Dexter Stardust – Adventures in Outer Space: Night of the Hollow Moon is a point-and-click adventure game that feels like a bizarre, slightly less adult, sci-fi sequel to the Leisure Suit Larry franchise.
You play as Dexter Stardust, an almost charming hula-girl salesman, as he tries to help his ex-girlfriend uncover the truth behind her brother’s sudden disappearance. Right from the get-go, it’s clear that Dexter Stardust draws inspiration heavily from sci-fi comedy classics like Space Balls and cult-hit shows like Firefly. From its space-western styling to its quippy dialogue, the world of Dexter Stardust feels believable while still not taking itself too seriously.
The writing in most of the demo is on-point. Somehow the awkward voice-acting manages to compliment — rather than detract from — the flow of the game’s conversations and Dexter’s frequent soliloquies. However, and that really is a big “however”, Dexter Stardust needs to seriously reevaluate its portrayals of its latino and female characters. Both Jedo and his cousin Carlos are downright cringe-worthy stereotypes that feel out of place in the otherwise fun space adventure. Likewise, Gabriela, the demo’s only female character with whom you can interact, also gets the short end of the stick as your only possible dialogue with her consists of sleazy pick-ups lines. Both portrayals feel very jarring and lack the wit present elsewhere in the demo.
In so far as novelty is concerned, Dexter Stardust doesn’t really introduce anything new to the point-and-click genre, although that is not necessarily a bad thing. The UI for interactions is slick and easy to use, and the puzzles are well-thought out and fun to complete. The game could use a little more consistency in its art direction, as its decision to use digitized photographs during cutscenes doesn’t quite work. Still, even with its quirks and problems, Dexter Stardust is a promising title that, with some refinement, could make for a truly out-of-this-world adventure. Dexter Stardust has plans to launch a Kickstarter campaign in the near future and we will be sure to update this review when the campaign goes live.