Dead Space (mobile game)

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Dead Space
Dead Space (mobile) logo.jpg
Developer(s)IronMonkey Studios
Publisher(s)Electronic Arts
Designer(s)Jarrad Trudgen
Edward Hunter
Composer(s)Jason Graves
SeriesDead Space
Platform(s)iOS, BlackBerry PlayBook, Xperia Play, Android, BlackBerry 10
  • WW: January 25, 2011[1]
BlackBerry Tablet OS
  • WW: August 18, 2011[2]
Xperia Play
  • WW: November 1, 2011[3]
  • WW: December 16, 2011[4]
BlackBerry 10
  • WW: May 6, 2013[5]
Genre(s)Third-person shooter, survival horror

Dead Space is a 2011 science fiction survival horror third-person shooter video game developed by Australian company IronMonkey Studios and published by Electronic Arts for iOS, BlackBerry Tablet OS, Xperia Play, Android and BlackBerry 10 devices. The game was also scheduled for release on Windows Phone 8 as part of a deal with Nokia that saw several EA games released exclusively on Nokia branded Windows Phones, but it was cancelled prior to release.[6]

Within the Dead Space series, the game is set after the events of the original Dead Space, but prior to the events of Dead Space 2 and shows how the Necromorph outbreak spread from the government to public sectors.


A necromorph attacks Vandal. Note the touchscreen specific control method whereby the play must swipe down and to the right to fight back.

The gameplay is similar to that of the original Dead Space game, with most changes centering on adapting the game to play with touchscreen controls. Players slide their thumbs on either side of the screen to simulate the dual analog movement scheme of the original; movement on the left of the screen moves the character, movement on the right moves the camera. Players tilt the device to rotate the weapon's alignment. Players can move and explore freely, interact with objects, collect items and currency, and buy upgrades in much the same fashion as the original game. To reload, the player taps the weapon, and contextual swipes upwards or downwards are occasionally necessary.[7] To fire, the player taps the screen to aim, and taps the screen again to shoot.[8]

The Xperia Play version has slightly different controls insofar as it utilizes the slide-out game pad, complete with "touch-pad" controls, with the left and right triggers used for aiming and firing respectively.


In Dead Space, the player controls a figure code-named Vandal, a newly converted Unitologist, on a mission in the mines of Titan Station, orbiting Saturn. Vandal is directed over a headset to destroy a series of power boxes, thus cutting off communications to certain parts of the station. After doing so, however, Vandal is attacked by a group of Necromorphs and forced to flee towards a tram system. On the way there, the head of Unitology, Daina Le Guin, tells Vandal that destroying the power boxes has released a Necromorph infestation onto the station and that Vandal's death, and the deaths of all the miners, will be a glorious event. Disgusted, Vandal decides to reveal the Unitologists' plans to the government, as they are quite clearly insane. Meanwhile, the station's director, Hans Tiedemann, contacts Vandal and orders the restoration of all quarantine seals. After doing so, Vandal is contacted by Tyler Radikov, a Unitologist contact, who swears that Le Guin duped him too, and that he had no idea what Vandal's real mission was. Radikov promises to guide Vandal in escaping.

Under the direction of Tiedemann and Radikov, Vandal sets out to lock down the doors to the Public Sector. Radikov says that in order to do so, Vandal must shut off the power to the seals, as this will trigger all emergency seals to engage. Vandal does so, but discovers that Radikov has been lying, and in fact has provided instructions that result in the opening of all Public Sector doors, leaving the section without any defense against the Necromorphs. A furious Tiedemann demands that Vandal try to shut down the core of the station, as it is overheating, and is in danger of destroying the entire station.

When Vandal reaches the core, it becomes apparent that a large Necromorph is "suffocating" it. Vandal defeats the creature, but falls into the core with it. A badly injured Vandal manages to crawl out of the core, at which point it is revealed that Vandal is a female, Karrie Norton. She tries to radio Director Tiedemann for help, leaving an audio log relating what has happened. The game ends with Radikov telling Le Guin that the Necromorph outbreak was a success. Back at the core, a trail of blood leads off-screen, with only Vandal's helmet remaining; her fate is unknown.[a]


Dead Space
(iOS version)
Aggregate scores
Review scores
148 Apps4.5/5 stars[13]
AppSpy5/5 stars[8]
Pocket Gamer8/10[14]
TouchArcade5/5 stars[15]
TouchGen5/5 stars[16]
Meffy AwardsBest Mobile Game (2011)[17]
App Store RewindiPad Game of the Year (2011)[18]

Upon release, Dead Space received very positive reviews. The iOS version holds aggregate scores of 88 out of 100 on Metacritic, based on twenty-two reviews,[10] and 91.67% on GameRankings, based on six reviews.[9] The game won "Best Mobile Game" (2011) at the Meffy Awards[17] and "iPad Game of the Year" (2011) at the App Store Rewind.[18]

Reviews emphasized the extent to which the title replicated the look and feel of the Dead Space series within the limitations of a mobile touchscreen device, whilst also praising the fact that the game was a new story, not simply a port of the original Dead Space game.

