Dextram brings the one button control scheme to an arena shooter score attack game and whilst that sounds a little mad, it’s extremely addictive. The game straddles between an avoid-em-up and an arena shooter by making you choose aggression and daring tactics every single time to try to chain up enemy kills and keep you alive a little longer.
You choose your ship and get placed onto the single screen arena, always moving forward. Pressing a button lets you start to turn right. That’s all you’ll be doing – no left turns at all. Enemies appear on the screen and depending on who they are they’ll either chase, charge or follow you or a movement pattern. Keep turning right and avoid them and try to either make them crash into each other to explode or hit the screen edge to crash out. Each enemy death is a single point.
Where Dextram then levels up is that various attack power ups drop onto the screen and each one is a different attack. One gives you shield to bash enemies with, another a radar line that screen wipes and kills everything, another a homing missile launch, another a green electric fence zone to hide in. Each one has an expected kill limit and when they hit it like a combo meter within a timeframe, it’ll trigger a secondary powerup straight after. This racks up your points but also speeds you into swarms of enemy spawns and new, more deadly enemies to avoid. It means the game rewards aggressive play, you can’t just hide around the edges of the screen forever. If you do, you’ll get stuck pretty quickly anyway.
Original mode gives you a constantly increasing enemy count to deal with whilst waves mode gives specific structured waves to clear before the next lot appear. Both have separate online leaderboards to battle for high score honours with although locally you only keep your top score. Dextram is addictive in chasing a better score or lasting longer than ever and whilst a couple more weapons or variants would have been welcome, it’s priced cheaply and so I don’t feel short changed in the slightest.
Dextram looks, feels and plays smoothly and its perfect for score attack evenings to pass and play with mates for a quick fire round of arcade tension. I love it when a game takes a single idea and really embraces everything about it and Dextram does that extremely well. Recommended.
A fantastic score attack game that draws you in with its simple premise and then ups the ante and becomes extremely addictive.
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