coincidentally, the 2015 PC reissue of that game is published by Piko Interactive, the same publisher who brings us Noah’s Ark in 2021. 

Author's other posts