Dead Space is already known as a high-quality title on both consoles and PC, and the sequel just arrived this week to play through. (Though I'm a fan of the series and was even able to play a few preview builds of the game, I haven't had time to play the actual game because of Macworld Expo this week.) But along with the full title, EA has also had its Iron Monkey Studio create and release a Dead Space iOS tie-in, and it's a pretty solid experience.
Rather than just rehash the console series, the game is an all-new experience in the Dead Space universe, sporting a pretty impressive recreation of the original game's limb-severing mechanics and horror-based sci-fi setting. You play as a character named "Vandal," a member of the freaky Church of Unitology in the series, who is working on a little sabotage when things go horribly wrong and the series trademark Necromorph baddies start to appear.
Just like the full game, the controls are excellent, and while the graphics don't quite scale to the same resolution, they're more than serviceable. The iOS game does a really amazing job of recreating the feel of the full experience. It's not quite as inventive or polished as the full release, but the story especially does a nice job of carrying you right through the game.
The game sells for US$6.99 on the iPhone and $9.99 on the iPad, which is quite cheap when you consider what the console versions cost. I should probably say as well that this is definitely a mature game -- while the player death animations aren't quite as gory or detailed as what I've seen in the full title, there are still lots of limbs everywhere and scary moments to experience. The game also offers some microtransactions for power-up items, though the experience is still full-featured without them. And sadly, there's no Game Center integration at all -- this is very much a standalone title. Still, it's an excellent download for fans of the series, and even those who haven't played Dead Space but are still interested in the horror genre should get a kick out of it.