Game Reviews

Pocket God

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Pocket God

Pocket God is a pointless game.

Before you raise your pitchforks, being pointless isn't necessarily a bad thing in video game terms. Indeed, taken as a practical pursuit, nearly very game is pointless in some way or another (except those almost exclusively rubbish edu-tainment titles).

But I’m not talking about being pointless in terms of improving your social skills with women, fixing a broken motorcycle, or surviving a zombie apocalypse - I’m talking about direction, guidance, reward, and satisfaction.

It’s hard to even call Pocket God a game, really, as there are no objectives or aims - it’s more akin to a toy set.


As god of up to six Pygmies, your task is to do whatever you feel like doing (so far as the game allows it). These activities range from chucking the little chaps into the sea, chucking birds at the little chaps, attracting the ire of a T-Rex by dropping its egg until a baby hatches, and skewering multiple pygmies at once using an undersea harpoon gun.

The presentation is both cute and funny, with part of the attraction coming from discovering new animations and reactions from the Pygmies as you whip up something new to destroy them/aid them.

Rather than discover these activities naturally over the course of the game, Pocket God allows the player to leap to different locations via a map, with each situation presenting its own range of unique ‘things’ to interact with, and a number of constants that can be switched on and off via a drop-down menu.

It’s all a bit disconnected and isolated - there’s none of that growing or development found in the classic ‘pointless’ games like The Sims, in which it’s impossible to win or lose.

Push the button

This means that while the initial few minutes with the game is enjoyable in that familiar 'I wonder what happens when I do this?' fashion, it soon gives way to thoughts like, 'what haven’t I already pressed?' and a desperate search through the help menu (which reveals the location of all the mini-games and activities anyway).

The achievements go some way to improving matters - skewering six of your followers with the harpoon at once is fairly tricky and not something most people would try unless there was something at the end for them - but it would have been more tempting to have allowed unlockables instead, especially given how much extra content can be found on the iPhone version.

The game was also prone to random crashes on my HTC 7 Mozart and the odd skipped frame when dragging objects, which made battling the big beasties like the barking spider unnecessarily difficult.

These technical issues combined with the paper-thin gameplay and lack of content when compared to the iOS original, means that Pocket God for WP7 is a game that will be worshipped by only the most raving of gaming acolytes.

Pocket God

Pocket God excellent presentation and original premise is worthy of praise, but the paper-thin gameplay and lack of both content and incentives won’t convert the masses