The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn't necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable "best" thing. Instead, it's more just us picking out the single game out of the week's releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.

These picks might be controversial, and that's OK. If you disagree with what we've chosen, let's try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.

Without further ado…

 

Bioshock

This week saw the arrival of one of the best games of the last decade on the iOS platform with 2K's release of Bioshock [$10.99]. That arrival comes with a few caveats, however. For one, the game's visuals have been heavily downgraded in order to work on mobile devices, and being that it's a game designed for the physical controls of a gamepad or keyboard/mouse, the virtual touch controls have proven cumbersome for some. Looking past those two main drawbacks, the iOS version of Bioshock is still the same incredible game it was when it originally released back in 2007, and is a landmark release for the iOS platform.

bioshock

Bioshock is one of those games that relies heavily on its atmosphere and all the little details of the underwater world of Rapture that the game takes place in. Because of that, the downgrade in visuals is definitely a bummer as Rapture just doesn't have the same "pop" that it does on consoles or PC. The lighting especially is sorely missed, but even on the highest-end iOS devices the game has a grainy, jagged look compared to the original game. It's an understandable sacrifice given the nature of mobile hardware, but as I mentioned, it's a bummer. That said, the iOS version of Bioshock still retains all of the major things that make it such an incredible game. The story, the characters, the excellent soundtrack and voice acting. It's all here, and it's a marvel seeing it run on a tiny device like the iPhone.

In the end, how you ultimately feel about Bioshock on iOS will be subjective, perhaps more so than any other game on the App Store. Is it the most ideal way to experience a masterpiece like Bioshock? Well, no. Playing it on PC or console with full visuals and hopefully an excellent sound system would be the way to go if possible. However, as someone who played and enjoyed the game on Xbox 360 years ago, I'm having an absolute blast playing through it again on my iPhone. I've seen many more people having a similarly enjoyable experience. On the flip side, there's many out there who feel the visual downgrade ruins the immersion and atmosphere of Bioshock enough that they just can't enjoy the iOS version. I totally get that, too.

If you can enjoy it for what it is and not focus on what it isn't, I think Bioshock is a great game to add to your iOS collection. If you've never played it before, and have the means to play it on console or PC, I'd suggest doing that over playing it on iOS as your first experience with the game. If you're intimately familiar with Bioshock already and are just looking for a version to kick back with on the couch or when you're out and about, the iOS version is still tons of fun. Hopefully this leads to more big developers porting even more big-time games to the iOS platform.

  • nekkedsnake

    Man 2K wasn't kidding when they said Bioshock wouldn't work on older devices. It's choppy as hell on 4S.

    • mindseyes

      It worked on a 4s????

      • Ingwersen

        I have it running fine on an iPad 3 - long loadtimes, but no noticably lag during gameplay.

  • paulkane

    Surprise!

    • Kane

      .... I don't like surprises.

  • Keitch83

    I'm shocked,no pun intended.
    Although sarcasm is.

  • worldcitizen1919

    Same Bioshock I always knew on iPad Air. Great graphics, excellent sound effects. Was an instabuy for me although I've played it on PC many times.

  • MaqueGenio

    "Bioshock is one of those games that relies heavily on its
    atmosphere ...Because of that, the downgrade in visuals is definitely a bummer.. "

    " there's many out there who feel the visual downgrade ruins the immersion and atmosphere of Bioshock enough that they just can't enjoy the iOS version. I totally get that, too. "

    I see you are finally making progress in understanding why people were mad with this. Keep it up

    • mindseyes

      Ya that does suck but you know its gets there Creative juice flowing lol. maybe enough to increase those graphics for the new iphone 6 and new iPads coming out. I would like to see BORDERLANDS and also Dead space 3 or first one. Thanks!! My Ps4 gamer tag is mindseye80 or mindseyes80 on xbox

  • madreviewer

    Fps control suck , but I like that game.
    I might buy the other bio shocks.