AppSpy's Andrew Nesvadba was extremely impressed, scoring it 5 out of 5 and writing, "Dead Space is a chilling experience that goes well beyond the normal expectations for mobile gaming."[8] TouchArcade's Brad Nicholson also scored it 5 out of 5. He was critical of the controls and the combat system, but concluded that "Dead Space is worth a download based on its production values alone. The team has successfully created a very, very dark title bolstered by a rich atmosphere that oozes everything you want out of a solid horror game."[15] TouchGen's Matt Dunn also scored it 5 out of 5. He was slightly critical of the controls, but commented that "literally the only negative aspect of the game involves some control inaccuracy." He praised the sound design and graphics and concluded that "Dead Space is the best action game I've ever played on an iOS device. It's the first time I've felt like a mobile version of a game has had as much developer love put into it as its console counterpart. We've seen decent ports, and good mobile counterparts to console games, but never a game that looks and feels this close to the original [...] This isn't a cash grab or a cheap port, this is a brand new Dead Space experience."[16]

Blake Grundman of 148Apps was equally impressed, scoring the game 4.5 out of 5, and writing "it is staggering to imagine that such a huge experience could be contained within the constraints of the iPhone, but not only does it succeed, it sets a benchmark that could be nigh impossible to match any time soon," and referring to the control scheme as "shockingly well constructed." He concluded, "To say that Dead Space is one of the best games that we have seen in 2011 doesn't do it justice. This is one of the most immersive experiences available on the platform. You owe it to yourself to discover that an iOS game can in fact make you shudder in fear and want to jump out of your skin. It isn't merely a game, it is an experience that all iOS gamers should partake in."[13]

IGN's Levi Buchanan, scoring the game 8.5 out of 10, made a similar point; "Dead Space is not a cop-out, shoehorned experience – it's a real-deal chapter in the Dead Space franchise that fits right in with the console games even though it takes a slightly different tack by de-emphasizing shock-jumps and laying on action scene after action scene. But that just means EA understands the differences (and, yes, limitations) of the iDevices. Dead Space has good controls, great visuals, and a fun story. It may repeat itself a little too much, but the blood-soaked ride never feels bloated."[12]

Destructoid's Jim Sterling scored the game 8 out of 10. Although he was somewhat critical of the controls, he was impressed with how genuine a Dead Space experience the game offered; "Dead Space for the iDevices is no mere cash-in. Rather than go the easy route with an on-rails shooter or a selection of banal minigames, Electronic Arts and IronMonkey Studios have instead opted to cram a genuine third-person Dead Space experience into your iPhone. The weird thing is it more or less works [...] it really is impressive just how authentic a Dead Space experience has been crafted, and the generally high caliber of the game could at least justify an XBLA/PSN port."[7] Eurogamer's Kritan Reed also scored the game 8 out of 10, writing "This all-new Dead Space is surprisingly faithful to the full-fat versions in every sense. Before you recoil in horror at the thought of another borked touch-screen attempt at twin-stick action-adventuring, Dead Space is far more entertaining than it has any right to be. It not only captures the intricate, moody visual signature of Visceral's originals with stunning efficiency, but manages to faithfully translate the gameplay."[11] Pocket Gamer's Tracy Erickson also scored it 8 out of 10, giving it a "Silver Award". He was critical of the controls but concluded that "its presentation, well-constructed levels, and tense combat situations are enough to see you through, even if the controls won't."[14]


  1. ^ In Dead Space 2, Isaac Clarke finds Vandal's last audio report floating next to the eviscerated remains of a human female, implying she died some time after emerging from the Core.


  1. ^ "Dead Space (iOS)". IGN. Retrieved October 13, 2013.
  2. ^ "EA's Dead Space lands on the BlackBerry PlayBook". CrackBerry. August 18, 2011. Retrieved July 18, 2013.
  3. ^ McFerran, Damien (November 4, 2011). "Dead Space Xperia Review". Know Your Mobile. Retrieved July 18, 2013.
  4. ^ "Dead Space (Android)". GameSpot. Archived from the original on May 14, 2012. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
  5. ^ Atkins, Lucas (May 6, 2013). "Dead Space for BlackBerry Z10 Now Available". N4BB. Retrieved July 18, 2013.
  6. ^ Acevedo, Paul (September 5, 2013). "Nokia Exclusive: Electronic Arts confirms Tetris Blitz for Xbox on Windows Phone 8". Windows Phone Central. Retrieved October 7, 2013.
  7. ^ a b c Sterling, Jim (February 1, 2011). "Review: Dead Space (iOS)". Destructoid. Retrieved July 18, 2013.
  8. ^ a b c Nesvadba, Andrew (January 25, 2011). "Dead Space Review". AppSpy. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
  9. ^ a b "Dead Space (iOS)". GameRankings. Retrieved July 18, 2013.
  10. ^ a b "Dead Space for iOS". Metacritic. Retrieved July 18, 2013.
  11. ^ a b Reed, Kristan (January 31, 2011). "Mobile Games Roundup". Eurogamer. Retrieved July 18, 2013.
  12. ^ a b Buchanan, Levi (January 24, 2011). "Dead Space iOS Review". IGN. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  13. ^ a b Grundman, Blake (January 25, 2011). "Dead Space Review". 148Apps. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
  14. ^ a b Erickson, Tracy (January 31, 2011). "Dead Space Review". Pocket Gamer. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
  15. ^ a b Nicholson, Brad (January 24, 2011). "'Dead Space' iOS Review - A Fantastically Faithful iOS-Exclusive Installment in the 'Dead Space' Series". TouchArcade. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
  16. ^ a b Dunn, Matt (January 25, 2011). "Dead Space Review". TouchGen. Archived from the original on June 5, 2013. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
  17. ^ a b Carter, Joanne (July 8, 2011). "Dead Space Wins Best iOS Game At 2011 Meffy Awards". The App Whisperer. Retrieved September 3, 2013.
  18. ^ a b Hodapp, Eli (August 12, 2011). "Apple's "App Store Rewind 2011" Features 'Tiny Tower' and 'Dead Space for iPad' as Games of the Year". TouchArcade. Retrieved March 29, 2014.