Monday, 7 November 2011

Dexter: Slice of Life Facebook Game Review

Social games via Facebook have proved to be immensely popular in the past year or so, Zynga created games such as Farmville taking the lead. Last month serial killing TV drama Dexter joined the throng.
Created by Showtime and Echo|Code, Dexter: Slice of Life was released to coincide with the sixth season of the show. The game follows the storyline of series six, with new missions available on the Monday after the latest episode of Dexter has aired in America). 


The game follows Dexter, a serial killer who kills serial killers. As Dexter, players get to explore crime scenes, Dexter's apartment, the Miami Metro Police station, and many more familiar places. A mission folder at the side of the page details what the player should be aiming to complete in order to move on to a new case, and level up. Once the exploration and collecting side of things has been completed, players can activate Dexter's "dark passenger", where the stalking of criminals, followed by the inevitable killing, begins. 
See, it all sounds like fun, but unfortunately, it isn't always. In fact, Dexter: Slice of Life can be rather irritating at times. Like games such as Farmville, there is a limited amount of energy which will be spent on actions (it's called "mask" in this game). These actions seem to focus on investigating objects for the most part, in order to try and collect the necessary items needed to enter the stealth-based portion of the game. Unfortunately, these mask points are exhausted incredibly quickly, and so you are either left with the option to wait it out, or buy some with "bloodslides" (another Dexter reference there), which players can buy with real cash. Ah yes, that old Facebook favourite again. Not wanting to spend money on a Facebook game, I opt to wait it out, which involves me leaving the game and coming back later. It's a shame when this happens, as Dexter: Slice of Life, despite it's niggling points, is actually rather fun. It just adds another layer of frustration in when you have to leave the game halfway through a mission because once again Dexter has no energy to investigate.
Another frustrating point is that constantly, players will be reminded that latex gloves, or other common items (such as organs), are needed in order to complete an objective, or complete an action. This is where the problem of having no mask points comes in once again. How are you expected to find these items when you're constantly out of points? Well, I guess Showtime and Echo|Code probably expect a lot of players to fork out real money to buy their way through the game. I for one am not going to do this. 


Whilst there are definitely a lot of issues with the game, we must remember the positives. Dexter: Slice of Life follows the popular TV show closely, so fans will appreciate seeing references to the current sixth's seasons plot, the great sound-bites from Michael C. Hall (the actor who plays Dexter) himself, the use of the familiar Dexter soundtrack, and the look and feel of the game. There is also the option to watch a few extras, such as the making of features, so I am sure that there are plenty of fans who will enjoy giving this a spin. It's just a shame that a few frustrating aspects stop this from being a better game. 

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