  • Kenan2000

    STILL NOT OUT IN AZERBAIJAN :(

  • Jake7905

    Being able to play a classic like Bioshock on my phone or tablet is worth a few compromises. And supporting a developer who's willing to release the original console game, rather then the usual freemium cash-in, is well worth it to me.

  • Samurix16

    How does it look on iPod 5th gen?

    • Shifaan

      Unfortunately the iPod is nearing it's extinction and this doesn't work on any iPod touch. I'm in deep grief.

      • TheGrimCreeper

        We will soon be mourning the death of A5 devices. Farewell, iPod 5! It's had a great run. I'm hoping Apple comes out with an iPod 6, or else I'll have to invest into a rather expensive 5 or 5S.

      • spokentruths772

        Or......just get a tablet or iPad .___.

  • Amenbrother

    Game of the week while over @ IGN they are hammering it. Mostly for controls which I have to agree they are pretty bad.

    • MaqueGenio

      And whos to blame for this? The device only? Sorry but this is all on 2K. Its been proven over the years FPS can work quite well touchscreen devices. Devs just need to put a bit effort into it and not try reinvent the wheel. Not allow users to change buttons placement is pretty sloppy.

      • AlexMilo

        To be fair touch controls are still pretty new to 'the world' so there's no universal standard yet. Also the majority of people will never be happy with touch controls so we really just need controllers untill it catches on. Gameloft has made the best touch controls in Modern Combat 5 I've ever tried, hopefully other devs will copy them.

    • Leguro

      Works awosme with my PS3 controller. :p

  • Onikage725

    As for the visuals, I'm looking at it as basically this is a portable version. Like SF IV on 3DS or UMVC 3 on Vita having static backgrounds. There's often a visual trade off for the on the go convenience. I'll pick this up down the line.

  • DuckyShot

    I play fps games like MC5 and Blitz Brigade but with this one I can agree the controls aren't as good as I thought lol. There should be an option to move the buttons and stuff

    • Amenbrother

      Agreed I mean we have to have the option to move buttons where we want them.

  • entrylevelcommentbro

    Having never played the original, I think that the game is pretty great so far. The graphics are good from what I can see, the combat works well and the atmosphere is amazing.

    • tinkie277

      You answered the question I was going to ask and you have made me decide to give it a go.

  • mkdms14

    Soo where is the review ? is this a 5 star game, a 3 star game or a 1 star game?

    • De Sporty

      I would say a 4 star game. It is good, but with some flaws. Most obvious are the visuals. They look completely ugly. I'm pretty sure the game resolution is below 1024x768 even. Character models are ugly, and lighting is bland. Logs of jaggies to boot as well. And then there are performance issues with lots of stuttering.

      But aside from this, the game is good. So I would rate it 4/5.

      TA may not have a review up because they ma rate it 4 or lower and due to the Bioshock advertising of the site they may hold it off for a bit.

  • DenzilofDojima

    Bioshock is an all time classic game with great atmosphere, a good story, and a fantastic setting. It isn't a particularly good shooter however, and wasn't even on release. The shooting mechanics were always rough and the time that has passed since it's original release and the (slightly poor) implementation of touch controls only serve to highlight its shortcomings in this area. This and the slight graphical downgrade make it a lesser experience than the one you had in 2007. Still, it's Bioshock on your phone so.....

    • cofunguy

      Sadly TA felt this was the app of the week. Seems a cop out to pick the most expensive game when other lesser apps at little to no cost. I wonder if the sponsorship of the forums by bioshock influence it too. Pretty sad TA to not even review any of the few good apps out there.

      • cofunguy

        Even more so if one reads the story before this one about the best apps for the week. Bioshock not even in that list...so please do tell how the app could be the one for the week when it does even make the cut from general audience??? Lot of good ones did make in that list for the week. So Bioshock paying TA to prop up its status??

      • dancj

        To know how this game became game of the week you have to go all the way back to the Roswell incident and JFK having Marilyn Monroe murdered.

      • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

        The list you're referring to is the best games we REVIEWED this week. We haven't reviewed Bioshock yet. Advertising has nothing to do with anything we ever post on our site.

      • iammane

        Conspiracy theories abound!!!

      • HelperMonkey

        On Aug. 27 there was some significant coverage. No review, true. But the clear impression from any of TA's coverage of the game was that it was slightly disappointing port, yet it was still impressive that you could play Bioshock -straight up- on your telephone. This was a banner game for Xbox, and here was the real thing on iOS.

        Meanwhile, as must be clarified every damn week, Game of The Week does not mean it's the best game released on said week. It's more along the lines of most noteworthy game.
        I think they got this right this time.

        Ask the question, "What was the best iOS game released this week?" and TA's choice may be different.
        However, if you ask, "Did anything interesting come out on iOS this week?" I think that Bioshock is the obvious answer.

        [Now back to my late night beer. Cheers.]

  • Ultima12

    I'm really torn on deciding whether or not to get this. I played it back in day on Xbox and it was great. I've been looking forward to this iOS port but I haven't been hearing many good things about it... Not sure what to do.

    • AlexMilo

      Untill you make up your mind, put the game on your Wishlist on AppShopper on your phone (TA even put a direct link to AS in the Bioshock description). That way you'll get a notification if it drops in price. I'm waiting too, played the original but not sure if I want to buy it a second time. After all it's more expensive than buying it for PC or consoles..

      • Ultima12

        You read my mind. Thats exactly what I decided to do.

  • Doom

    Been enjoying this on iPad Air and BT headphones..controls are not bad as some have said..smaller window to pan around but really you get used to it.. Such an immersive story. My only ugh is sometimes it is very dark and drains the device battery but the latter is to be expected. A Deffo good time..refreshing to play an in depth long game..and it goes wherever I go..shit it's cheap for what you get. Grab this and enjoy.

  • Toasty_Cat

    Would you kindly download this game?

  • OWNZILLA

    It works on my ipad3 !! I'm on the medical pavillion and it's been working fine so far.

  • http://entrepreneurialblog.com Niclas Johansson

    Could the devs be planning a massive visual overhaul when IOS8 and Metal arrives? Does it have MFI support? Doesn't matter, have been wanting to play this since first release... but being grown-up and all, my last gaming console was a PS2. Getting it tonight!

    • iammane

      I think it does have MFi support, it's making me want to pick up a controller but I'm waiting for the next phone release since I want something that will fit the new form factor.

      I wouldn't be shocked if when iOS 8 and Metal drop there will be some kind of update that boosts the visuals... It would be such a shame for it not to be taken advantage of, especially since Unreal engine and Unity seem to be coming out with versions that have this support baked in.

      We'll see soon!!!

  • UppercutAJ

    As one on the devs who worked on the original Xbox 360 version, i think this is a major technical achievement. And as Jared says a milestone for iOS gaming.

    Getting Bio to run on the consoles was no easy task in itself, at the time I would have laughed at anyone telling me that it would run on an iPhone.

    The downgrade of lighting and texture resolution is a shame, but without texture streaming, I can't see any way around it.

    For me it's really cool to see something you helped create get a second chance to reach a whole new audience. People who have never even owned a console or considered themselves gamers back in 2007.

    UppercutAJ

    • protopop

      Very cool that you worked on Bioshock 360 - the game's an inspiration.

      Sometimes games are about more than just graphics or particular gameplay - they're experiences that inspire others sometimes artistically, sometimes technically.

      There's something positive outside the individual flaws
      about having a game of this caliber on mobile - I think it's setting the
      stage for some great things to come.

    • Catacul

      When's Epoch 3?

  • protopop

    I'm positive Bioshock's good visuals will get better on new devices. In my own IOS dev experience, each new device is a HUGE leap over the performance of the last one (iPhone 4 no open world, iPhone 4S low detail OW, iPhone 5 OW + high detail, iPhone 5S OW + detail + reflections + particles + twice the textures etc) AND mobile games tend to be backwards/forward compatible (unlike, say, 360 and Xbox One) so all you really have to do is flip a switch (at least in Unity) and voila - all your textures are up-rezzed. It's not like before where you built for one platform and then left it as it is.

