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The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Bioshock is the app adaptation of the extremely popular console game. It's loaded with graphic violence and gore, foul language, and the controversial option to harvest "Little Sisters," mutated 10-year-old girls who extract a coveted fluid called "Adam" from dead people. The moral dilemmas of the original game are intact. In fact, this is a complete port of the original, with no material left out, though the graphics are of a much lower quality. It is absolutely a game designed for adults, not children.
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What's it about?
Players walk using a virtual thumbstick on the right side of the screen and look around their environments with one on the left. In fire fights, they must quickly alternate between using special powers and traditional weapons by pressing the appropriate button on the right side of the screen -- and reload or crouch using additional buttons on the left. It makes for a very crowded screen and an often confusing experience.
Is it any good?
There's really no question as to whether BIOSHOCK is a great game. It is. The 2007 original set a new standard for action games. The question is: Can the game survive the transition to mobile? The answer, unfortunately, is not especially well.
Although the game still poses wonderful moral tests and tells an absolutely captivating story, it does so with a significantly reduced graphical fidelity and an absolutely terrible control scheme. Navigating Rapture, the fictional world you explore, is a chore -- and fighting battles (which you do regularly) is difficult, thanks to fast-moving enemies and clumsy virtual thumbpads and an array of on-screen buttons. In addition, the game's load times are overly long, making you wait a long time for levels that ultimately disappoint anyone who has seen the game on another platform. Newcomers to the game might find something to like here (if they can overlook the control issues), but fans of the original who are hoping to recreate the excitement they felt the first time around will only find frustration.