We've gotta hand it to the folks at Iron Monkey Studios, developers of Dead Space for iOS. They were able create an experience similar to a console game on the mobile platform. They've captured the feel of the popular EA franchise developed by Visceral Games, and scaled it down to Apple's devices.
One of the things that always amazes us about games is that just when we thought we saw the most impressive graphics imaginable, another game comes along and tops it. The environments are full-3D and allow for exploration of the areas.
Many call Dead Space scary, and this one is in the same vein as the console titles. However, we don't like to use the word scary to describe it. Scary doesn't quite say it. It's designed to have lots of those "Boo!" moments in which you are walking down a dark quiet hall when suddenly a Necromorph dashes down a corridor ahead of you to a percussive orchestral sound or a loud clang.
You can fight enemies by shooting at them, but it's far more fun to use your plasma saw to rip them to bits. In once instance we shot off an enemy head and received an achievement. The damned thing kept coming! In a panic, we fired a few more rounds into it until he finally fell. It's moments like these that make survival-horror/sci-fi games exciting. You rush to swipe at the creatures as they make their way towards you. That is only amplified by the game's tendency to spawn enemies in enclosed areas that allow for little room to run. That's not a bad thing; it keeps you on your toes.
Dead Space for iOS is a well-made game by Iron Monkey Studios, and is a well-made take on a console hit. The visuals are strong and the gameplay and audio are top-notch.
Sometimes it can be difficult to control things, especially in the heat of the action. Once you get the hang of things you should be good to go, but be ready for a bit frustration during some of the initial enemy encounters.
The game is a great deal of fun, but it will take a little while to get used to the controls. The first level is rather slow-moving, so don't let that stop you early on. From there, the tension is high, and the fights are a'plenty.
It's also worth adding, that we actually enjoy it on the smaller screen of the iPhone. Because of the way you have to play the game, and some of the controls, it's much more comfortable to carry the smaller device. Your thumbs can easily reach around the screen, making it enjoyable.
4 out of 5 stars
iPad – $9.99
iPhone – $6.99