Tag: Bolt Creative »
Who loves Pocket God and is ready to start jumping higher into the skies? Bolt Creative, the studio behind Pocket God, has just announced Pocket God: Ooga Jump. In this game, players need to navigate platforms while gathering items as they jump and bounce their pygmy to new heights. Players can also access new pygmies, areas, and boosts as they collect gems and continue their upward trek.
Is that all? Nope. Players will also tap the screen to blast down on platforms. This allows them to earn extra gems, fight off enemies, and destroy marks left by other Ooga Jump players. Check out the trailer below and prepare for its release next week, October 31, for $0.99.
The Pocket God app can really be considered a case study of how to do everything right on the App Store. Released originally in January 2009, Pocket God became a serial with regular updates all the way through 2012. After 47 new releases of Pocket God and total sales for all Pocket God apps at over 9 million, Bolt Creative has one of the best known franchises on the App Store. Let's talk with Dave Castelnuovo, the owner of Bolt Creative.
148Apps: How has the App Store changed your professional life?
Dave Castelnuovo, Owner at Bolt Creative: The major thing the App Store allowed me to do was to create a business where I can be creative and sell my ideas straight to consumers. Before the App Store I was a contractor, which is cool in its own way, but I would much rather work on my own ideas than be paid to implement someone else's.
148Apps: Was the amazing response to Pocket God a surprise to you?
Mr. Castelnuovo: Sure. When the App Store became available, I could tell it was one of those once in a lifetime opportunities, so I immediately started to work on stuff for the platform. I had no idea when or if I would find huge success but I was fairly confident that I could earn enough of a living to keep things going. Pocket God was meant to be an early experiment whose purpose was to create an engine for more traditional games. I attribute Pocket God's success to being at the right place and the right time. I would have never guessed it would do this well.
148Apps: In the five years since launch, the App Store has gone through considerable changes. The number of users has skyrocketed along with downloads, prices for paid apps has stabilized way lower than many expected, free to play has dominated the top grossing charts. If, knowing what you know about the App Store now, you could go back and influence your path five years ago, what would you say?
Mr. Castelnuovo: Based on the resources I had 5 years ago, I would probably stay on a similar path. I don't believe that every game needs to be freemium to be successful. The thing that makes the App Store more stable than other competing platforms is that there are a lot of opportunities across different business models. There is definitely great success among freemium titles but most people don't see the effort that goes into those titles when it comes to user acquisition and balancing their economy. The $0.99 price point is nice in the way that if the game has buzz, you will have sales. There is no danger in making it to the top of the free list yet not making money because you failed to balance your currency systems. Paymium is starting to take root as a good alternative to freemium. Also, many games are doing well at the premium price point such as Warhammer and XCOM.
148Apps: What have you seen on the App Store, outside of apps you were associated with, that has surprised you most?
Mr. Castelnuovo: My biggest surprise is how stubborn large publishers are in not bringing premium content to the App Store. I really don't understand why a publisher would create a Vita or 3DS game and not plan on bringing it to iOS. Even Square Enix, which has a pretty good iOS portfolio of games, chooses to not bring their latest and greatest to the platform. Final Fantasy Dimensions is an incredibly lame game compared to what they release on other platforms.
148Apps: Any predictions on what the App Store will be like five years from now?
Mr. Castelnuovo: I don't see any major shakeups happening. I hope to see more premium games, the release of XCOM was heartening but the port quality was somewhat lacking. I also hope that Apple improves discovery. I would like to have a system that is similar to how Spotify works. I want to be able to publish lists of my favorite apps. My favorite Runners, favorite RPGs, favorite developers, etc. and give our fans a way to subscribe to those lists.
The Best App Ever Awards have been around ever since ever since the App Store first came into being five years ago. Each year the best of the best have been culled from hundreds (even thousands) of releases. This list represents five years worth of winners, as decided by Best App Ever readers. Five years worth of apps and games that have been chosen above all others due to their all-around awesomeness. Five of the Best Apps Ever.
Here they are.
Shazam (Shazam Entertainment)
A lot of people were pretty excited when the iPhone first came out, and it was apps like Shazam that helped to keep them that way. In a time when smartphones were being scoffed at, being able to hold your phone up to a speaker and have it identify whatever song is currently playing was pretty freaking impressive. It goes so far beyond kitschy stuff like virtual lighters or photo booths. This is an app that serves an incredibly useful purpose; especially for those of us who enjoy finding new music.
2008 was the App Store’s first year, and even then there was no shortage of great apps and games for iOS users to enjoy. The likes of eWallet, Fieldrunners, Facebook, and Rolando were all exemplary nominees. However, in the end they just weren’t able to compete with the ability to identify any song that’s playing on the radio, in a store, or wherever else. It’s simply too handy.
