Guardians of Ancora
The Revd Mark Capron reviews a children's online Bible game.
Children typically spend significant hours online, including time spent on games. Scripture Union wanted to respond and saw an opportunity to share the Bible through an online game. After much research and investment, Guardians of Ancora was launched in 2015.
The gamer is able to enter the wonderful world of Ancora and play their way through exciting Bible Quests, for example Jesus and the Fishermen. The game’s story is based on a fictitious world. Ancora is in trouble; its light is fading because its stories about Jesus have been lost. Only the Guardians (the children) can put this right by going back 2,000 years, capturing the stories and re-lighting Ancora’s Spire with them.
The stories of the Bible are really brought to life in wonderful ways, as you feel part of the story. It is great that this game is based on the Bible, encouraging children to engage with God’s word in a sphere in which they feel comfortable and happy to learn, using tablets and smartphones.
Guardians of Ancora has been professionally developed and this shows both in how it looks and that children are keen to play. It is reassuring for parents to know that the game has been developed without any violence or actions that would be of concern. In Ancora there are opportunities to test your knowledge by taking quizzes on the Bible Quests you’ve completed – testing how much you can remember about the stories. The game continues to be added to with new Bible Quests, missions and videos.
Gemma Hunt, known by many children as a presenter from CBeebies, says of Guardians:
“It’s so exciting to see Guardians of Ancora used by so many children to help them explore the Bible … it’s such a joy to see, as young children hunger for a relationship with our Lord. It’s a fabulous way to get children immersed in the Bible.”
This is a great game that enables children to be guardians seeking and protecting the stories of Jesus whilst playing in the story. It is aimed at older primary school children upwards. It offers lots for children to do, learn and play and, importantly, opportunities to pray.
One child said to me recently that it is great because “I can learn more about God and the Bible and play a game at the same time!” You don’t have to be young to play. I know many older children (adults!) who enjoy this! It’s a great way of learning from the Bible whilst immersed in it.
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