Somewhere, beyond the sea, there are colorful balls that disappear when they’re matched together. As a little tilt-controlled submarine, it’s your job to knock these balls, which appear to contain some sort of toxic waste, into one another. However, cumbersome controls and odd physics make this a clumsy, ill-conceived puzzler.
One advantage BioSub has is that it contains 70 levels, but like the old joke goes, the food is awful even if the portions are huge. The levels themselves are bite-sized, meant to be completed in less than 30 seconds, but several require careless trial-and-error that often results in an accidental victory. This is because you seldom have enough actual control over what you’re doing.
You move your sub using either tilt control or a touch-based system that is mostly unusable. Since knocking the colored balls into position requires finesse, neither of these control schemes get the job done right. In addition, you can disappear from one end of the screen and appear on the other, Pac-Man style, so touch control is even less useful for navigating in this wrap-around realm. After all, you can’t move the sub by touching outside the screen.
We’re BioShocked at how bad this game is.
This warp effect also leads to some really unpleasant physics. Some levels attach you to a colored ball via a chain, which stretches and snaps based on your distance from it. Also, balls will be attached to each other with these chains. Knocking a ball off the screen (making it appear on the other side) causes the chain to quickly stretch and snap in the opposite direction, which makes no sense at all and ends up just looking like a glitch instead of an intentional design choice.
We were nearly bored to tears playing BioSub, but it does get a few things right. OpenFeint integration is included, making online high scores and achievements one small reason to keep playing. Plus, quick little gold-grabbing minigames punctuate every ten levels or so, and we had more fun with these than we did with the entire rest of the game.
You can do much better than BioSub. Pick up a physics puzzler like iBlast Moki, a colorful marble-matching game like Atlantis Sky Patrol, or bouncy shape-based games like Orbital or Polyhedra instead, and let this game sleep with the fishes.