Pocket God (Bolt Creative)
I don’t want to be presumptuous, but Bolt Creative may very well be responsible for creating the current “Feel like something’s missing? Wait for an update!” environment that has overtaken the App Store. With 47 (47!!!) episodes released to date, Pocket God is just might be the most thoroughly supported app in the world. This funky sandbox of wrongness has seen so many tweaks and changes over the years that it provides users with mini-games that cover almost every single popular genre on the App Store.
2009 was very close, but Pocket God managed to take first place over apps like 2Do and Twitter, and some wonderful games like Real Racing and Flight Control. Perhaps it was due to all the diversity inherent in all those episodes, or maybe people just really like torturing small virtual islanders. Whatever the reason, Bolt Creative captured a lot of hearts (and probably zapped them with lightning or tossed them to the sharks) that year.
Angry Birds (Rovio Entertainment Ltd)
Say and think what you will about Angry Birds and its current cultural phenomenon status; it’s still a clever game. Rovio’s little physics puzzler that could took the App Store by storm and has continued to do so with multiple spin-offs. Often duplicated, never replicated, this little bird-chucking game has solidified the genre as something synonymous with mobile gaming. There’s even one version that uses the “Star Wars” license. Honestly, there aren’t many other iOS games that can make that claim, and even fewer that aren’t directly affiliated with Lucasarts one way or another.
2010 saw the inclusion of a number of fantastic iOS games to the awards. Games like Infinity Blade, Real Racing 2, and Solipskier are all wonderful in their own right. That makes it all the more impressive so see them, and second place nominee Pocket Legends get edged out by a game about loading birds into a slingshot. Don’t underestimate the power of simple yet addictive gameplay.
Jetpack Joyride (Halfbrick Studios)
Barry Steakfries wasn’t new to the App Store when Jetpack Joyride was released, but it is the game that cemented his mobile celebrity status. Barry’s hijacking of a jetpack made of machine guns wasn’t exactly groundbreaking in terms of gameplay (think a hybrid of endless runners and classic corridor flying games like Copter), but Halfbrick polished the heck out of all the mechanics and absolutely overloaded it with personality. To this day it’s still one of the best examples of “just one more try” games on iOS.
2011 was a great year for iOS gamers. Infinity Blade II, World of Goo, Tiny Tower, Where’s My Water, and a whole lot more all made the list. To see little ol’ Barry with his impossible flying machine sitting above them all is a great indication of just how powerful and compulsive an extremely well-made endless game can be. Especially on a mobile platform.
Walking Dead: The Game (Telltale Games)
Telltale’s adventure games have been a bit hit-and-miss over the years, but pretty much everyone felt The Walking Dead was a major hit. Lee’s tale won over many a stone-hearted gamer, and the iOS release more or less cemented Apple’s mobile devices as viable gaming platforms. Making the tough choices isn’t any easier when it’s on a smaller screen, that’s for sure.
2012 was another great year; with games like Punch Quest and Outwitters, and apps like Clear and Action Movie FX narrowly edged out. It’s a testament to how far the App Store has come to see so many great and diverse offerings listed. And it’s a testament to Telltale Games’ ability to craft an incredible story about equally incredible characters to see Walking Dead: The Game come out on top.
Bolt Creative has released new screenshots to its upcoming game Ooga Jump, an endless jumper that's set in the Pocket God universe, reports Touch Arcade. Ooga Jump will have players attempting high scores and will launch will three areas, Jungle, Underworld, and Space, which can be seen in the newly available screenshots.
Today, Ape Entertainment and Bolt Creative announced that Pocket God Comics issue No. 19 is now available. This is the final issue in a five part story arc called Gem Cell Research. Pocket God Comics gets updated an a frequent basis, and includes such goodies as The Pygmy Peril Newsletter and a remastered version of the first Pocket God animated video.
There are answers to questions in this issue - like what IS that seaweed creature? But when the answers are uncovered more questions pop up – like, really, what IS that seaweed creature??? Also, what happened with the Girls’ gem? Whereas it’s the relationships that help bind the tribes together, it’s the relationships that might also pull them apart! You just have to check out the story as Gem Cell Research comes to its crashing conclusion!
So Pocket God has been a complete success. This is no real secret. The original game - with all its pygmy torture and ridiculous amount of mini-games that cover just about every popular genre on the App Store - continues to receive plenty of updates (and accolades!), it’s spawned a sequel of sorts, comics, and now an official theme song! Written by Parry Gripp, no less.
The Pygmy Theme made its first aural appearance in Episode 45: Dance Dance Execution and has been so well received by the fans that Bolt Creative has made it available for download on iTunes. Don’t fret; the song will also see Google Play, Amazon mp3, and Zune releases “… in the coming weeks.”
