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Send Your Hatch Pet to Pocket God: Ooga Jump, Courtesy of a New Update

Posted by Jennifer Allen on June 19th, 2014
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

A rather impressive new update for pet care sim, Hatch, has just been released. In conjunction with the folks behind Pocket God: Ooga Jump, players can now take their pet from Hatch and use it to bounce around in Pocket God: Ooga Jump. I can't recall any other game being able to do such a thing, so that's pretty cool for fans of both.

As well as that, Hatch now has new blankets, two new decor themes, and a whole bunch of bug fixes. Oh, plus it's on sale for the first time ever, priced at $0.99. What are you waiting for?

Hatch is available now on the App Store, currently priced at $0.99.

Pocket God: Ooga Jump Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on October 31st, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: BOUNCING FUN
It doesn't revolutionize the vertical jumping genre, but that doesn't stop Pocket God: Ooga Jump being pleasant fun.
Read The Full Review »

Pocket God: Ooga Jump Takes Pygmies to New Heights, Jumps Onto the App Store Next Week

Posted by Andrew Stevens on October 24th, 2013

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.

5 Years and Counting - The App Store Then and Now

Posted by Rob Rich on July 12th, 2013

Over one million apps have made their way onto the App Store during its five years of existence. A million. That's a pretty miraculous number when you think about it. However it's not the amount of apps we have to pick from that I find so fascinating, but rather just how much things have changed since 2008. Pickings were comparatively slim at first, and many developers were just starting to dip a toe in the waters of Apple's new smartphone.

On top of that, the technology itself has changed tremendously in a relatively small amount of time. It makes me wonder if anyone from 2008 would even recognize current iOS devices, and by extension the App Store. Would a newer Apple initiate have any idea what they were looking at if they somehow managed to take a trip to five years ago? I think it warrants a look at how the hardware, the App Store, and the apps contained within it have evolved.

2008 - The Beginning of the Beginning

The App Store's first year was a rough but promising one. The iPhone 3G rolled out to coincide with Apple’s new software venue and the original iPhone was still viable. The iPod touch was also present and accounted for, while the second generation appeared closer to the end of the year. Even at this point many developers were eager to push these early iOS devices to their limits, to make them more than just a phone or an .mp3 player with a fancy screen.

Handy apps like Pandora Radio, Last.FM, Facebook, and Yelp were to be expected, but that didn't make them any less impressive to have on a handheld platform. Others such as the intuitive personal organizer Evernote, the eerily accurate song-identifying app Shazam, eWallet’s convenient and secure account password management, and MLB At Bat with its extensive baseball coverage further capitalized on the particulars of the hardware and its general portability. Of course there were also some pretty unnecessary options out there, too. Flashlight kind of served a purpose but was also fairly pointless. It wasn't as bad as stuff like More Cowbell!, though.

At the same time, the games available on the App Store were beginning to show people that "mobile" didn't have to equal "mediocre." Sure there were a few simple ports of the odd classic such as Ms. PAC-MAN, Vay, and Scrabble, but there were also some impressive iOS renditions of popular console games like Super Monkey Ball coming out. Potential mobile gamers also had a few really special titles such as Galcon and Fieldrunners to tide them over. When all was said and done there were over 7,500 apps on the App Store by the end of the year, with more being added every day.

2009 - Moving Right Along

The following year saw even more impressive releases as Apple's digital marketplace began to expand. The second generation of iPod Touch was the bright and shiny new toy at the time, but it was followed shortly by the iPhone 3GS in June while the latest and greatest third generation Touch closed out the year in September. It all meant better processors, better CPUs, more advanced operating systems, and so on. All stuff that developers needed to acclimate to, but also stuff that meant they could push their boundaries even further. There was no loss of steam when it came to content, either: the App Store finished off 2009 with well over 100,000 apps available.

Many of the basic smartphone necessities were covered, but there was room for so much more. Especially while the technology was improving. Plenty of people used their iPhones as phones, sure, but with the addition of Skype they were able to enjoy the added functionality of instant messaging and voice chat without cutting into their data plans (so long as a wifi connection was present). Big companies were really starting to take notice as well. That same year Starbucks and many other big businesses threw their virtual hats into the ring with their own apps designed to make life a little bit easier for their iOS-using customers. Practicality was also becoming an even bigger focus. The Kindle app gave iOS users a practical e-reading option, and Dropbox was there being Dropbox. By which I mean "an awesome and super-convenient way to transfer files between multiple platforms." And this same level of refinement could be seen creeping into the games as well.

