The sudden craze behind Flappy Bird has brought on a whole wave of infuriatingly addictive mobile games that offer nothing but a few minutes of mindless fun. A brand new title by app developer Frank Cardello has just reached the Apple app store, and it offers just this, packaged into a smooth and polished experience with bright arcade-like graphics and music. I’ve spent a few minutes in-game to find out whether dEXTRIS is just another Flappy Bird clone, or if it’s something a little more exciting.
dEXTRIS has a very simple game control concept – holding down on the right side of the screen will move two cubes to the right side, and to move the cubes to the left, you must hold down on the left side of the screen. Players can also hold down on both sides of the screen to move one cube to either side of the screen. With these controls, players can dodge obstacles blocking either side of the screen, as well as any obstacles in the center of the cube’s flight path.
The objective of dEXTRIS is to avoid obstacles as the cubes fly down a tunnel at a supercharged pace. The overall concept of dEXTRIS is extremely similar to that of Flappy Bird, and it offers the same kind of addictive gameplay. After every 10 obstacles dodged, players will reach a milestone point, at which stage the speed of the game will start to increase slightly. As you can imagine, things can get pretty hectic after around 50 obstacles in, and there’s a certain feeling of satisfaction that hits you every time you manage to get any further.
Despite the simple 2D graphics, dEXTRIS does have a certain beauty to it. The developer has done a great job creating what feels like a classic arcade experience, and it feels like a much more complete game than any Flappy Bird clone could ever be. The minimal 2D art style makes the experience easy to take in, whilst looking bright and colorful enough to keep our short attention spans from losing interest.
There are no real objectives behind dEXTRIS besides trying to better your latest high score, and whilst the game could be improved with some side objectives or progression system, the simplicity of it is something that makes it such an innocent experience. There are no in-app purchases, and besides from the occasional ad, everything feels open and playable without restriction, just like an early 2000’s flash game.
dEXTRIS has definitely taken inspiration from the huge Flappy Bird hype, but it’s far from a Flappy Bird clone. If you’re interested, you can download this game on iOS for free. An Android version has not yet been developed, and the developer has warned not to install any Android dEXTRIS apps, as they are most likely fake and may contain malware.