Using the powerful Unreal Engine for the iOS, developers Phosphor
Games have created the perfect survival horror game for the iPhone
and iPod Touch. The game in question is Dark Meadow that lets you explore an abandoned building
and fight unearthly creatures that would not look out of place in
any good horror story.
However, as you're trapped in this old
and decaying psychiatric building, your only solace is an old man
who acts as your guide. Whether he is a force of good or a force of
evil, I won't disclose but for the majority of the game, he will
communicate to you via a radio and (hopefully) point you in the right
Given that, dark Meadow uses a tried and true formula of
the survival horror genre that generally scares you at the most
inappropriate moments... just don't drop or throw your iPhone!
Dark Meadow also pushes the capabilities of the iOS that actually
had me quite surprised that it was using the Unreal Engine which
looks amazing on this portable smart device. The atmosphere is
extremely detailed with some great special effects from lighting to
shadows and everything you would expect to see in a high-end console
Sounds effects are just as good as is the musical score and the
professional yet sometimes clichéd voice acting. All in all, it
comes together rather well but what about the gameplay?
Unlike games that use the Unreal Engine, Dark Meadow is a little
limited in navigating the environment as you can only walk
forward, backwards and turn to your left and right. Even though you
do feel like your hands are a little tied, the graphics and the
atmosphere of the game more than makes up for this slight limitation.
As you explore the environment, you will also come across notes left
by the previous residents of this building which furthers the story
of Dark Meadow. Controls are like all good iOS games and needless to say, the touch screen controls work very
well with interacting with the environment and navigating.
Apart from exploring this mysterious building, you will come across
the new denizens that inhabit this decaying world. Although
they literally pop up out of nowhere which can give you a
slight fright, sometimes you see them coming which allows you to get
your weapons available.
When you first start the game, you will find
a crossbow and a sword. Crossbows are good for taking out your
enemies from a distance but if they get too close, you can resort to
melee attacks via your sword. Thankfully as the creatures become
more powerful, the game will carefully lay additional weapons and
items in the gaming environment to assist you.
Combat via the touch screen works well, although it does take a
little time to master as you need to dodge attacks at times by
taping left or right. When you attack via your ranged weapons, you
can aim for particular body parts but this can be difficult as the
enemies just don't stand there. The only downside to the combat is
that it becomes a little too repetitive and focuses heavily on
timing, rather than your own fighting finesse. The experience point
system also feels a little forced. But even so, I enjoyed this
creepy game on the iPhone.
Even though Dark Meadow had some combat issues, I still enjoyed this
game because it's easily one of the most visually impressive titles
on the iOS. The decaying building that you explore has been
wonderfully created and really creates this dark atmosphere with
a touch of loneliness. If you enjoy the survival horror genre and
enjoy titles such as Resident Evil or Silent Hill, this may be the
game that you have been looking for.
Check it out!