So many of the App Store's most notable games and franchises came out around this time. It was almost a mobile rennaisence of a sort. This was the year Real Racing first blew mobile gamers' minds, even causing some of them to question the legitimacy of in-game video footage until they were able to see the finished product for themselves. Zenonia was just a fledgling action RPG at the time, and while a lot of people liked it I doubt they knew just how many sequels it would spawn. The same goes for Pocket God, although with updates rather than multiple releases. Flight Control began to eat away at peoples' free time, Angry Birds and Doodle Jump hit it big (like, super big), and Myst and The Sims 3 further displayed the potential for major releases on mobile platforms. Oh, and Canabalt almost single-handedly invented and popularized a genre.

App Store Fifth Anniversary: Top 20 Landmark iOS Games

Posted by Rob LeFebvre on July 9th, 2013
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarstar :: Best Racer Ever :: Read Review »

While games may not be the largest percentage of apps in the App Store (non-games lead the way overwhelmingly), they are the most popular single category, with over 151,000 active games in the App Store as of this month, according to 148Apps.biz.

One could argue, and indeed I will, that games are the most transformative type of app in the App Store, bringing a quality of play to iOS devices previously impossible to achieve. As 148Apps staffers have been heard to proclaim, there are over 1.2 billion thumbs waiting to play games on these crafty little devices.

Of course, there have been landmark games since the App Store went live in 2008, titles that create, extend, and improve on the current state of the art. Here then, are the top 20 of those games, as chosen by your App Experts at 148Apps.

Doodle Jump - This one started the jumping game craze, inspiring a host of clones and imitators along the way.
Angry Birds - Need we say more? The grumpy avians have taken over the public consciousness.
Tiny Wings - Not just another bird game, Tiny Wings showed us how one mechanic, brilliantly executed, could take an unknown designer to untold heights.

Candy Crush Saga - Good heavens we still get a lot of invites for this casual, money-printing game.
Clash of Clans - Say what you will about free to play, but this game has gotten it right.
Tiny Tower - Nimblebit hit the jackpot here with a smart combination of tower building and free to play retro gaming.

Temple Run - If anyone deserved to have a huge hit, it's the folks at Imangi Studios, who have been pushing the boundaries of quality gaming from the beginning. This one created the 3D endless runner genre at a breakneck speed!
Puzzles & Dragons - Another free to play darling, this one gets all the elements right to keep players entertained and paying.
Where's My Water? - Disney's breakout hit, with a new IP (intellectual property) and a fiendishly addictive mechanic.

Pocket God - 47 updates later, still going strong and keeping kids of all ages entertained and laughing.
Minecraft Pocket Edition - The surprise PC hit the iPhone like a ton of cube-shaped bricks, letting crafters and miners of all stripe build and explore on the go.
Words with Friends - Scrabble with people you know. What's not to like? This one started the "with friends" genre with a bang.
Draw Something - Super successful, super quick, leading Zynga to buy the developer for a landmark price.

Infinity Blade - This game set the bar high for utter gorgeousness and a fighting mechanic that still sees itself in current games on the App Store, some two and a half years later.
Canabalt - Heard of the endless runner genre? Canabalt started it all with a one-touch game that exploded onto the scene in 2009 and has remained in the collective imagination ever since.
Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP - This one proves again and again that the indie spirit can be captured and distributed via mobile, with a game that may never have gotten noticed on the bigger consoles.
Galaxy on Fire 2 - This space exploration and dogfighting game set the standard for utter gorgeousness, as well as finding a way to build a space sim on a tiny mobile device.

Spaceteam - Don't forget to flush the four-stroke plucker! Wait, what? Play this game with a few of your (drinking) friends, and you'll see what multiplayer party games *should* be like.
Real Racing - Still the gold standard for racing games on a mobile platform, the original game hit the starting line in 2011, with sequels upping the ante on visuals, controls, and profitability.
Super Hexagon - If you hate yourself, play this brutally difficult yet strangely compelling arcade game and thank indie developer Terry Cavanaugh in the morning.

App Store Insiders: Dave Castelnuovo of Bolt Creative, Creators of Pocket God

Posted by Jeff Scott on July 9th, 2013

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.

A big thanks to Mr. Castelnuovo for his time. Bold Creative has published Pocket God, Pocket God: Journey to Uranus, and the Pocket God Comics apps on the App Store.

The Best App Ever Awards - 5 Years Worth of Winners

Posted by Rob Rich on July 8th, 2013

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.

