Dexter Stardust: Adventures in Outer Space is an adventure game in the style of 1960s cartoons but with a bit of a Futurama feel. Developed by Dexter Team Games and published by Flynn’s Arcade, this episodic title has everything you could want in a point-and-click adventure. I had the opportunity to play Season 1 of this cool game which contained episodes 0 to 4. From the outset of the opening sequence, I was immediately drawn in by the art style and intro music. Imagine yourself playing a Mexican version of Futurama – this is it. During this adventure I took control of taco-loving Dexter as he and his friend Aurora travel from planet to planet, delivering swaying hula girls and other merchandise for his uncle. All while uncovering the mystery of the Robot from Planet X in order to save the human and Vreesian races.
From the outset I loved the energy of Dexter Stardust: Adventures in Outer Space. This is a very cleverly crafted game from the mind of Jeremy Fryc and with a very similar style to Monkey Island, you can see where the developers drew their inspiration. Each episode starts with opening credits and cast, then transitions to an episode title card much like a television show. The first episode plays as somewhat of a teaser to the story, designed to get you comfortable with the controls.
Characters are fully voiced and backgrounds are drawn and animated fantastically. I was surprised to learn that almost all aspects of this game were done by one person: Jeremy Fryc. From animations to programming, as well as the musical score. All the characters are very well thought out. Dexter Stardust is your resident goofball who always ends up being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He tries to make the best of a bad situation by finding solutions in his surroundings. Aurora is Dexter’s best friend and a tech-head. She pilots and engineers the ship they take on their missions, and is Dexter’s voice of reason and logic. Their dynamic works very well. I felt the chemistry between them by episode 2 and it only develops further from there.
The puzzles in the game are logical and well thought out, though there is a bit of backtracking involved in order to solve some of them. An annoyance I found was only the primary objectives were listed in the checklist which was frustrating because I often lost track where was within a puzzle, which led to more backtracking. A nice feature is that you can interact with almost everything in the environment with or without inventory items.
Some of the puzzles were a bit tedious in nature. For instance in Episode 0 there is a particular task which involves grabbing an item from your inventory, placing it down, getting a second item from your inventory and placing that next to the first item. You then must pick up the first item again and after taking a few steps away, select that item from your inventory and place it again, with the process repeated for the second item. After a few times doing this, Dexter chimes in and says “Ok, I think I get the picture”. This would have been far less of a chore after only doing this with the first item.
The voice acting and soundtrack in Dexter Stardust: Adventures in Outer Space is good and really fit the aesthetic of the game. However, for someone who doesn’t speak Spanish, I found it bothersome having the subtitles on for translation in those segments. There are plenty of one-liners and 4th wall breaks where I let out an audible chuckle, as well as a couple of jokes that are quite literally on the nose. Another feature I enjoyed was the director’s commentary track that could play over the game with a button press. It gave good insight into the development of the game.
Overall I really enjoyed Dexter Stardust: Adventures in Outer Space Episodes 0-4. It’s a great game for the whole family that plays exceptionally well on the Nintendo Switch. I am looking forward to the eventual release of Episodes 5-8.
This review utilised a Nintendo Switch key provided by Flynn’s Arcade. Dexter Stardust: Adventures in Outer Space Episodes 0-4 releases on March 3 on PC, Switch and iOS
Written by: @Blustreak81