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Weekly iPhone App Recommendation: Pocket God

February 16, 2010

Like many, I’m one of those who looks for apps that provide a stress outlet. Pocket God, the wickedly sadistic app from Bolt Creative, provides more than enough of an outlet to set your inner tormentor free.

Choosing between four island locales and one underwater area, you can drop up to six pygmies on screen at the same time. These little guys have their own characteristics. One might let his hair down over his eyes, then roll it up with a bone. One will let his grass skirt drop, and, in a fit of embarrassment, smile, giggle, then raise it back up to his waist. Numerous occasions I’ve spotted (and heard) one passing gas, generally while standing in front of another. One seems to be designated the fisher, and will tend to catch fish for everyone but himself. Essentially they lead their own happy, quiet, peaceful existences. Such is life for these adorable island pygmies.

Yes, that's a shark.

Until you come in. You’re their god. And the god you’re to be is not a peaceful one, either.

You’re goal is to create as much chaos for the pygmies as humanely possible. A shake of the screen will create an earthquake, a tip of the screen in either direction will result in sliding the pygmies off the island. A touch of the screen and you’ll be able to pick up a pygmie, twirl him around endlessly, and drop him back on the island. A flick up on the screen will send one sailing into the water. A touch and flick down will dunk them. Some of what you can do will depend heavily on which area you’re in. You can flick one into a volcano. Flick three and you’ll set it off, spraying lava balls onto the remaining pygmies, which sends them diving into the ocean, ultimately to their deaths. If you’re in the graveyard setting, you can stick a pygmie on a web and send a spider to spin a web around it. If you bury a pygmie alive, it’ll return from the grave to feast on the brains of the remaining pygmies (yeah, it’s as cool as it sounds). I’ve been able to possess a pygmie with the ghost of a dead one, have it’s head turn 360 a la Linda Blair, and spit up pea soup. The most cruel deaths at your fingertips seem to be underwater. Placing chum in the hands of a pygmie in order to lure a shark isn’t the nicest thing one can do, but it’s a lot of fun to watch. Every island has at least one huge idiosyncrasy that sets it apart from the other islands.

"The power of pygmies compels you!!!!"

Each island also has certain aspects where you can keep score. For instance, on the tropical island you’ll be table to take a coconut, drop it on a pygmie’s head, and the game will keep tabs on how many times it’s bounced off of one or more heads. It will remember how many pygmies you’ve simultaneously speared underwater. If you’re dangling a pygmie over a shark, it will keep track of how many snaps the shark has taken before you’ve either dropped it back on the island, or allowed the little guy to become shark food. If you’ve set a dinosaur or ice monster free, you can toss spears to the pygmies in order to fend the beasts off. There’s more depth to this app than initially meets the eye.

The free updates to Pocket God come often, each a substantial upgrade to an already addictive app. With more islands and torture devices coming, this is one app that, for the demented and twisted, will never get old.

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