Pocket God Returns With Part 2 Of The Pygmies Strike Back

Posted by Andrew Stevens on April 25th, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: SHORT BUT SWEET :: Read Review »

The Pygmies return today with part 2 of The Pygmies Strike Back. The tribes are split up on separate missions and are facing danger around every corner. Issue 22 can be downloaded straight from the Pocket God Comics App, for $0.99 cents.

Find Out What Nooby and the Gang Are Up To In Pocket God 21

Posted by Rob LeFebvre on February 28th, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: SHORT BUT SWEET :: Read Review »

Click to see full size.
There's a new issue out in Pocket God Digital Comics app today, which begins a five-part story arc about a mysterious force that is hunting Pygmies. Check out issue 21 today, right from the Pocket God Comics app, which will still run you a buck for this and all the back issues, newsletters, and such that come along with your purchase.

The Pygmies Strike Back, Part 1 of 5.
After Nooby hogged the spotlight all last issue, this time everyone gets a bit of attention. But of course, in the world of POCKET GOD, a bit of attention can be Dangerous! The tribes have figured out that someone or someTHING is hunting them. So it’s Fight or Flight time! And the group is split about how to deal with that.

And what about that mysterious artifact-thingy that Nooby found last issue? How will that play into the decision?

This story kicks off the new arc that will divide the tribes like never before!

Get Your Exclusive Artwork From The Latest Pocket God Digital Comic Right Here

Posted by Rob LeFebvre on December 19th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: SHORT BUT SWEET :: Read Review »

Pocket God digital comics are still going strong, and we've got two pages of artwork from the latest one-shot holiday special, "Ghost of Fishmas Past," to share with you right here. You can get the new issue as an in-app purchase form the Pocket God Comics app, as well as some sweet extras along the way.

Hop on board for one wild ride! We finally get a chance to see the world inside Nooby’s head. And you KNOW that’s going to be a party! …That boy ain’t right! You may have noticed Nooby go storming off as Gem Cell Research came to a crashing conclusion. Now we get to see where he went….and WHY. It’s a Trippy Fishmas for sure! Merry Fishmas everybody!

Click the title of this post to check the gallery for our exclusive pages, and be sure to grab the comic from the app store above. Merry Fishmas!


Apocalypse, Ow! Is The Final Pocket God Update Ever

Posted by Rob LeFebvre on December 19th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarstar :: A GOD AMONG APPS :: Read Review »

Seminal episodic app, Pocket God, is coming to the end of its long run with what Bolt Creative is calling the final update, ever. Pocket God Episode 47: Apocalypse, Ow! is available now with some interesting features. A new game is set to come out next year, Pocket God: The Runs, and the digital comic series shows no signs of ending, yet, either, so you'll still be able to get your dose of Pocket God Pygmy goodness after this final chapter.

The end times have come to the Pygmies of Pocket God, and the apocalypse brings with it friends new and old. Pocket God Episode 47: Apocalypse, Ow! opens up the Apocalypse Temple’s final room, the Closet Room, where a strange, couch-jumping, closet-hiding Pygmy named Tom holds the key to kick-starting the end of days. Forget the Mayans; it turns out that Hollywood’s pesky scientologists were behind the Apocalypse all along!

Back on the island, players can access the Closet Room and use the device within to release Thetans into the world. These pesky spirits may be cute, but they aren't all fun. Coax Tom out of the closet (…literally) and bring him to the front of the Apocalypse Temple to open up the Xenu room, where Tom and a baby Pygmy combine to form the dictator of the Galactic Confederacy himself, the terrible Xenu. Turns out L. Ron Hubbard was on to something!

App Update: Ewwww! Germs of Endearment Hits Pocket God With Episode 46

Posted by Rob LeFebvre on September 26th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarstar :: A GOD AMONG APPS :: Read Review »

The pygmies are back, and they're sicker than ever--literally.

Please keep in mind that this daunting affliction is not limited to just Pygmies; all forms of life on every island, including gigantic apes, poo-slinging monkeys, hungry T-Rexes, and sharks with laser beams, run the risk of contracting this perilous malady. Even non-organic, inanimate objects can be contaminated, so exercise caution when using an outhouse, borrowing fishing poles, playing the bongos, and more.

Rockin’! Pocket God’s The Pygmy Theme Pops Up on iTunes

Posted by Rob Rich on July 13th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarstar :: A GOD AMONG APPS :: Read Review »

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!

Pygmies Get Their Groove on (or Die) in the Latest Pocket God Update

Posted by Rob Rich on June 1st, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarstar :: A GOD AMONG APPS :: Read Review »

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.

Pocket God Comics Getting Another Issue and a Substantial Facelift

Posted by Rob Rich on May 9th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: SHORT BUT SWEET :: Read Review »

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.