Dead Space for iOS: Crazy scary, crazy fun

This instant classic bridges the gap between the original game and its just-released sequel. It's an all-new story with incredible sights and sounds.

Screenshots don't do justice to the iOS version of Dead Space. Instead, check out the gameplay video below.
Screenshots don't do justice to the iOS version of Dead Space. Instead, check out the gameplay video below. Screenshot by Rick Broida

Dead Space is all the rage right now, and with good reason. The original console game was widely regarded as one of the scariest survival-horror adventures ever, and the new sequel delivers even more sci-fi terror .

You might assume that any iOS version of the game would be little more than a port of the original, a slapdash effort to drive sales of the sequel. But you'd be wrong.

Dead Space for iOS is an original chapter in the saga, with a new story and even some new weapons. It's visually stunning, thoroughly engrossing, and genuinely scary--especially if you play with headphones on.

I don't want to give away too much of the plot, other than to say you're a pawn in a conflict that's unfolding between the church and the government. Your mission--well, it's not entirely clear what your mission is, but it involves fragging hordes of scary monsters.

On top of console-quality graphics, what really sets Dead Space apart is the audio. The game sounds amazing, from the "BOO!"-style orchestral music cues that make you jump from your seat to the professional voice actors that help drive the plot. If you don't wear headphones, you're cheating yourself of the full experience.

And trust me: the full experience is scary. Try to play over a padded surface for when you inevitably drop your device in terror. (Okay, maybe that's an overstatement, but I did yelp out loud at least once.)

If there's a problem with Dead Space, it's the controls. They're about as good as they can be--movement "joystick" on the left, aiming on the right, tap to shoot, and so on--but I usually end up fighting the controls at the same time I'm fighting the monsters. Oh, to have an actual game pad I could plug in!

Dead Space is available for iPad and iPhone/iPod, and priced at $9.99 and $6.99, respectively. It's one of the few games I've played that merits its premium price tag. You won't be disappointed.

 

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