Last weekend's Catholic Bishops’ Conference in Manila, Philippines -- a trade show one wouldn't expect to hear many video game announcements from -- saw the launch of Paolo's Journey, a 3D game based on Pope Benedict XVI’s Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Targeting a range of students from third grade to college, the game stars a young boy who's fallen into a well while searching for his lost kitten. He meets an angel in that well, who says he needs to collect three keys before he can escape, with each key taking him to a different level.

The 3D title has Paolo slaying creatures, collecting scrolls, and answering 45 questions about the catechism. The first level asks questions related to the Sacraments, the second level has questions about the Ten Commandments, and the third level asks about Christian values.

Paolo's Journey was developed over the last year by Fr. Maximo Villanueva Jr., formerly a computer animation student at the New York Film Academy and an intern at Nickelodeon, with some help from local animation group Secret 6, Inc.

Villanueva teamed up with the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education to release the game in five different languages -- English, Spanish, Tagalog, Portuguese, and Italian -- and produce 1,000 copies, giving those copies to bishops who will distribute them to public school catechists in their dioceses.

The CBCP, which also plans to sell the game in Catholic bookstores for P200 ($4.32), says the game is meant as a supplement to the traditional catechism taught in schools. "Catechism should first be heard... There is no substitute for the power of the Word. The video game is a complementary device to help our understanding," explains a CBCP representative.

Villanueva says he's already thinking of a follow-up to Paolo's Journey, according to a report from The Philippine Star. The sequel would feature the main character searching for his love interest, Marissa, while answering questions related to Bible parables.

Unfortunately, there isn't much media for the game online other than this photo of Villanueva playing the game on a laptop, originally posted by the CBCP.

[Via GamerTell]