Menace Beach, and Sunday Funday.
One's a Color Dreams release;
the other is a Wisdom Tree release.
Formed in 1989, Color Dreams was one of
the first companies after Tengen to produce unlicensed
games for the NES. With their robin's-egg blue carts and
cocky rebellious attitude, they caused something of a
stir in the industry... a stir that died down quickly
when everyone realised how bad the company's games were.
Nintendo had nothing to worry about from Color Dreams.
The company (along with its Bunch Games label)
produced around twenty games, including one Atari Lynx
game. Unreleased games included a whole line of Genesis
carts, as well as the mysterious Hellraiser.
Touted as using a special chip to get 16-bit quality out
of the NES, the game was cancelled in the early stages of
development when it was realized that the cost of the
chips would make the game nearly $100.
Like many small NES licensees, Color Dreams had
trouble staying afloat, bouncing paychecks every now and
then. So, the company called no lesser a person than the
Supreme Being for help...
Someone came up with the idea of doing a
Bible-based game and people didn't really take it
seriously... about six months later, work actually
started on one. No one knew it was going to take off, but
it took off like crazy."
- Vance Kozik, Color Dreams/Wisdom
That first game was Bible Adventures, a cheap Super
Mario Bros. 2-like game which occasionally printed
Bible quotes on screen. There were eight other games for
the NES (as well as ports to other consoles); the best
being the actually somewhat respectable Zelda clone Spiritual
The company is actually still in existence, and are
STILL selling their NES games (if you really, really feel
like spending $40 on them). Give them a call if you'd
like at 1-800-722-4253.
Most of their NES games are rather shoddily coded, as
the Color Dreams games were.. in fact, some of the Wisdom
Tree games are actually the exact same as Color Dreams
games released before, with some graphics added or
changed to make the game more religiously-oriented. For
example, Exodus is Crystal Mines with
changed graphics, and Sunday Funday is actually Menace
Beach with a few changed enemies and graphics.
They also have the honor of making the last NES game
ever released in the US - Sunday Funday has a
copyright date of 1995 on the title screen.
All of the Wisdom Tree NES releases can be considered
fairly rare. Certain games like Bible Adventures
can be found in both light-blue colored carts (from when
Wisdom Tree was using their leftover Color Dreams carts)
and black colored carts. Also worth noting is that
certain games have some paper-based documentation that is
needed to play the game effectively.. for example, Bible
Buffet comes with a fairly hefty Bible quizbook that
the game uses to quiz you on stuff. It's not necessary to
play the game, but it's still a neat item to have.
About the "religious" slant... Many Wisdom
Tree games give you occaisional Bible quizzes as a way to
give bonus items (King of Kings, Bible
Buffet, Spiritual Warfare) or simply quote
scripture occaisionally (Sunday Funday, Bible
Adventures). Still others aren't so overt about it
and simply give the game an overall Biblical theme.
Although none of these games are really all that good,
they are interesting to look through because of their
Christian slant and their general oddness. After playing
the games, one can understand why Nintendo didn't pursue
legal action against them for producing unlicensed games.
One can imagine the headlines: "NINTENDO SUES
ACTS OF GOD"..
Besides their NES games, Wisdom Tree produced versions
of their games for Genesis, Game Boy and the PC. They
also made a version of the King James Bible for the Game
Boy, as well as the only unlicensed SNES game ever made -
Super Noah's Ark 3d. This game is basically a Wolfenstein
3d clone with changed graphics - in fact, it is
Wolfenstein 3d; the maps are exactly the same.
There's been a rumor that id Software, in retaliation for
how Nintendo treated them during the SNES port of Wolf3d,
gave the engine code to Wisdom Tree so they could produce
The strangest thing about Super Noah's Ark 3d
is that it's shaped kind of like a system adaptor or Game
Genie - you have to stick a cart on top of it in order
for it to work. This is needed to get around the SNES
lockout technology. Why wasn't Wisdom Tree able to
circumvent the lockout themselves? In a way it represents
Wisdom Tree's general game philosophy - as long as the
Bible theme is there somehow, don't worry too much about
the rest of the game.
Back to the odd page.