In the last week I wrote my review for Shift Happens (Insert Shameless Plug Here), and discussed the genre of the Puzzle Platformer and its occasional resurgence in gaming. Well ladies and gentlemen, when it rains, it pours. Dexteritrip is a futuristic puzzle platformer that is like Portal 2 had a baby with Qix. An eighties puzzle game based around you making it from one side of a level to the other in straight lines without being hit by an enemy. Only instead of the lines you draw being the enemy, floating Portal like Turrets and laser beams (sans Companion Cubes) fill each level for you to overcome.
Make no mistake about it, this game gets hard. Very hard. After the first ten or so levels introducing you to the different elements the game consists of in the main single-player mode, you’re out there on your own dying over and over again. By the time you’re into the 20’s levels you could be retrying a level literally dozens of times to perfect timing and kill each enemy. While this at times can become frustrating, and make you want to send your Switch into the nearest brick wall, it’s not a game you put down in frustration. Which in itself speaks for the game having the right balance of absolute bloody annoyance, but not to the point of it no longer being enjoyable.
My one grievance with the mode is the game’s control scheme. The buttons to jump and warp (I can’t think of a better word to describe it really), are next to each other as A and B. Several times just as I was getting somewhere in a level, instead of jumping I’d warp straight into a laser and have to start all over again. For me, the buttons should have been further apart and been less likely to be confused in the heat of the moment.
The other mode, named “Keep the Flow” is a different beast altogether. Rather than being in single room puzzles, you’re in an ongoing left-to-right platform level. You aren’t allowed to touch the walls, and instead float Jetpack Joyride style past turrets and lasers to see how far you can make it. The controls are far easier for this mode, however it is just as difficult to be killed and have to start again. For the endurance gamers out there who love a high score, this mode is perfect for them compared to the more puzzle element levels in the “Kill the All” mode.
Both modes are also available in two player competitive modes as time trial competitions. I can see this being quite fun, even in the frustrating moments, between two people in the same room pointing and laughing at each other’s misfortunes.
It is refreshing to see a game of this style come out with a genuinely harder difficulty level, where most games are trying to hard to have style over substance. Whether you ever reach the elusive 100th stage seems a pipe dream at the time of writing, but it does give the game a longevity for those who have the time and patience to do so. Adding a two player dimension to the game again adds replayability and extra depth to the concept, which only adds to the game’s value.
Overall I think the game works very well, but that control scheme does have to be taken into consideration when giving the game an overall score. With a more refined scheme, I would have given the game an 8, but it sadly does have to be knocked a couple of pegs down the board for such an overall issue. If you can get past that issue, and it not frustrate you, the game is very well designed and has a lot of content for the price however.
Beard Score: 6/10
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 29/11/2018
No. of Players: 1-2
Category: Action, Puzzle, Platformer
Download link: eShop