| BioShock (2D)

When you move to a new town, getting used to the fundamentals of life - where you shop, eat or work - takes some time. When the town in question happens to be underwater, then things tend to get a little trickier.

BioShock's sodden metropolis, otherwise known as Rapture, is a home like no other. You never feel safe, you never feel remotely comfortable and, more than anything, you'd be worried if you did.

Of course, there will be those who find adjusting to day to day life in this utopia-gone-wrong just that little bit easier. For those who sampled 2K's first-person foray on PC or console back in 2007, IGFun's city in the sea treads the same path. This isn't a new chapter in the BioShock franchise or some kind of offshoot side-story. It is, quite simply, the same tale, only this time told on your mobile.

Mysteriously surviving a plane crash in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean in 1960, you end up fighting your way through Rapture's seemingly boundless halls and corridors, fending off genetically modified and mutated humans (otherwise known as 'splicers') – all of whom suffer from the after effects of ingesting the city's revolutionary lifeblood, Adam.

Adam runs through your veins too, and your main goal - apart from merely surviving - is to track down 'Little Sisters' who harvest the substance from the city's population of dead bodies.

Getting a one-on-one with these small girls means taking out their bodyguards - the sturdy and physically menacing 'Big Daddies'. What you choose to do with the Sisters afterwards, saving them or harvesting them for further Adam, is BioShock's enduring question.

Who can tell right from wrong in a world that shouldn't even exist?

When it comes to both the Big Daddies and mutated splicers that litter the path, it's best to utilise a dual approach, making use of both the weapons you pick up (ranging from a wrench to an assortment of guns) and the increasing number of 'plasmids' that turn your Adam into an effective range of abilities - firing off electric bolts, setting your rivals on fire or moving objects with your mind.

Indeed, almost everything from your arsenal to the layout of the levels calls heavily upon the source material, although IGFun's Rapture is viewed from above, rather than the original game's first-person perspective.

Nevertheless, life in 2D BioShock retains much of the original's mystique. The game's focus on drip-feeding its resplendent plot remains, and the taped diaries recorded during Rapture's fall from it's status as an underwater Eden help illustrate the many sides of one huge, stirring story.

But it's this determination to be faithful to what was always a mammoth title that turns what could have been a new benchmark for mobile adventuring into a slightly pale attempt to stretch the format beyond its means.

Said diaries are delivered via a run of scrolling text that displays at the bottom of the screen. This is fine when all is quiet, but given that splicers haunt almost every corridor, defending yourself mid-battle becomes your priority. Focusing on the game's story trailing away at the edge of your vision becomes almost impossible.

Miss one diary and you've essentially lost the plot, so to speak. BioShock's story, perhaps more so than any of its rivals, is fundamental to your enjoyment and motivation. Stripping it away in this manner doesn't befit the rest of the game, which offers some hugely expansive and rewarding action.

It was, perhaps, a little ambitious to try and replicate BioShock's tale in such a loyal manner in this release, though even attempting it shows the respect IGFun has paid this version: this is no cheap cash in.

Nonetheless, BioShock has the potential to bamboozle newcomers from the start and may well leave many scratching their head. The mere suggestion that anyone might miss out on what is a huge and sincerely beautiful title because the story has run away means this visit to Rapture isn't quite as luminous as it should have been.

That said, anyone who has already roamed BioShock's dank passageways over the last couple of years will find this repeat visit just as unwelcoming, in all the right ways.


Honourably loyal to its console cousin yet a little too ambitious for its own good, BioShock offers a huge and pervasive adventure – if you can keep pace with its plot, that is
Keith Andrew
Keith Andrew
With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font. He's also Pocket Gamer's resident football gaming expert and, thanks to his work on, monitors the market share of all mobile OSes on a daily basis.