The tune can be had here for a mere $0.99, and I have to admit it’s pretty catchy. But don’t just take my word for it. Check out the surprisingly awesome music video below and hear for yourself. Pygmies! Pygmies!
The End of Days draws nearer. But rather than dwell on the inevitable destruction of the world, the Pygmies have been given a bit of a reprieve. Bolt Creative’s newest update to their sandbox of death involves a Pygmies-only dance club. Being Pocket God it should come as no surprise that the club comes with its own set of unique perils. It’s not called Dance Dance Execution for nothing.
Players can pull a balloon down from the ceiling and give it to a pygmy who will promptly suck out the helium and start to ramble a-la David After Dentist. Silly as that might be, the real fun can be found on the dance floor. Dragging a pygmy onto it will begin a Dance Dance Revolution-style mini-game in which the proper arrows must be matched or a massive disco ball will drop down and crush the little semi-naked rug cutter.
An all-new Dance Pack (available for $0.99) rounds out the new stuff, and includes more dance moves for the pygmies. Dropping one of them into the hanging go-go cage will get them boogying to a number of tunes, including the Pocket God theme. Pocket God Episode 45: Dance Dance Execution is live and available to download right now. So Macarena on over to the App Store and get to it.
No doom and gloom for the pygmies this time around. At least, not on a global scale. The Pocket God Comics app is getting an update (or rather just got one by the time this ends up being readable) including the 16th issue and a fairly major tweaking to the store’s interface.
In this latest episode, the girls need to fix their raft with a laser. Sure, that makes perfect sense. The catch is they can only get one by catching a laser shark. Oddly that makes a little more sense. And, of course, mayhem and hilarity shall ensue as the pygmies attempt to bag a very large, toothy, and heavily armed fish. The app itself (pictured above) should also be much more navigable. New issues, featured releases, Top Titles and more will be right up there on the main page for all to see and access. It’s looking pretty slick all things considered.
By the time people start reading this, the update should be live. Assuming there are some folks out there who don’t own the app yet, it’s also available for the incredibly low (and obnoxiously expected) price of $0.99.
2012 is still in full-swing and the Earth is still in one piece (more or less), so Bolt Creative is unleashing another catastrophe on an unsuspecting group of pygmies. Okay realistically they're probably anything but "unsuspecting," seeing as horrific tragedy is more common in their lives than breathing. Still, a new update has gone live and it involves nasty buzzing things. Those are always lovely.
Pocket God Episode 44: The Perfect Swarm unlocks a new door in the Apocalypse Island temple. An ominous door (okay, okay, they're all ominous). A door leading to the lair of the Locust Queen. Inside, players can feed pygmies to the rather robust monarch or press out swarms of baby bugs to play with. Literally. This locust swarm can be directly controlled in order to smother, devour or even mutate the poor little fellas as much as anyone could want. But of course there's more to it. As per usual there's also a new skin pack, this time with an uber-nerd theme. I have to say, there.s something alluring about changing the moon into a twenty-sided die or switching the sand sculpture for an arcade cabinet. And even that's not the end of it. In a similarly expectant fashion, Pocket God Comics is getting its fifteenth issue titled Gem Cell Research. Hilarity no doubt ensues.
These new updates are live now. Feel free to open up the App Store app and start downloading. Or stop resisting and buy them already. There's also that.
Pocket God is still going strong, blasting right through update number forty-three (43!). The newest episode, "Killing Time," deals with the kind of stuff that turned Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Deloreans and use of the word "paradox" into national phenomena. In other words, it has to do with futzing around with time. Like time, time. Not wasting a few minutes at the bus stop, time. Players will be able to visit the new Apocalypse Island, home of a multi-roomed temple that includes a time-shifting chamber. It also houses a creepy Aztec calendar that's counting down to 11:11am, December 21st, 2012.
This is just the first of many apocalypse-themed updates, according to Bolt. Each of the temple's many rooms features some sort of Armageddon-like power, each to be opened with future updates, but at the moment no other specifics have been revealed. Bolt will be continuing to release more doomsday content over the course of the next 10 months. Hopefully they'll be able to move on to a new theme after that, assuming the world still exists.
Pocket God in all its dark-humored glory can, as usual, be downloaded from the App Store for $0.99. The other 95% of iOS users who already own it can simply update it like they normally would to get the new stuff.
Pocket God Comics, issues 12 & 13, are available now in the App Store. Issue number 13 is the end to the "A Quest Called Tribe," story-arc, begun in issue number 10, in which a female pygmy has convinced the boy pygmies to head deep under the water to find her missing tribe. Interestingly, no one dies in either of these issues; it's up to readers to decide if this is good or bad.
