The player views the game through first-person point of view, even to the extent that the player enters his/her name at the beginning of the game. The player is forced to watch as the camera zooms in on a burning village, “Soulous,” and is told that it is their own. The player receives an invitation from a mysterious king, and a sheep named Eku (whose name does not appear to be a reference to anything) appears to help the player along his/her journey. As the player progresses through the game, s/he is taken to different locations: Town of Karnivale, Forest of Fear, Pride’s Peak, and the Pearl Bridge.
Throughout the game, the player must obtain several weapons, including a shield, a vile of poison, a dagger, and a bow and arrow. Once the player has obtained all of these things, s/he meets “the Shepherd” in a quiet meadow at Pride’s Peak. Through choosing the right conversation path, the player lays down his/her shield and weapons and goes to the Pearl Bridge to fight the dragon, completely defenseless. The dragon flies back and forth across the screen, moving closer and closer to the player every time. As the dragon appears right in front of the player, signifying defeat, the shepherd moves forward and begins to battle the dragon. The battle takes place in a series of flashing pictures rather than actual movement, more of a comic book style rather than film. The shepherd defeats the dragon, but dies in the process.
Despite this sacrifice, the player does not stop to check on the Shepherd, but moves forward across the Pearl Bridge because the player “catches a glimpse of the King’s spectacular castle in the distance” and selfishly, “you (the player) eagerly cross the bridge to the castle.” Although the player has a bit of autonomy in the game in selecting different conversational paths with various characters in the game, this episode demonstrates how little control the player actually possesses over the game and its plot line.There are several symbols used within this game. First, there are symbols placed throughout the game that have no impact on the game, such as the trinity symbol carved on a tree stump at the first screen, a cross on the door of a destroyed home in Soulous, and a “P” with an “X” across it, the symbol Constantine used to represent Christianity on the top of a carved stone in the Forest of Fear. Secondly, there are linguistic symbols, such as the name of the first village being “Soulous,” when pronounced sounds like “soul-less.” The dragon’s name is “Vyle,” pronounced like the word “vile,” meaning “morally despicable or abhorrent” (http://www.merriam-webster.com/). Lastly, there are symbols utilized within Christianity due to Biblical texts, such as Jesus being the Shepherd, the symbol of “sacrifice,” and other action based symbols. Pragmatically, the player never actually uses any of the aforementioned symbols; instead s/he is exposed to the symbols and is lead through the game by the sheep, Eku. Although s/he is expected to perform tasks to complete a level and move through the game, there is no room for alternative paths or using the symbols in any other way than they are intended.
At the end of the game, the player is presented with a text explaining that the game is “an allegory.” The text explains that “the village destroyed by the dragon Vyle” is meant to represent the player’s life “damaged by sin.” The “temptations” in the Town of Karnivale “can ultimately trap” the player, while in the Forest of Fear the player is meant to realize that living “aware of sin but unwilling to deal with it – is a dead end that can result in fear and ignorance.” “Pride’s Peak” is meant to show that following one’s “own efforts to reach God can only result in never reaching the king at all.” At the end of the text, CBH Ministries asserts that “By putting your trust in Jesus Christ alone you will experience Salvation! And then you can look forward to spending ETERNITY with God in heaven!” (http://www.kingscall.org/finale.html).
Given the text at the end, it is obvious this game is an evangelical Christian game. Evangelical is the belief in “emphasizing salvation by faith in the atoning death of Jesus Christ through personal conversion, the authority of Scripture, and the importance of preaching as contrasted with ritual” (http://www.merriam-webster.com/). The text at the end obviously emphasizes a personal conversion experience, offered through the death of Jesus. On the testimonials at the beginning of the game, a person named Nancy states that she “enjoyed playing the Kings Call and even cried at the end” (http://www.kingscall.org/).
The game is linked through the CBH Ministries website, but has a site of its own. Upon a google search of the game, the game is described as: “Experience a free online adventure game that features top-notch graphics and animation, puzzles, mini-games, dialogues, and an engrossing story” (www.google.com). Perhaps this strategy of not explicitly defining the game as a Christian game in the google description is to draw in people not searching for religion through the internet, but instead an “online adventure game.” As an evangelical technique, there is no way to know how many people were converted because of this game. Research can be done to see if this is an effective way of evangelizing, but no formal research has been done on this game and so no assertion can be made at this time.