LifeisXbox’s Dextram review | Dextram looks like a very simple game on the surface. Go straight ahead and turn right to avoid enemies and have them crash into either each other or the walls. With that you think you’ve got it all figured out, a high score forms itself in front of your eyes as you multitask Dextram with whatever other compatible task you can think of. At least, it’s what I thought before giving it a try. I was terribly wrong, and for as simple as it looks, it poses a definite challenge to your insight and short-term forward-thinking and pattern recognition. Let me talk to you a little more about Dextram, developed and published by Lingon Studios!
This is a short review, our usual the good, mixed and the bad was difficult because of the nature of this game.
Reviewed Dextram on PC | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion from the writer.
During your time with Dextram, you can choose to take on either wave or classic mode. Both modes go on ad infinitum, endlessly throwing more and harder enemies at you. From what I found, the main difference lies in how fast they ramp up said difficulty and enemy variety, and how generous they are with the power-ups. Classic mode has a more structured progression, with clearer waves, showing more advanced enemy types sooner. Wave mode on the other hand cranks up the difficulty in a slower, often more manageable way, yet brings the numbers a lot sooner than classic mode.
A lot of the difficulties I had while playing Dextram can be boiled down to three things: oversteering, misjudging the enemy movements, and not looking at the bigger picture. Oversteering is an obvious one, yet I didn’t think it would be such an issue beforehand. Since you’re constantly moving forward you can’t stop and spin in place. The SS clockwise goes ever onwards lest it is turning starboard. This means that if there’s suddenly an enemy in front of you, you can either keep on turning or kamikaze into it and try again in the next round. This largely goes hand in hand with misjudging the enemy movements. I’ve seen more runs than I care to admit end to my side grazing a basic yellow enemy. Once you get past the first five or so waves is when you often need to start looking at the bigger picture, rather than directly in front of you. It all depends on what the enemy patterns are and how many are following you at that time.
A lot of that pressure during the busier waves can be relieved by the power-ups. From the forcefield, which creates a rectangular safe zone for you to chill out in, to the shield which protects you as you run into enemies, these passive buffs can give you a moment’s reprise. A bit more active in its use is the laser beam. This emanates out in front of you, and if you spin around with it in the middle of the map lets you take out a lot of enemies in record time. Then there’s the windscreen wiper and missiles. These fire and forget boons will simply do their thing while you work on evading and baiting your foes.
So what’s it all for? Glory? High scores? Doing the right thing? Well, mostly high scores. I’ve found it quite cathartic to play a couple of rounds after work, before starting something else with friends. You’ve also got some limited cosmetics. These are merely different colours and shapes for your dexter escapades, yet it’s nice to spice things up a bit. I even think they impact gameplay a bit with having wider or narrower front or rear, allowing you to make tight turns work, but the jury (that’s me) is still out on that.
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Hey there. Thomas is the name, Sci-fi, action and (J)RPG’s are the game. I strongly prefer co-op over PVP games. Whenever possible, you may find me run wild at a convention in western Europe. Certified anime enjoyer.