The Seventh-day Adventist Church and Hope Channel partnered together to develop Heroes 2: The Bible Trivia Game. It was published March 25, approximately eight years after the original version of Heroes.
Players progress chronologically through the game by answering increasingly difficult questions about 12 of the most prominent champions of faith in Scripture, from Adam and Eve to the apostle John. The Heroes 2 YouTube channel has published a series of videos that describe gameplay and explain various operations, features and nuances of the game--as well as input from a multitude Adventist Church leaders and laypeople regarding the life profiles of the Biblical Heroes. such as how to get manna, experience points and how to challenge your friends to a match
Vyacheslav Demyan, vice-president of Hope Channel International, who is publishing the game, believes “Heroes 2 is the first game published by a Christian Broadcasting Network and we hope this innovation will lead many people to have a relationship with Jesus.”
Among the Bible heroes featured by the game, John is one of the most fascinating. Believers, seekers, and skeptics alike can resonate with the crude, rough-around-the-edges beginnings of his human existence and walk with Jesus. The impact of his Patmos visions on the identity of Adventist Christians in particular goes without saying.
Justin Kim, assistant director of Sabbath School and Personal Ministries for the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (GC), and Kenia Reyes-de León, senior editorial assistant for the GC Youth Department, recently conducted an interview-dialogue (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_mIXciO7pI) and highlighted some of the ups and downs of the beloved apostle that are interwoven into Heroes 2.
One of the main themes of Kim and Reyes’ interaction is relatability, which threads throughout Heroes 2 and all the characters therein, John included. They discussed his propensity to communicate in a common, down-to-earth manner—not particularly erudite or over-the-head, which makes sense for an uneducated fisherman—yet articulate the loftiest of heavenly themes. They also pointed out his insertion of accounts from Christ’s earthly sojourn that Matthew, Mark, and Luke did not cover, including detailed descriptions of one-on-one conversations with the Lord (e.g., Nicodemus).
Kim, in a moment of transparency, further emphasized the empathy dynamic by admitting the struggles he had as a youth with temper, anger, etc. and referencing his grandmother’s admonition to him to learn from John’s example. The rage and indignation the apostle manifested in the early years of his journey help amplify how remarkable his transformation was, and this transformation was not instigated or enhanced by anything inherent in or exclusive to John that is otherwise out of our reach. He continuously clung to the Savior’s side, and as a branch is nourished by abiding in the vine, so can the regenerating agape love of Christ provide newness of life to anyone who grasps His inviting hand by faith—even a son of thunder.
Contemplating the life of someone like John the Revelator is what embodies not only the charm but even the mission of Heroes 2. Sam Neves, associate director of GC Communications and one of the captains of this venture, in his promotional efforts, underlines the many dimensions of the game’s development and the objectives the church prayerfully strives to accomplish through it.
Considering the game’s title, Neves expounded upon the meaning of “hero,” a word often loosely defined by contemporary culture yet properly defined by the dictionary. “Hero: a person who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.” It is more about character than it is about power. Moses and Esther could not fly or outrun a speeding bullet, but in placing their trust in God, they became vessels through which the Almighty made the impossible seem routine and Superman look duller than a 50-year-old butter knife.
Neves unfolded the astounding ubiquity of the gaming industry, which supersedes movies and music combined. The video-game-playing population outnumbers the professed-Christian population by about 30% (with overlap, of course). He further addressed media, its influence, and Christianity’s relationship to it, perhaps in anticipation of “in-the-world/of-the-world” debates among well-meaning brethren of contrasting theological and philosophical convictions. Neves quickly traced the church’s historical precedents for making the most of emerging technology (printing, radio, television, etc.) to disseminate the gospel and three angels’ messages, affirming this trend may and should continue through gaming, while still remaining within the hedges of biblical fidelity.
Heroes 2 comes with a multi-player mode, an innovation with respect to the 2013 version. This encourages connection with family and friends and keeps with the spirit of sharing the good times and good news. A player can challenge others to answer the question sets by sending a link via email or messaging. This will foster some friendly competition and supply motivation to increase Bible knowledge. The game will be available in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese at the onset, with six more language availabilities pending.
Neves’ enthusiasm for the fun and enjoyment to be had with Heroes 2 is palpable and will spread among the players over the coming weeks, months, and years. Nevertheless, it’s the game’s raison d'être and the potential it has to draw millions to a redemptive bond with Jesus Christ that mean the most to him and everyone involved in production.
“All of this is a lot of fun, but our favorite feature is what happens next. Every player will be encouraged to start Bible studies. We call it ‘The Big Questions.’ In this special Bible study series that can be found at hopebiblestudy.org, our heroes are ready to answer, ‘What happens when you die?’ ‘Is God real?’ ‘If God is good, why do we suffer?’ and so many other tough questions…” Neves exclaimed.
“We will constantly publish new questions as we encourage every player to understand the Bible for themselves. And if they are going through a tough time in their lives, we already have a 24-hour team in place to pray for them and provide pastoral care.… Heroes 2: The Bible Trivia Game will help children, youth, and adults alike to get to know more about the amazing stories of the Bible, to realize that you and I are also called to be heroes today, just like these characters from the past. And when all is said and done, we want to inspire every player to give their lives to Jesus so one day they can meet Him, the ultimate Hero of all, face to face.”
Besides the above links, please visit the official site of Heroes (https://www.heroesbibletrivia.org/) for more information. The game is available for download on both iOS and Android mobile platforms.