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Full, original BioShock hits iPhone, iPad this summer

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The art deco-infused introspection of the original BioShock is coming to the iPad and iPhone, and it's really good.

To be more specific, when played with a Bluetooth controller, the port of the 2007 Irrational title is a mesmerizing experience, an almost seamless replay of the original game on console.

But there are a few differences, some deliberate and some maybe not.

The port was created by 2K China, the same team that so successfully brought the full XCom: Enemy Unknown over to iOS, and has been tinkered with a bit to ensure that the platform can handle the game and that if a gamer were to decide to play with the touch controls, it would still be fun.

Graphically, the game has been scaled down a touch to make sure it works on the hardware and fits within Apple's 2 GB size limit. That means that the fog and the dynamic shadows have been removed. The game includes Bluetooth controller support, and has an overlay for touch controls. It also ships with a digital version of the original art book that shipped with the game's special edition in 2007.

In action, BioShock Mobile feels very much like the original, especially when played on an iPad and with a controller. I worked my way through the first few sections, playing for about half an hour, and quickly forgot I was playing on a tablet.

The same couldn't be said for the touch controls, which slightly frustrated the experience, making it hard to multitask things like moving, aiming and shooting, or slipping between weapons and using plasmids.


To try and make up for this, the developers increased the auto aim a bit and, it appeared to me, increased the size of the hit box. What that means, basically, is that it's a lot easier to hit what you're shooting at.

There's no date or price set for the game yet, but Ben Holschuh, production assistant on the game, said it would be coming later this summer and would be sell for a "premium" price.

2K China decided to take on this project after wrapping the XCom port because they were looking for another project, he said.

"BioShock was such a huge game back when it released," Holschuh said. "With more and more people having iPads and iPhones and using that as their core gaming device, there has been a lot more demand lately for some more core experiences.

"BioShock seemed to make a lot of sense."

He declined to say if the other games in the trilogy might make the leap as well.

"Never say never."