About This Place

First started in late 2007, Kasey's Mobile Game Review (then just a regular feature of Kasey's Korner) started as a simul-post between here and IGN. Later I realized there's no reason to post it twice, when I can use the traffic on my own site. so, here we are, in 2010, and the mobile game industry has grown a bit. What do you think?

KMGR of Bioshock (part 1)

BioShock box artImage via Wikipedia
Bioshock gets adapted to mobile, and for the most part, the game's spirit is preserved, though it feels quite a bit simpler, and shorter. Also, using the environment is minimized, and there is no watching the two sides fight and you pick off the survivors. It is also short, as it ends right where Atlas found the sub destroyed by Ryan. There supposedly will be a part 2 and probably part 3, so we shall see.

Bioshock mobile is essentially a 2D shooter with two "types" of weapons... plasmids, and physical weapons. you are Jack, whose plane have crashed in the middle of the Atlantic, and you found a small island with a lighthouse. You found a bathysphere inside, and you take it to descend into the depths... and found an underwater city called Rapture. Atlas talk to you via intercome and apparently wants to keep you alive. You also find bits and pieces of "diary" that tells you the backstory of the place. The whole place is nuts... different splicers are fighting each other, and "Big Brothers / Little Sisters" roam the place, sucking up ADAM from all living (or ex-living) creatures, including the splicers. Atlas wants you to help him get to his family at the sub pens.

Plasmids are basically genetic enhancements that give you some sort of superpower, such as throwing fire, or electric bolts, or even telekinesis, and possibly others. There are also weapons: pistols, wrench, shotgun, or even a Tommy Gun (machine gun in the game), each gun with 3 types of ammo (generic, good against people, good against machines), and later, ability to "enhance" the weapon! You can also combine a plasmid attack with a regular attack. For exmaple, some splicers are vunlerable to electric shocks. Once shocked, wrenches do extra damage.

You need to loot the bodies for anything useful, and try to "hack" the safes, vending machines, and more. And this minigame is the same as the one in the console/PC game, similar to Pipe Dreams where you need to swap out pipes to redirect the "flow" of fluids. You can even hack turrets and and security cams. There are also occasional 'automatic hacks' you can deploy to bypass the hack sequence.

If you defeat "Big Brothers" you can choose to kill the little sister for her ADAM, or just "rescue" her and get less ADAM. ADAM can be traded for enhancements for yourself, such as additional slots for the "gene tonics", "plasmids", and other enhancements. You can find some as you advance, or you can buy them from certain machines using either "dollars" you gather, or ADAM you collected.

The problem with this game is the paths are not very clear. The game tries to lock you out of areas you should not go to, but not all of it. So if you find enemies that are way too hard, you missed some areas you need to explore. Lack of minimap makes that difficult. Also, while all of the stuff in Bioshock are in, the mobile version is far less complicated, making most of the stuff unnecessary or way too powerful. I finished most of part 1 with weapons only, only rarely resorting to plasmids. It's as if a lot of the game is superfluous.

Another problem is the game was designed for a regular numpad, and thus is not very easy to use on a phone with QWERTY keyboard. The plasmid attack key is mapped to 7, and weapon key mapped to 9. Makes sense on a numpad, but not a QWERTY keyboard, where all the numbers are on the TOP!

Overall, Bioshock (part 1) mobile is a pretty good attempt to shrink down Bioshock FPS into a 2D mobile shooter. However, in doing so, they retained a lot of the complexity without actually USING much of the complexity. As a result, it's got the flavor, but not the substance of Bioshock.

Overall rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: got a lot of the flavor of the console/PC game
Cons: not much of the substance of the game though
Verdict: worth a try, but you'd be better off with the real thing
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