Space. The Final Frontier. For Pygmies. Because you keep on killing them.
I’ve often wondered what I would do if I had god-like powers. Now that I’ve spent some time playing Pocket God: Journey to Uranus, I know the answer to that question. I fling worshippers into volcanoes, strike them with lightning, drag them onto strange new planets, and generally make them suffer for my amusement. In short, I’m a jerk on a power trip – and I love every minute of it.
The basic gameplay of the original Pocket God is still here, where the Pygmies are stuck on a small tropical island and basically exist to be sacrificed by players in inventive ways. However, the first official Pocket God game on the iPad takes the Pygmies to the place that no Pygmy has gone before: Space.
Players can drag pygmies up into space, where they float around until they get snagged by the gravity of celestial objects like the sun, Uranus, Earth, and Mercury. There’s also an alien who jets around in a flying saucer; if players throw a Pygmy over to him, a game that’s similar to the classic arcade shooter Tempest begins.
Mercury and Uranus both have mini-games, too. On Uranus, players control a dragon-riding Pygmy as it jousts against aliens on other dragons. Mercury contains a top-down racing game that uses tilt-sensing to steer. All of these are fun and challenging, not to mention a little addictive.
Aside from fun gameplay, the title looks wonderful on the iPad. Bolt Creative did a marvelous job transitioning the graphics to the big screen, and everything looks just as good (if not better) than it does on the iPhone. All of the planets have environments that look wonderful and unique.
The main problem with Pocket God: Journey to Uranus is that, beneath its charm and good looks, there isn’t really all that much to do. It’ll only take about half an hour to fully explore the game’s content. While Uranus and Mercury certainly look great, there’s only one mini-game to play in each setting, and only a few different things to do on each planet.
At the same time, this is pretty common with the Pocket God series when the game is new to a platform: things start off a little slow, but the developers make a point of adding more content. Case in point: Mercury wasn’t included in the game when it was first released. Presumably, we’ll get to see other planets and other mini-games in future content updates (after all, the original Pocket God is already on its 38th).
Side note to the folks at Bolt Creative: I don’t care what the scientific community says, Pluto is still a planet.
Pocket God: Journey to Uranus is delightful, mainly because it keeps on doing what made the previous games great. It’s goofy, fun, and more than a little ridiculous. It still needs some more content to round things out, but that’s definitely on the way. If you’re hoping for a great-looking god sim with tons of fun mini-games, then look no further.