Editor's Note: This review was updated on September 18, 2009, to detail the most recent version entitled Dead Pygmy Walking.
Choosing whether to torture or protect a set of island-dwelling Pygmies, with hairstyles featuring femur bones, sounds like a promising premise for a game. It's fitting that Pocket God, by Bolt Creative, has reached immortal status among game enthusiasts and deserves to be in the Game App Bible for every owner of the iPhone or iPod touch.
Pocket God is a great value for a 99-cent game, as it's constantly updated with new episodes. The 22nd episode, called Ooga Jump, is a good example because it is just as addictive as its predecessors.
Pocket God appeals to the control freak in all of us. As I forced the island sun to set, replacing it with a crescent moon, all of my Pygmies curled up on the sand and a chorus of snores ensued. During their slumber, a vampire bat swooped down and sunk its teeth into one of my unsuspecting subjects, sending him into a rabid killing frenzy. Other bonus moments: islanders pausing to yawn, ponder, pick their noses, or pass gas followed by a quick giggle.
The Ooga Jump installment features a game-mode mash-up of another popular iPhone game: Doodle Jump. To play Ooga Jump, drag a Pygmy up past the line of clouds, gameplay borrowed from Doodle Jump, and drop him onto one of three slow-moving clouds. This rockets him into the sky, after which you control his movement by tilting the device left or right. The higher the bounce, the better the achievement score.
For more information and access to all sorts of goodies (fan art, updates, and mini-contests) check out Bolt Creative's game blog, aptly named Pocket Blog.