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Review: DeadlySpace

October 4, 2008
DeadlySpace v1.5 | Published by Nathaniel Adleta | Via App Store | $2.99 | Released: 9-18-08


DeadlySpace is an iPhone imitation of Space Invaders, the old school arcade classic, except that it’s too easy, unnecessarily complex and, frankly, a little boring.


Users tilt their iPhones to move their spacecrafts, then can fire at hostile objects to destroy them by tapping on buttons on either side of the screen. There are a multiple ships and weapons to choose from, as well as options to upgrade a spacecraft depending on in-game performance.

DeadlySpace also has two modes, normal and survival, although these didn’t seem to be too different.


While this is a good effort, DeadlySpace is just not a very engaging game. It wasn’t challenging and was difficult to understand and control from the outset. Upon launching the app and entering a normal game I was able to tilt my phone to position a spacecraft, but found firing at hostile objects difficult and confusing. With asteroids and apparently heat-seeking enemy objects aiming to destroy me, I began frantically tapping on the screen—like one of those abusive iPhone tappers that makes you cringe—trying not to get killed. Eventually realizing that the objects didn’t seem to be doing much damage, I collected myself and examined the overwhelming number of gauges and on-screen items. Tapping on everything in sight, I finally discovered the firing and weapon selection buttons. A later look at the otherwise-useless "how to play" menu item gave an explanation of the on-screen display, though a game this simple shouldn't require you to consult a legend.

While this may seem cool, these weapons didn’t seem to have very different effects, except that some took longer to recharge before they could be used again. Conventional button-mashing with the simplest weapon seemed to be the most effective approach to the game and served to facilitate my largely uneventful progression through level after level. There is some diversity in enemies and having the ability to upgrade your spaceship is cool, but there are no consequences for avoiding contact with objects and letting them pass by you. I tried this out, playing without even attempting to fire, and advanced through multiple levels before giving up out of boredom. Overall, DeadlySpace needs to do away with its complicated set of gauges, which are pretty darn useless, and should allow options for increasing difficulty. DeadySpace's creators could do this easily by reducing the amount of lives available or making objects much more dangerous than they are.


This game succeeded in putting me to sleep. It’s not very engaging and definitely not worth your money. Usability: 2 / 5 Value: 1 / 5 Entertainment: 1 / 5 Aesthetics: 2 / 5

Overall Rating: 1.5 / 5

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