*Sources of screenshots are listed in their respective file names.
David.* gameplay footage from the Video Games and the Bible YouTube channel:
David. (yes, with a period) opens with an unseen being speaking to you in concise, massively-rendered phrases.
“THERE IS EVIL, BUT THIS IS DAVID.
I’VE PUT YOU HERE ON PURPOSE…”
[Continuing after the tutorial]
“YOUR FOES MAY OUTNUMBER YOU, AND YOUR SIZE MAY SEEM FAR TOO SMALL, BUT YOU MUST USE YOUR GIFT TO CONFRONT THE EVILS OF THIS WORLD, DAVID.
AND YOU WILL PREVAIL, FOR YOU ARE FOR ME, AND I AM WITH YOU…”
In most titles, this would be simple exposition–a brief prologue designed to get you playing the game proper as soon as possible. However, in David., I think this is where Christian developer Andrew Armstrong shows his heart.
The game requires accuracy and attention from your every move, but no matter how difficult or seemingly insurmountable the challenge, it wants you to win. It wants to show that like the Biblical David, using your small box body and an even smaller ‘sling,’ you can defeat any giant. The “gift” given in the introduction isn’t just your weapon.
After the tutorial, you’re thrown into a room of doors labeled with names ranging from “GREED” to “PRIDE.” As David, a small white box with a translucent, halo-like ‘sling,’ you’ll use your gift to take apart each massive boss contained in these levels piece by piece.
Much like the critically-acclaimed Shadow of the Colossus, every opponent is a puzzle. While your goal is apparently as simple as blasting enemies to bits in a display of technicolor destruction, this first requires finding their patterns, and eventually exploiting their weaknesses.
You start off feeling overwhelmed, clawing to save even one portion of your health bar. Barely managing to control the slippery movement speeding you around the game’s deathtraps, just when you feel like quitting, you notice time slows when you activate your sling. Using this knowledge, you dodge an attack that would have seemed impossibly fast only a short time ago. You realize the correlation between the names of the rooms and the theme of the foes within, making the “WOLF” stumble into it’s own ambush, and knocking it into colored sparks when it struggles to pursue you once again.
Outside of the optional endless Arena mode, your character’s abilities don’t actually improve. You finish the game with the same tools you had when you began. However, along the way, you became more perceptive, accurate. You mastered the formerly problematic movement, speeding gracefully through hazards and danger. You threw yourself at “SIN,” aiming for it’s lurid red eyes through the chaos…
And then the game is over.
Even with several free updates adding new levels, achievements, and secrets, the game is quite short. I managed to beat every boss on the highest difficulty in roughly three hours, with another half hour or so dedicated to grabbing most of the achievements. The controls tend to be fiddly, with a reliance on fast, precise mouse clicks within David’s narrow halo.
However, I personally feel these niggles pale in recognition of what this game has done.
For years, I’ve wanted a game to come along that shows you can integrate Biblical concepts with gameplay in a meaningful way. That we can go beyond simply renaming a health bar a ‘faith’ meter, equipping a player with the literal Armor of God, or the like.
And now? I think I’ve found it.
None to my knowledge.
Buy Now! (Steam)
Buy Now! (iOS)