Unlike Vatican Wars, which is essentially a Catholic-themed Mafia Wars, Holy Town doesn't resemble any Zynga game, or any Facebook game either. On an aesthetic level, it might have a passing resemblance to FarmVille. But that's too much praise for a game that's currently still in beta, and certainly plays like it. Created by Maiko Martin (a self-described "'90s kid, Game Developer & social media comedian, with a love for GOD, Fibonnaci, vector graphics,and over-sized search fields!"), Holy Town is a painfully amateur title that wouldn't be worth a glance if not for the fact that Christian-themed (or any religious) Facebook games are so rare.
To begin, choose one avatar from among four haloed characters that you'll see when the game loads. (That is, if you can even get the game to load in the first place.) Once the game starts, there's little to do since the game's in beta and everything -- other than to Shop and to Preach -- comes up as under construction. No explanation is required for Shop, but Preach is actually a nifty typing mini-game!
What sucks though is that instead of retyping famous Bible passages, you get random Biblical (and some, plain out generic) words instead. Sometimes the words aren't properly formatted. For example, I had to type out "Caesarea Philippi" (an ancient Roman city mentioned in the New Testament) as one word. In another instance, I had to type out something that looked like random bits of code.
Playing this typing mini-game gets you coins and builds your congregation. You're allowed to 'preach' up to 5 times per day. Congregations appear on your screen as avatars that you need to click on to raise your congregation counter. Coins are used to buy a church building and then to buy items to decorate the inside of your church. This was really glitchy, because as you can see in the above screenshot, I ended up getting two churches that 1) I wasn't suppose to be able to afford, and 2) ended up being placed outside of the screen.
Finally, the game automatically lists your friends as "Heathens" on the bottom of your game. The online Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines "heathen" as "an unconverted member of a people or nation that does not acknowledge the God of the Bible" and "an uncivilized or irreligious person". Needless to say, this is definitely going to offend people.
Other friends are listed as "Holy Friends". Since Holy Town doesn't seem to be using the Facebook profile information of players, I'm going to bet that "Holy Friends" refers to friends who already have Holy Town installed and "Heathens" are friends who haven't installed the game yet. For your Holy Friends, you can "Bless Them", and for the Heathens (though calling them "Unholy Friends" isn't any better), you can "Send Them a Scripture" (which I guess, is better than "Damn Them").
To keep track of this game, in case it gets better, follow its official Facebook fan page. It may not be well made, but it's still got 16,765 likes.
[Hat-tip: Jesus Needs New PR]
Click here to play Holy Town on Facebook Now >