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31 Bonus Levels of Christmas
BioShock: Hacking Game
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 02, 2010   |   Episode 8 (Show Archive)  

   

It's that time of year again, a time when Defunct Games celebrates the holidays by posting a daily theme article that should inform and delight gamers all over the world. This year we're taking a look at 31 of the best-known bonus stages in all of video games. Each day we're going to look at a different level and review it, while also trying to figure out what makes it tick. Join us as we post a new episode of the 31 Bonus Levels of Christmas every day leading up to the biggest holiday of the year!
BioShock: Hacking Game
[ Console: Xbox 360 | Year: 2007 | Grade: C+ ]

This hacking mini-game is about the closest thing to a bonus level in a modern day first-person shooter!
The Context: So you crash landed in the middle of the ocean, discovered an abandoned underwater city, injected yourself with a mysterious substance and got beaten up by a drill-wielding Big Daddy. Just another Wednesday for me, but for the protagonist in BioShock it's sort of a big deal. Here he must run through this broken down world avoiding enemies and unlocking the secrets of Rapture. From time to time he'll need to open up locked doors and reprogram security devices, which brings us to the hacking mini-game. Once completed, we can get back to playing one of the best first-person adventure games of this generation.

The Rules: In what can only be described as a blatant rip-off of Pipe Mania (also known as Pipe Dream), the classic pipe-laying puzzler developed by The Assembly Line. Here we're given a bunch of tiles to uncover and use to complete the circuit. The concept is simple

No matter whether you call it Pipe Dream or Pipe Mania, BioShock clearly stole their hacking game from this classic puzzler!
enough; just rearrange the tiles so that the slow moving juice doesn't escape. Sometimes we will need to work around frozen pieces and other obstacles, so planning out the course of action is a must. If players are able to complete the circuit they'll move on, if not they'll get shocked and have to start again.

The Verdict: BioShock proves that a little Pipe Mania goes a long way. While I have fond memories of the Bulletproof Software port I owned on my Game Boy, this mini-game starts to wear thin the further you get in the game. Unlike most of the bonus stages

Thinking about BioShock 2 makes me stabby!
we've covered in this feature, you aren't playing this mini-game for extra points. One could probably argue that this isn't a bonus stage at all, but I contend that it's the closest thing we have in the first-person shooter genre. Even though it loses its charm by the end of the story, I love the well-placed throw back to one of my favorite puzzle games of the 1990s.

Completely Missing the Point: They should make a game set a few years after the original BioShock. And instead of using the story to parallel how gamers view interactive storytelling, we should just turn it into an action game and blow stuff up. Plus, we can just set it in the same world for no reason at all, because that's the reason everybody loved BioShock in the first place. Yeah, it's a great idea and will surely sell millions. What's that? 2K Games already tried that with BioShock 2? I guess that's why they're the ones making the big bucks.
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