We probably don’t need to remind you of Pocket God’s outstanding success, considering how widespread the pygmy-killing phenomenon has become ever since it was created nearly two years ago. After dozens of updates to the original iPhone hit as well as ports to other platforms, we finally arrive at the long-awaited sequel: Journey to Uranus. Unfortunately, Journey to Uranus pays no heed to the god powers that made the original entertaining for hours on end.
Essentially, Journey to Uranus is a collection of three minigames: Volcano Blast, A-Hole in Time, and Dragons on Uranus. Volcano Blast is based on the standard Earth island from the original Pocket God and has you flicking pygmies into the volcano as we’ve done many times before. Like in Paper Toss, you must also account for wind direction and speed.
A-Hole in Time is a level-based arcade shooter where you tilt the iPad to move an alien around the border of the playing field and tap the right side of the screen to send pygmies barreling down towards evil robots. If a robot reaches the top of the border, you’ll need to jump over them and shoot down to take them out. If you’ve played Buganoids, this will be familiar.
The mountain called Monkey had spoken. There was only fire.
The last and most interesting minigame of the trio is Dragons on Uranus, which basically takes the classic arcade hit Joust and swaps out the skin for pygmies and aliens riding on dinosaurs. Lack of originality aside, this is the best version of Joust we have played on the iPad so far.
Each minigame has achievements and leaderboards through both OpenFeint and Game Center, and you can use both simultaneously. We enjoyed these features, but hopefully Bolt Creative eventually makes use of other services provided by these networks, such as multiplayer and push notification high score challenges.
You’re probably thinking to yourself right now, ‘Slide To Play, it seems you have no problem with the quality of the minigames included in Journey to Uranus, but it only got a 2. What gives?’ Well, the level of polish on these three minigames is nice, but competing for high scores on games that are essentially clones of other titles can only stay exciting for so long.
*tap tap* Behind you…
Pocket God was built on killing pygmies in a vast array of creative ways. Journey to Uranus seems to throw this all out the window. In fact, the only god power or interactive feature beyond flicking pygmies around is setting them on fire by dangling the pygmy over the sun. This gets old after three roasted islanders.
Plus, you can’t name pygmies and take control over other aspects of their lives as you could in the iPhone version. We love the new space overworld, but it seems to have come at the cost of many other features we’ve come to expect in a Pocket God title.
At the current asking price of $4.99, these pygmies simply don’t give us enough to do. This may change over time as Bolt Creative sweetens the deal with content updates, but at the moment only hardcore Pocket God (and Joust) enthusiasts should download this game.