App of the Week – Dead Space

It's been touted as the game that turns the iPad into a console killer. Time to get gory

Price: £3.99 (iPhone 4), £5.99 (iPad)

Platform: iOS

Dead Space has been hyped as the game that will finally prove the iPad a bone fide console killer, so collect your Core Extractor, sharpen your Plasma Saw and get amputating.

Fans of the series will feel right at home with the smooth graphics and creepy industrial/sci-fi atmosphere - perhaps too much so. Clanking doors, underlit metal corridors and monsters leaping out of walls feel a little tired thirty years after Alien first introduced the concept, but there's no denying that EA has captured the spirit of the ultra-gory Dead Space franchise.

Slap on some headphones and you'll soon be fully immersed in the (pretty basic) storyline: hack, stab and blast your way through hordes of necromorphs to stay alive and save your fellow Sprawl-dwellers. There are simple puzzles to crack, items to wave around with telekinesis powers and many, many monsters to slice and dice.

The move to iOS has been managed pretty well. Your left hand controls movement, your right, viewing, aiming and firing. There are no set controls to hit - swiping anywhere each side of the screen is good enough. The accelerometer flips weapons around (and chooses between them) handily enough, although it's more natural on the iPhone than iPad.

If you are using headphones, you'll have to spin your iPad upside down so the jack doesn't get in the way of your left hand. And the move to mobile highlights another problem. Playing the ever-gloomy Dead Space is easy enough in a dark bedroom - but try it on a bus in daylight and you'll be necromorph fodder in microseconds.

Despite this, Dead Space is a leap forward for the iPad. It feels more rounded and grown-up than Nova HD, and can rival console games in playability if not yet in sophistication. Don't bin your 360 just yet.