iPad Pocket God no match for iPhone

Spoiler alert! I have long wished for Bolt Creative to redo Pocket God, a best buy iPhone game, in HD for the iPad. I’m still waiting, but they have released Pocket God: Journey to Uranus while we wait. I hope it’s intended to be a stop gap, because it lacks the delicious schadenfreude of the original. It’s still good enough for four stars.

Okay, I really do like Pocket God Uranus, and it’s worth the rating I gave it, but I can’t help but feel it’s another attempt by Bolt Creative to finance upgrades to the real Pocket God, which only runs in iPhone mode. They have tried any number of ways to finance Pocket God—in-app skin purchases, polyurethane plastic Pocket God action figures, and even two issues of Pocket God comics.

But I can’t help but think the best way is to re-release an iPad version with all the features of the original, and then charging an additional dollar for each new chapter. In the meantime, if you want an HD version that resembles Pocket God, Pocket God Uranus is still pretty good. There are fewer chapters, but each chapter launches it’s own associated game (which was a feature only added to later chapters in the original).

The cute little pygmies still drive the game, which begins on earth on the pygmy island with a Swiss Army Knife idol and a volcano. You can change the time of day, charge up storms and kill the pygmies with lightning. Or you can charge up the idol and destroy them with it’s many weapons (including a corkscrew). But the real challenge begins with the volcano toss.

Your pygmy can travel around the solar system dropping in on earth, Uranus or even Mercury. Each stop has an associated arcade game to play.

You see, the island god gets hungry, and the only way to appease him is to flip pygmies into the volcano for lunch. In the iPhone version, volcano toss was easy. The iPad version is a much greater challenge because you also have to contend with changes in wind speed and direction.

So long as you keep feeding pygmies successfully you stave off disaster, but miss too many meals and the earthquake brings the game to an end.

Or you can drag a pygmy into outer space to explore the solar system and experience god-like powers. As with the original, Bolt Creative adds new chapters, but currently your options are to visit Mercury or Uranus, or help Neebo the alien fight off monsters who want to invade the universe.

Does this game remind you of Tempest? But the graphics are so much better than those on the Atari Legacy version because Bolt Creative remembered you’re actually playing on an iPad.

The games on each planet will remind you of games from the old Atari systems, since they are based on many of those games (including street racing and Tempest). The graphics are much much better since Bolt takes advantage of iPad graphics rather than trying to emulate the old 4 bit boards. So if you’re tempted to try the Atari legacy games, I would recommend you save your money and download the much cheaper Pocket God Uranus.

On Uranus you can sacrifice pygmies using poison gas clouds or fire breathing dragons. Or you can drop a pygmy on a green dragon and fly off to a jousting match. This too is an update to a very old computer game whose name I have long ago forgotten, but you get to joust with red dragons and collect dragon eggs.

Or was “Joust” the name of the game? If I weren’t so lazy, I suppose I could look it up. Anyway the opponents have lances but they’re useless as weapons. Battles are won by butt bumping.

You may remember the name of the original game (I think “joust” was in the title). In Pocket God Uranus, however, the lances aren’t good for anything. The real battle is fought with dragon butts. Oh, wait, I went ahead looked online. The game really was named “Joust” but it was fought with ostriches instead of dragons.

On Mercury you have new opportunities to sacrifice pygmies or you can suck them into a game of Hover Jump, which is a fast race with difficult to control hover cars that you can jump on or over.

The games require a lot more skill than the games on the original iPhone Pocket God, so Pocket God Uranus presents far more of a challenge while keeping a lot of the humor from the original. That being said, Pocket God Uranus loses a lot in translation.

Frankly, you just can’t torture your pygmies with the same relish that you can in the original. This may sound cruel, but the joy of the game was relishing the suffering of the pygmies, and every level of the iPhone game offered at least a half dozen new ways to torment them. You could feed them to sharks, electrocute them, drop dodo shit on them, bounce coconuts from the head of one pygmy to another. You could turn them into zombies, feed them to dinosaurs and even sacrifice them to the great god Kong. You could drown them, skewer them, offer them to sharpshooting sharks with laser beams on their backs, or feed them to voracious piranhas.

And when they were dead you could resurrect them all and they would be as trusting as before.

So Bolt, I have to give you credit. Pocket God Uranus is a pretty darn good app. But if you want a best buy rating, I want to see the original Pocket God in full HD iPad glory.

Jenny Manytoes rates Pocket God Uranus

Jenny Manytoes would purr next to Pocket God Uranus. It’s colorful, fun and almost as comically mean-spirited as the original. Think three stooges on an island (and in space) only there are dozens of them and they can find a lot more stupid ways to inflict pain on each other.

The Jenny Manytoes Rating System

Jenny Manytoes, our polydactyl cat

  • When Jenny makes biscuits on a product she thinks she’s in heaven.
  • When Jenny purrs over a product she’s very happy.
  • When Jenny naps next to a product it’s okay with her.
  • When Jenny bunches her tail she can live with a product, but she has higher expectations.
  • When Jenny leaves it in the litter box….I don’t think I need to explain this one.

About Phillip T Stephens

Phillip T. Stephens disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle twenty years before he was born, creating a time travel paradox so confusing it remains unspoken between physicists and sci-fi writers to this day. Follow @stephens_pt
This entry was posted in 4 Stars - Purr, Arcade Games, Entertainment, Games, Time Wasters and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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