Dexter Stardust: Adventures in Outer Space may be my first modern point-and-click adventure game, especially on the Nintendo Switch. I’m sure I’ve played many old school point-and-click adventure games back in the day, but none of them come to mind right now. In fact, I bet I played a bunch but never realized they fit into this genre.
You would think that a point-and-click adventure game would be best enjoyed on a PC, with a mouse. However, the Switch (in handheld mode) may be the proper way to enjoy Dexter Stardust, since they have implemented touchscreen controls. The Nintendo Switch may have been inadvertently designed for this genre.
At times, Dexter Stardust feels like watching an animated show. An animated show where you get to choose what happens next — as long as you make the correct choice. If you continuously make the wrong choices, nothing will happen. This can become a problem when you find yourself stuck on a certain objective. There were a few times where I knew what I needed to do, I just couldn’t figure out how to do it. Eventually, I figured it out and got stuck on the next task.
When I started looking at Dexter Stardust more as an animated puzzle, that’s when it all began to click for me. Once I finally put on my critical thinking cap, I was able to look at the world in a different way. Can I put this object here? Can I grab this? Should I stick this in here? The game is basically a big trial-and-error exam.
I began with Episode 0, which was sort of a tutorial mission. It’s a short one where you just need to deliver a package. The problem is you’ve fallen into a ditch and are now separated from your partner, Aurora. Solve some puzzles to find your way back to her and deliver the package and all will be fine.
You can play the episodes in whatever order you’d like. There are five episodes total (Episodes 0 – 4), but I would definitely start off with 0 (the tutorial) before moving on.
The opening title for each episode reminds me of an older sitcom, plus each episode has its own uniquely designed title card. Catch the opening sequence below:
At times (in docked mode) I would have liked the option to use the D-pad as well. Especially for choosing my saves, and other pre-game menu functions. It’s always great to have the choice of using both the D-pad or thumb stick in games. Unless the D-pad is being used in some specific way. Having the D-pad do nothing though, seems like a waste to me.
The writing and characters of the Dexter Stardust universe are pretty silly and fun. Dexter himself is a goofy space man, with Aurora being the straight woman. I came across many strange characters on my journey through a couple of episodes.
I noticed the influence of Futurama in some of the world and character design. From the ship to the Bender-looking robot. The Dexter Stardust character even has some Zapp Brannigan qualities to him. Futurama is one of my favorite animated series, so I totally welcome it as an inspiration for this game.
It’s always nice to see some Hispanic/Latin representation in games, as someone with Cuban parents. While the Aurora character has a thick accent, Dexter seems to be more like me (a gringo with Hispanic parents). He’s also a huge fan of tacos. Tacos seem to be the only motivation to do a good job to him.
The voice acting in the game is well done, for the most part. There are some characters that sound like they didn’t get to record their lines under the best conditions. However, I always prefer when a game is fully voiced, like this one.
The animation is kind of simple, but also has its own style. I can totally see this style of animation as a Cartoon Network/Adult Swim program. The game is basically like if someone wrote some short episodes for an animated show, and turned it into a puzzle.
I had a fun time playing Dexter Stardust: Adventures in Outer Space. Mainly because it’s something new and different for me. Each episode is its own separate adventure, so you can jump in and play the episodes you want.
Dexter Stardust: Adventures in Outer Space released on PC and Mac (via Steam) and on the Nintendo Switch today, March 3rd 2022.
*myVGBC.com was provided a review code for Dexter Stardust: Adventures in Outer Space by the publisher.