It's fair to say that iPod has kept a fairly low profile when it comes to games so far. Sure, there's an increasingly large catalogue of games available through iTunes for it – 26 at the time of writing – but neither Apple nor the publishers are exactly shouting about them.
It's a stark contrast to the hoo-ha around the iPhone's (and iPod touch's) potential for touchscreen motion-sensing games. And maybe that's the reason: as a gaming platform, the iPod isn't super-exciting.
Sure, the scroll-wheel can work marvellously for some games (Zuma for example), but it's a hindrance for many others. And while there's a widescreen display and clearly some decent processing power inside, the focus has been on casual games that don't really stretch the iPod's limited gaming capabilities.
But there is one feature that could be made more of. Take my iPod, for example. It's currently got more than 20GB of songs on it. Specifically, that's 4,629 tunes, which would take 13.8 days to listen through back-to-back. Or 12.8 days if you rule out all the Black Crowes live bootlegs.
What I'm getting at is that the iPod is a music player first and foremost, so there must be potential for games to tap into that. Some have already, either overtly – Musika and iQuiz – or more subtly, like the way Pole Position Remix puts album covers from your collection in as in-game billboards.
The Sims DJ is the latest example of a music-focused iPod game. It's a conversion of the existing mobile game of the same name, which sees you making your way in the world as a superstar DJ. You have to build up a collection of songs in several genres, then rock a succession of dancefloors to build up your rating.
However, how you get those songs is completely different to The Sims DJ mobile version. There, you strung sample loops together to make polyphonic songs, sorted by genre. You could even turn them into actual ringtones for your handset if you wanted.
Here, the game has been reconfigured to use the songs on your iPod instead. So, you visit the in-game store and choose 'Buy Songs', and are presented with a list of all your tunes sorted by artist, album or genre.
Pick one – Amy Winehouse, for example – and you'll be able to 'buy' any of those songs with the Simoleons that you've earned from DJing. Once bought, you assign it one of seven genres: World, Country, Dance, Rap, Pop, RnB, or Rock. Then, it goes into your virtual record box for use when DJing.
That works the same as the mobile game, so you'll have an empty dancefloor and a bunch of punters, whose musical tastes are signified by little icons above their heads. Your job is to get them dancing by putting on the right tunes, using your DJ tricks to change those tastes to suit your songs along the way.
The game itself is fairly simple: at every club, you're given certain goals – get a certain number of people dancing for a set time period, for example – which you tick off as you go. There's also some suitably Sim-like extra bits, such as buying new clothes for your character with your earnings.
In that sense, it's pretty similar to the mobile game, which didn't score particularly well in its Pocket Gamer review (though I'll concede it has split opinions). But the fact that it's now based around your music makes it much, much more addictive.
That's partly wish-fulfilment – at last you're rocking a dancefloor with your indie disco collection just like you always dreamed of – and partly an interesting new way to listen to your favourites.
There's also an element of silliness involved, too, if you're unable to resist tagging all your indie feedback-ridden noisefests as 'Country' just for the fun of seeing a good ol' hoedown to My Bloody Valentine's 'Only Shallow'. And trust me, this is fun.
In short, rejigging The Sims DJ to actually use your own music is a stroke of genius. The novelty may wear off a few months down the line, but for now this is an excellent and innovative iPod game that's well worth £3.99.
Here's hoping that if EA Mobile makes an iPhone version, it'll take a similar tack.