Dark Meadow starts in, well, a dark meadow. In the distance stands a tall, foreboding house that looks right up Norman Bates' alley. And then suddenly everything goes dark. You wake up, moments (or hours?) later, in a dingy room with an old man, a crossbow, and a sword. Don't worry; you're supposed to be confused by this iOS game ($5.99), which runs beautifully on the A5 processor inside the iPhone 4S and iPad 2.
The structure of Dark Meadow owes a lot to another popular iOS game, Infinity Blade. Instead of being able to walk freely around the creepy Overlook Hotel-esque building, you can only travel and interact with glowing hot spots. It's on rails, but you have full control of where you look, and you can examine any objects for gold coins, health packs, and weapons.
Combat is also heavily inspired by Infinity Blade, though you play the game from a first-person perspective. You'll stumble upon strange, feathered monsters and demons scattered throughout this building. Taking them down requires swiping at them with swords, blocking with a shield, or using your crossbow to bring them down at longer range.
Dark Meadow is stunningly gorgeous and looks incredible on the iPhone 4S (as well as the iPad 2). It's powered by the Unreal engine, which brings with it impressive lighting and particle effects that aren't far from console quality. You won't notice too many graphical differences between the game on the iPhone 4 and on the iPhone 4S--save for markedly faster load times and a more consistent frame rate--but for an action game both of those improvements are definitely appreciated. The fact that this is a mobile game really shows how far things have come.
If you enjoy classic adventure games with creepy monsters and a mysterious plot, Dark Meadow is well worth your time. The stunning graphics are a testament to the power of the iPhone 4S.