If I could only have six or seven games from the 16-bit era of gaming (1989 to 1995), Wiz n Liz: The Frantic Wabbit Wescue, would be put in the same cupboard as classics like Super Mario World, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and SimCity 2000. This under-appreciated gem from Psygnosis, the folks who brought us Lemmings and would later go on to do the Wipeout Series, is an odd but charming little game for the Sega Genesis and Amiga that sees you running across the screen to catch rabbits and letters before the timer runs out. At the beginning, you only need to catch letters, but after a few rounds, you'll lose if you don't collect all the rabbits.
After the level is over, you can take the various pieces of fruit you've collected and mix them together for zany spells, such as all the rabbits turning different colors and bonus games, among other silly things.
Simple? Absolutely. Challenging? Very. Especially when you're running out of time, and there's that one last rabbit you need to escape the level. With your character moving at Sonic-like speeds, this can get really frantic.
I remember seeing this game advertised in the pages of Sega Visions magazine, but didn't pick it up until I was living in Pittsburgh a few months after graduating college. Instantly I was blown away. I shouldn've been surprised, as I loved Lemmings and Puggsy, two other games from the same company.
So what positive faith lesson did I take out of this simple game starring a wizard and his wife rescuing rabbits? For this, I look to the Gospel of Luke, specifically Christ's parable about the missing sheep.
In Luke's book of knowledge, Jesus tells us of a shepherd who would go looking for one sheep out of a 100, saying that heaven rejoices over one sinner repenting more so than 99 righteous people who aren't in need of grace. I thought of this Bible verse as I frantically scrambled for that last missing rabbit. In this game, it doesn't matter if you have 37 rabbits when the time runs out: If you don't have that 38th rabbit, you still lose. That missing rabbit is just as important as the rabbits you've already rescued.
There are other nice things to take away from this game. The fact that Easter is just a few days away and this game features a smorgasbord of rabbits! It's also a great two-player game that lends well to sitting on the couch with your friends or younger relatives (non-violent, another bonus for those with younger children). But the biggest thing for me is that reminder that we are all important to God.
And that's a nice thing to think about as we head into Easter. Christ died for that one sheep out of 100. And that 38th rabbit, not to mention that rotten person like me.