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Stay calm and speak clearly, or someone dies
Imagine you’re at NASA‘s Mission Control Center talking an astronaut through a life-and-death space repair, or in a control tower helping an amateur pilot land an airplane. Or, instead, imagine you’re Q talking James Bond through a problem or Oracle guiding Batman through Arkham Asylum. That’s the jist of Mayday! Deep Space, a new iOS game that you control using only your voice. It plays out like a creepy radio drama or podcast mixed with using a motion sensor from Aliens.
The story is about a survivor who wakes up in a ship infested with diseased crew members. After you answer the survivor’s distress call, you have to guide them through the ship safely using ship’s schematics you can scroll through on your iPhone or iPad. You give simple voice commands to the survivor like “Stop,” “Turn around,” and “Run.”
The idea sounded interesting but hokey, so we downloaded a copy of the game to test it out. First of all, you really must heed the loading screen message about playing in a quiet room. The voice commands work better if you use Apple headphones with the built-in mic or a similar phone headset instead of relying on the phone’s mic and speakers. You also need to account for a slight lag between giving an order and seeing the survivor carry it out. The game does deliver what it promises, if you have the right setup.
Mayday! Deep Space was written by Daniel H. Wilson, whose 2011 novel Robopocalypse is being adapted into a Steven Spielberg film. The voice acting is performed by Osric Chau, who plays Kevin Tran on Supernatural, with appearances by Bitsie Tulloch and Claire Coffee, who play Juliette Silverton and Adalind Schade respectively on Grimm.
Mayday! Deep Space costs $3 in the iTunes App Store, and you get what you pay for. It takes advantage of what iOS devices do well to create an experience that might not work on another type of gaming platform—and that kind of creativity makes for the best mobile games.
H/T PocketGamer | Screengrab courtesy of Mayday! Deep Space | Remix by Dennis Scimeca
Dennis Scimeca was the Daily Dot's gaming reporter until 2016. He loves first-person shooters, role-playing games, and massively multiplayer online games. His work has appeared in Salon, NPR, Ars Technica, Kotaku, Polygon, Gamasutra, GamesBeat, Paste, and Mic.