  • killaroach

    I personally think 2k should do an overhaul when the 6 comes out.. Or at the very least give us the option to add some extra lighting effects etc at the expense of some frames per second. The implementation of metal on iOS 8 is supposed to make games better at rendering graphics anyway. It's just a shame that game developers resort to lowering the overall visual experience of games for everyone just to make older devices compatible. I understand why, since it means access to a greater audience, it just frustrates me to think that having a better and more capable device doesn't always mean a better app/gaming experience. It's not like it's not doable either. Dead trigger used to have two versions with better visuals on the version available for higher end devices. I really hope 2k considers overhauling the graphics for iPhone 6.

  • UppercutAJ

    I agree Protopop If the next gen of devices has more memory, then they could release an update to support that device at higher resolution.

    It's good to see 2K keep it as a paid port of the original. It would have been very easy (and tempting) for them to turn the circus of values vending machines into the circus of IAP.

  • godofodd

    I'm loving this on my retina mini. I'm using a Steelseries Stratus and it works great, with the one glaring exception being that you can't invert the y-axis.

  • jeffyg3

    Ah man. Thais is the first game I want that I can't play on my iPad Mini (1st gen) or my iPhone 4 (ok so it's not like I play anything on this oldie but goodie. Well if Apple comes out with a widescreen iPad this year then I'll definitely get one...damn time I need a 128gig bigger screen tablet anyways. Man, would love to play Bioshock at work and at school

  • Foghorn Irrascible

    Touch controls for an FPS game that was built for controllers?

    Yeah. I'll pass.

    • Leguro

      Use a controller you putz.

      • dancj

        Game pads are worse than touch screens for first person shooters.

        Nothing beats keyboard and mouse.

      • Leguro

        His comment was about controllers... Not keyboards or mice.
        Good luck wanting a keyboard and mouse. I'm sure that's the controller of the future. Mouse and keyboards... Im sure it'll be added to tablets in no time...
        Nothing will make you haters happy. There's always something wrong to you guys. Pretty soon it won't be playable because it doesn't use oculus rift.

  • Goggles789

    I love these game of the week articles, but I wish that long disclaimer wasn't at the beginning of each one. I wish it was gone so I could browse the first paragraph before actually clicking the link, in case it's something I want to give a miss.

  • PlaystationPaul

    So hang on, this will only run on the very latest devices but still has to be dumbed down significantly from versions on dated hardware from 8 years ago?
    Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my iPad a lot and still play old games going back to the Spectrum days, but it seems that some of what I read about tablets and phones closing the gap with console gaming is misleading, there's still clearly a way to go. Notice I said tablets and phones not handheld gaming as surely the Vita could do a near perfect version of Bioshock? and it's kind of cheaper than your average iOS device.
    I don't own a Vita so correct me if I'm wrong but in a weird way this has made me want to get one over a new iPad.

    • dancj

      TBH looking at games like Dead Trigger, Rage HD (which is something like 4 years old) and some of the other flashy games on the iPad, I'm sure that that a full resolution version of Bioshock could be achieved. Maybe the textures would have to drop in resolution a bit to accommodate the low storage and measly 1gb memory, but that's about it.

      That would probably require largely rebuilding the game (or at least the engine) from the ground up - and this is just a port so it's never going to be the best showcase.

  • James

    The only thing that makes me hesitate are the controls. FPS are tough on an ios device and fighting a big daddy on a console is already tough enough.

  • Truelove

    Has anybody tried a game pad with this game?

  • Rubius

    Another great looking iOS port, Bioshock looks fantastic for port. I just hope Capcom finally ports over Resident Evil 5 to iOS. I've been waiting for it for years. I also really want Shenmue on ios as well.