Space Deadbeef (iPhone)

Space Deadbeef is a horizontal shoot ’em up for the iPhone. This is one of the few games that shows that the iPhone can definitely be a gaming platform. From the moment I saw the title screen at the beginning before the menu appeared, I knew I was going to enjoy this game. The graphics are superb, the music is nice, and there wasn’t any slowdown when I played it on my classic (non-3G) iPhone.
The levels scroll horizontally while your ship stays on the left side of the screen. You can only move your ship vertically. When you touch the screen, your ship moves in that direction. If you touch the top right corner, your ship will move straight up (because it always stays on the left). When you touch an enemy, one of your missiles will lock-on. You only have a limited number of missiles that can lock-on at a time. You can lock on to multiple enemies, and you can lock on to strong enemies multiple times. When you lift your finger, your missiles fire. You can also touch your own ship to charge up a more powerful shot.
At the end of the game, which will only take most gamers a few minutes to get to on their first play, there’s a boss fight. After beating that boss, the game restarts on a higher difficulty. So far, I’ve made it to difficulty 6. The game keeps track of your current score, high score, your current difficulty, and your number of deaths. I don’t know if there’s a limit on difficulties, but if there is, I doubt I’ll see it.
Space Deadbeef really caters to scrolling shooter fans. The little details are great, such as the “WARNING” text that appears when the boss is incoming, and the way that the text slides on and off screen. The sound effects are nice, when you die, the game zooms in on your ship exploding. It’s a very fun experience.
Apple lists Yuji Yasuhara as the developer1, who is also responsible for Omega Boost, a 3D shooter for the Sony Playstation, and Panzer Dragoon II: Zwei for the Sega Saturn2. It apparently wasn’t chance that the game seemed made for shoot ’em up fans! Because the game is so short, I can only hope that Space Deadbeef is acting as a demo for a future that’s longer and has more levels! However, don’t let the game’s length deter you from you playing it. It’s definitely worth any gamer’s time who likes shoot ’em ups; plus, as a free game it’s definitely worth it!