The comic is based on Bolt Creative's Pocket God, one of the more successful apps on the App Store. The full color comic itself just passed the 500,000 download mark - with each issue coming in at around $0.99 (bundles can be purchased for a smaller per-issue price), we're sure the folks responsible for the comic are happy.
The comics are available on the App Store now courtesy of iVerse Media, the digital partner of Ape Entertainment, itself the owner of several comic book properties, such as Shrek, Casper and Strawberry Shortcake. As with all the other Pocket God comics, these issues will also be available from your local comic shop as a print comic.
Pocket God continues to build on its phenomenal success with update after update, giving players a ton of content for very litte outlay. Developer Dave Castlenuevo and the gang at Bolt Creative continue to spearhead efforts to release frequent episodic updates. The last one was in October of this year.
Episode 42, entitled Bone Soup, unlocks the powers of the underwater pyramid, itself released back in October with Episode 41: I Sting the Body Electric. The new pyramid powers include the elements of fire, ice, oil, and acid, and air, allowing players to unleash them upon the poor Pygmies to comedic and fatal effect. Check out the video below to see how this will play out:
But wait, there's more! In addition to a new Candyland skin pack that lets gamers festoon their islands with holiday-flavored treats, Episode 42 adds another annual new Fishmas dance to Pocket God. This year’s edition, titled “12 Days of Fishmas,” can be seen at the video just below - it's a fun and fatal animated short that has a bit of a sneak peak at the next Bolt Creative game as well - Pocket God: The Runs!
Pocket God Episode 42: Bone Soup will release as an update tomorrow to all current owners of the Pocket God app, while the app still costs a extremely affordable $0.99 - an amazing deal considering the vast amounts of content within it.
It's amazing how certain iOS games can just explode into our culture, isn't it? It happened with Angry Birds, which spawned more than a few spin-offs, merchandise and even a cartoon. The sadistic little app from Bolt Creative about the lovably doomed island of pygmies has also been bitten by the success bug. Since its release, Pocket God has seen a ton of content updates, a follow-up with its own metric ton of additions, and a digital comic. Each of these three things have been incredibly popular, but it's the success of the comic we're talking about now.
On the heels of a major milestone achievement (500 thousand plus downloads) and a new update (issue #11) comes even better news. Pocket God Comics, in collaboration with Free App A Day (FAAD), is on sale for absolutely free for the next two days. Well technically FAAD is responsible for Thursday's sale, while MonsterFreeApps is handling Friday. Anyway, from the 8th through the 9th, the now 11 issue strong digital comic app will be available for zilch. Nothing. Nada. Zip.
Great games, great reads, great regular prices and an even greater sale. Honestly, aside from a general discomfort derived from the violent demises of cartoon islanders, I can't think of a legitimate reason for anyone to miss this sale. It's looking to be one fantastic weekend.
Ordinarily, it would sound pretty arrogant to suggest that a mere update to a game could quite easily be sold as a full title. When the update in question is for Pocket God however, then it becomes distinctly more plausible.
Since its release over 2 years ago, Pocket God has turned into a hugely successful phenomenon and one that has consistently evolved thanks to its many updates over the years. This time round is arguably the biggest update yet with a game within a game added to the Universal version of the title. That game? It's called Decapithon and it's very much like arcade platformers of old.
Much like everything else in Pocket God, Decapithon is easy to access with players simply moving over to the graveyard island and dropping a pygmy into the teleporter. In that teleporter, Pocket God turns into a whole new game but with all the fun and splendour that we've come to expect.
Players tilt their iPad to move from left to right along the islands and platforms of each level. It's not that simple, though, otherwise that'd be dull. A plentiful supply of the undead get in the way of progressing and players must throw axes at them to chop their heads off. In typical Pocket God fashion, it's still endearingly sweet. Controls are simple to use with tilting left to right moving the pgymy and tapping one of the two buttons to jump. Firing axes is done by tapping in the relevant direction, adding some flexibility to where can be fired at. It's as simple as that meaning that anyone can join in.
Different enemy types emerge to keep things interesting and there's even the prospect of boss battles too. While the humble Pygmy Zombie is pretty easy to defeat with a few tosses of the axe, the Moon Witch can throw acid 'loogies' and the Big Booga is as fearsome as it sounds. It's a satisfying experience and excellent fun. The only annoyance I could really pinpoint is that of the tilt controls. I'm no big fan of them admittedly and with the size of the iPad, it would have been convenient to be able to switch to something button based, especially when playing on the move.
Despite that quibble though, Decapithon is just the kind of game that would easily work as a $0.99 title so as a free update for owners of Pocket God, it's an exceptional addition. It's been touted as one of the most ambitious updates for the game yet and quite rightly so. Fortunately it's paid off with style.
Pocket God: Decapithon is available now as a free update for iPad owners of Pocket God or it's priced at $0.99 for new owners.