Alien: Blackout, the mobile spinoff of Alien: Isolation that promised to put the embattled Amanda Ripley in charge of her own crew against an invincible Alien foe, is now out, and it'll only cost you $4.99. For that price, you get a full-length horror simulation with console-quality graphics.
As seen in the previous trailer and this new one that was put up in the Play Store upon the game's release, you'll be in command of Amanda as she balances out limited power resources on the ship with the survival of herself and her crewmates. The game may have some compatibility issues at the moment, or be limited to only a few devices. It appears that only the latest devices are supported at this time.
Background: The new trailer provides a wealth of new perspective as to how the game will work beyond controlling Amanda directly. You actually get to see your crew being chased down by the titular Alien, and can trigger all sorts of systems in the ship to help them out, or provide them direction on how best to avoid the beast.
The Alien is a fearsome foe indeed, and no single human is going to be a match for it under normal circumstances. That means, much like in the X-COM series, you may very well lose crew members. While the trailer and the game's description in the Play Store don't seem to go over exactly what the consequences of that are, it's not a big logical leap to assume that there will be some kind of in-game motivation to keep your people alive.
On the other hand, the potential to be devious is all there. You could practically throw your crewmates at the Alien in order to get them off Amanda's trail, or to direct the Alien toward hazards that may be able to harm it, kill it, or expel it from the station. That, however, assumes that such hazards exist.
Impact: This release is seemingly a pretty big one. This is a direct sequel to Alien: Isolation, a beloved console and PC game, and it not only continues that story, but holds itself to nearly the same graphical and technical standards. Putting a game like this on mobile is a worthy feat, and charging only $5 for it could be a catalyst for change in the premium Android game landscape.
Since the dawn of mobile gaming, you've had uber-premium titles like console ports or mobile games from AAA studios. This is exemplified with Square Enix, and its Chaos Rings series, to name just one. In stark contrast, you have freemium games that may charge microtransactions or show ads. All of these are a crapshoot as to quality, and can range from near-console hits like Honkai Impact 3rd to distinctly low-tech, mobile-first outings like Fallout Shelter. Finally, there are mobile-first and indie games like Teslagrad that are priced low, but made well enough to warrant a premium for entry.
This game looks to join in on a continuing trend of bringing those spaces together, namely the uber-premium section and the mobile-first section. This could make mobile gaming a friendlier landscape for developers who want to be compensated for their work without having to resort to ads and microtransactions.
Finally, this is a really well-crafted horror game from a big name studio on a platform that's not exactly swarming with such titles. EA's Dead Space held the crown for a while, arguably, but was done in by Android's infamous fragmentation. Indie horror games on the platform, meanwhile, usually don't even verge on uber-premium, except in rare instances like Dark Meadow: The Pact, and those don't normally get a ton of attention. In any case, this release will probably end up being good for mobile gaming as a whole.