If you’re a fan of the endless jumper genre, or perhaps just like watching pygmies die horrible deaths, then Bolt Creative has an ideal game for you in the form of Pocket God: Ooga Jump (out now, $0.99). While the game doesn’t really add much of anything new to an already simplistic genre, it certainly manages to perform admirably due to stellar production values for the full nine yards. Ooga Jump furthermore has avoided the one perilous pitfall that would have utterly ruined a simplistic title featuring a heavy leader board presence: the IAPs contained within are not coercive.
The controls themself are so simple that the game doesn’t even bother trying to explain them via a tutorial, with the player tilting their device either left or right to make their chosen pygmy hero move in the same direction. Tapping the screen instead causes the pygmy to immediately dive down, afterwards rebounding back up far harder than he would have from the completion of an otherwise normal leap. Perhaps the most surprising part of Ooga Jump’s mechanics is that – in a move reminiscent of very old arcade titles – you can have the hero jump straight off one edge of the screen, afterwards immediately reappearing on the other side. With these controls players must attempt to have their pygmy strive ever upwards, as that’s apparently what tribal people do in their free time, without ever accidentally falling all the way back down.
In order to succeed there are various platform-types to keep in mind: some that cause you to jump lower than normal, some that cause you to jump higher, and some that break the moment you touch them. Along the way there will also be gems laying about, collecting them will raise both your cash total – enabling you to purchase power ups and unlocks – and furthermore give your pygmy an immediate boost upwards. Attempting to block the hero from collecting these gems will be a wide assortment of obstacles: killer ant swarms, pooping seagulls, cantankerous monkeys, magical statues, and even random meteor showers.
With your collected swag – earned both via the aforementioned gems just laying around, and also through the successful completion of tasked challenges – players will be able to purchase alternate pygmies to play with, and even different scenery sets (such as the planet Uranus). None of these cosmetic features appear to have been exploitatively priced, leaving one to believe that – while IAP options are also available – players truly were meant to be able to unlock everything sans paying extra cash. There also exists an assortment of one-time boosters that will protect your pygmies from various disasters, but these too are offered at far lower prices than some other games might have asked for.
While Ooga Jump’s repetitive gameplay of forever landing on platforms – and then springing back upwards – might be the absolute definition of simplicity, the game certainly manages to look good in the process. The various flips the pygmies perform as they rocket ever upwards, and especially the context specific deaths that play out whenever they fail, will go far to amuse any gamers that pick up Ooga Jump. In an overly crowded genre, where stagnation is most often the order of the day, it certainly helps when you manage to look quite amazing at doing what you have set out to accomplish.
Yet when all is said and done – as is true with most endless jumpers – Ooga Jump is still a profoundly simplistic experience, and those who are not already genre fans will probably bore of the game very quickly.
iFanzine Verdict: While Pocket God: Ooga Jump is an extremely simplistic game, it manages to raise far above many of its contemporaries through the sheer-virtue of its stellar production values. While those who are already massive fans of the endless jumper genre will be delighted by the pygmy jumping antics contained within, and especially the various death animations, most players will probably just become very quickly bored. At the very least Ooga Jump has managed to avoid a trap that most of its siblings have fallen prey to: the pricing of all in-game purchasable items, both cosmetic and consumable, have not been set exploitatively.