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Interpreting Interpreter
Pixelated Prophets

This post is a summary of the article “Pixelated Prophets: A History and Analysis of Book-of-Mormon-Themed Video Games” by Geoffrey M. Draper and Aaron M. Curtis in Volume 59 of Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship. All of the Interpreting Interpreter articles may be seen at An introduction to the Interpreting Interpreter series is available at


The Takeaway

Draper and Curtis summarize 30 years of video-game adaptations of the Book of Mormon. These games usually perform poorly in the marketplace, perhaps due to a Latter-Day Saint aversion to paid content, inappropriate advertising, and depictions of violence. In spite of these factors, they remain hopeful that video games could serve as a useful medium for depicting Book of Mormon narratives.


The Summary

In this article, Geoffrey M. Draper and Aaron M. Curtis provide a chronological tour of every commercially available video game produced on the subject of the Book of Mormon, from 1991’s Nephi’s Quest to 2021’s Book of Mormon Heroes. These games vary widely in terms of genre, subject matter, and fidelity to scripture. Only one title (Tree of Life AR) has been published officially by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and many of the remainder represent either single-developer efforts or a set of quickly-produced titles from small and short-lived studios. The full list includes:

  • Nephi’s Quest, a 1991 adventure game in the style of King’s Quest, with Nephi gathering supplies for the journey into the wilderness.
  • Gideon Fu, a 2005 browser-based arcade action game, where the player takes Gideon on a kung-fu rampage against King Noah’s ninja soldiers in an attempt to assassinate the king.
  • Donkey BoM, a 2005 browser-based arcade platformer where a Mario-style Laman (from Alma 55:8-13) has to jump to retrieve items to free Nephites from Lamanite guards.
  • Nephi’s Stake-Out, a 2005 browser-based point-and-click adventure game where Nephi works to get into Jerusalem to obtain the plates.
  • Overcome, a 2005 browser-based competitive two-player arcade game where Abish induces NPC residents of Lamoni’s household to faint, while Ammon attempts to catch them before they faint.
  • Stripling Warriors 2060, a 2006 browser-based fighting game where the player controls a Lamanite soldier doomed to lose duels against hundreds of stripling warriors.
  • Moroni’s March, a 2006 browser-based arcade game in the style of Lemmings, where the player instructs a set of Nephite soldiers as they attempt to cross treacherous terrain.
  • BoM Beat Battle, a 2007 browser-based arcade rhythm game where players press keys in time with music to assist Moroni in a (non-canonical) battle against Gadianton.
  • Quest for the Plates, a 2010 browser-based point-and-click sequel to Nephi’s Stake-Out, where Nephi works to retrieve the plates.
  • Lamanite, a discontinued 2010 mobile arcade game where the player controls Samuel as he evades the arrows and stones of the people of Zarahemla.
  • Helam: A Stripling Warrior Quest, a 2011 PC role-playing game where a fictional Nephite boy named Helam tries to hunt down a Lamanite robber who destroyed his village synagogue.
  • Celestial Glory, a poorly documented 2012 mobile multiplayer role-playing game where players form clans to accomplish unspecified in-game tasks.
  • Journey to the Desert, a 2013 mobile side-scrolling platformer where the Jaredites prepare for a journey to the valley of Nimrod.
  • Ancient Adventures of the Book of Mormon, a 2014 mobile adventure game where Jared and his brother work to investigate the Tower of Babel and collect supplies to construct barges.
  • Lehi’s Escape, a 2014 tablet and PC adventure game where Lehi wanders Jerusalem discovering hidden objects.
  • Book of Mormon Match 3, a 2014 mobile puzzle game in the style of Bejeweled.
  • Book of Mormon Jump, a 2014 mobile platformer where Captain Moroni has to jump over objects.
  • Book of Mormon Infinite Run, a 2014 mobile infinite runner in the style of Temple Run.
  • The Great Book of Mormon Adventure, a 2014 mobile search-and-find puzzle game where players have to find hidden objects in Book of Mormon and modern scenes.
  • LDS Scripture Heroes, a 2014 mobile puzzle game featuring jigsaw puzzles and picture matching themes toward Book of Mormon stories.
  • Heroes of the Book of Mormon: The Servant of Helaman, a 2015 PC role-playing game developed in RPG-maker by the son of Interpreter author John Hilton III, featuring a retelling of Helaman 2:6-9.
  • Heroes of the Book of Mormon: The Servant of Teancum, a 2015 prequel of The Servant of Helaman featuring the servant mentioned in Alma 51:33.
  • Scripture Hero, a 2015 mobile puzzle game where the player is tasked with rolling a smiley-face cartoon of “Nephi” across a series of bridges and walls.
  • BoMA: The Great War, a 2015 tablet-based war simulation game with a “choose-your-own-adventure” narrative where the player helps defend the city of Moroni from a Lamanite invasion.
  • Book of Mormon Touch, a 2016 mobile coloring-book game where players color in Book of Mormon-themed illustrations.
  • Las Aventuras de Nefi, a multi-lingual 2016 mobile adventure game where players answer Book of Mormon trivia questions and help Nephi explore Jerusalem looking for his family.
  • Tree of Life AR, a discontinued 2019 augmented reality system where imagery from Lehi’s dream is projected onto the user’s surroundings.
  • Book of Mormon Heroes, a 2021 virtual trading card game featuring characters from the Book of Mormon.

Noting that Book-of-Mormon-themed game development has declined following spurts in the 2000s and 2010s, Draper and Curtis observe that many of these games are no longer available, those that are available are not actively supported or updated, and that no game appears to have been a large commercial success. The reasons for this are not definitive, but they suggest that (1) the Church has fostered a culture of free digital content, which may lead members to be suspicious of paid content, (2) that ad-driven games may include inappropriate ads that turn off customers, and (2) that the violent themes in many of these games may dissuade parents from purchasing them for their kids.

Draper and Curtis suggest that this status quo need not remain. Organizations, including the Church, could serve as a catalyst for further development, and there remains a number of untapped Book of Mormon stories that could inspire interesting video game narratives. As they conclude:

“Book-of-Mormon-themed video games are, for many, an enjoyable way to bring stories of the Book of Mormon to life. These games can also serve as a non-threatening introduction to the Book of Mormon for those unaffiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We believe that these games do, in fact, encourage players to explore the scriptures for themselves…Although there has been a decline in recent years in Book-of-Mormon-themed game development, we believe a rebound is both possible and probable.”


The Reflection

As someone with a 373-game-strong Steam Library, and too many years on my World of Warcraft “/played”, I come to this article with opinions—ones that I’ll mostly keep to myself. It would be far too easy to cast stones at those whose labors have brought us the 29 games detailed by Draper and Curtis. Yet I can only imagine the hours and effort that went into developing even the least of them, and I’m in no position to say that I could somehow do better. Like Draper and Curtis, I’m optimistic that the future holds a lot of potential. The spurts of development in the 2000s and 2010s were each connected with the availability of new and more powerful tools that placed game development and gaming audiences within easier reach. And with free-to-use engines like Unity and the growing power of AI, it’s never been easier for someone with a bit of time and determination to develop a quality game. Sooner or later, one of those great games will be inspired by the Book of Mormon, produced with an artistry equal to the task of depicting that sacred text. Assuming I’m alive when it does, you can count me among the first in line to load it up.

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