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Rapture - World Conquest Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jordan Minor on November 17th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: WORLD RECORD TIME
Millennia turn to minutes in this frantic strategy game.
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Bioshock Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on August 28th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: POWER OF THE ADAM
Do you love Bioshock? Have you always wanted to be able to play it on the go? Well then your prayers have been answered. More or less.
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Three Reasons Why Being Able to Play Bioshock on Your iOS Device is Okay

Posted by Rob Rich on August 8th, 2014

2K Games has officially announced that Bioshock is coming to mobile. The announcement is an exciting one, although there’s also this pervading sense of worry - even anger - that some seem to have about it. So I’d like to take a few moments to try and explain why being able to play Bioshock on your iOS device ain’t so bad.

1 - Rapture in Your Pocket

Some people have asked me why I’d even want to buy a graphically inferior version of a game I probably already own for as much (or possibly more) than I could buy a “better” version for, and the answer is simple: portability. Of course it looks better on the systems that have high-end specs and lack a 2GB install cap, but I’m not about to drag my console of choice and a TV around with me everywhere I go.

Being able to play Bioshock on my phone - even if it’s not graphically up to par with the other versions - means I can return to Rapture any time I want. If I’m traveling, waiting in line, have downtime and no PC/console handy, and so on, I can simply pull out my phone and start throwing plasmids around.

2 - No In-App Purchases

This is another concern/assumption I’ve seen a lot of and it makes me sad. There’s this automatic (and severely biased/unfair) notion that mobile games must include in-app purchases. This is simply not true. There are a number of premium games on mobile that don’t offer any sort of in-app purchases, a couple of which have even come from 2K Games.

Remember XCOM: Enemy Unknown and Civilization Revolution 2? No in-app purchases. So when 2K says Bioshock won’t feature any in-app purchases there’s little reason to doubt them.

3 - More Games Means More Games

Mobile ports of big-name, AAA games tell us one very important thing: mobile ports of big-name, AAA games are possible.

Just about anyone who doesn’t immediately write-off mobile as a gaming platform (perhaps they were bitten as a child?) will admit to thinking things like “I wish this was on iPhone/iPad, then I could play it whenever I want!” With each successive port of a big-name game, the more likely we are to see more of them. It doesn’t have to be big AAA games, either. There have already been ports of other less 'mass-appeal' favorites like The World Ends With You and Dragon Quest VIII, and in the case of the former the port is even arguably (not really arguably) better than the original.

This is Why BioShock's Soundtrack is Going to Creep You Out

Posted by Jennifer Allen on August 5th, 2014

Much has been said over the years about the wonders of BioShock. The world it offers is fascinating and wondrous. The storyline is grippingly dark and sinister. One thing that's often easy to overlook, because it blends in so perfectly, is the soundtrack.

While the original soundtrack for BioShock is delightfully foreboding at regular points, it's often the subtle introduction of familiar tracks from days gone by that really makes you tense.

The most iconic of the bunch is Bobby Darin's 'Beyond the Sea.' Full of lyrics like "Somewhere beyond the sea, she's there watching for me" and "My heart will lead me there soon", out of context, it sounds romantic and sweet. Walking down the corridors of Rapture and hearing it in the distance, you're pretty afraid as to what's about to get you. Liked the song beforehand? Don't expect to hear it in the same light ever again.

It's a similar tale for kids' favorite, '(How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window?.' As a child, it's cute and fun. As an adult playing BioShock for the first time, it'll unnerve you to your core. Why is that music playing on repeat in an empty nursery? What the heck is going on? BioShock builds that tension to delicious levels.

'Danny Boy' is another one. So iconic, so familiar. It's always had a sense of melancholy to it but there's threat within those words when tied into the world of Rapture. Context has rarely been so important in a game until now.

Soon enough, even seemingly innocuous delights such as 'Papa Loves Mambo' and 'It Had to Be You' start having an edge to them. The beauty to BioShock is that it makes you question everything, even seemingly pleasant music. The sheer fact that you know this music and probably equate it with happier memories just makes it all the more unnerving.

BioShock isn't just a game that gets inside your head because of its storyline. It gets there by subverting just how you feel about such musical hits. Even years after first playing it, I can hear Bobby Darin's 'Beyond the Sea' when in a restaurant or just out and about, and I'll go straight back to those opening moments of BioShock.

When BioShock arrives on iOS, make sure you stick those headphones in - it's going to be an essential part of the experience. In the meantime, why not get yourself acquainted with it via a Spotify playlist?

2K Games Chose the Impossible - Bioshock is Coming to iOS This Summer

Posted by Rob Rich on August 4th, 2014

The original Bioshock is pretty much the greatest video game adaptation of an Ayn Rand novel in existence. It’s also a pretty darn awesome game in its own right. And it’s coming to iOS later this summer.

No joke: Bioshock on iOS is a direct port of the classic first-person adventure/shooter. The whole game - all the areas, enemies, dialogue, memorable moments, hidden cats, etc - has been made to work on the iPhone and iPad. There’s even that odd dip in the right-hand staircase in the lighthouse when you find the bathysphere.

The visuals have been scaled-back a bit, of course. Otherwise there’s no way it would clock in at just under Apple’s maximum download size of 2GB. That’s not to say it looks bad, though. There may not be dynamic shadows or fog effects, and the textures may be a lower resolution, but Rapture still the super-creepy underwater dystopia we’ve all come to know and love.

The port supports MFi and other bluetooth controllers, but also sports a set of touch controls that have been optimized for the experience. Naturally a controller is the more comfortable of the two options when it comes to a game like this, but the touch interface is about as accessible as I could’ve hoped for.

Bioshock doesn’t have a concrete release date or price just yet, but it will be available later this Summer as a premium release with no in-app purchases.