Microprose is a gaming company mostly known for great simulation, action simulation and strategies such as Civilization, Colonization, Pirates, Railroad Tycoon, F15 series, and naturally X-Com games. But at a certain point in time, they have obviously tried to break into the (at the time extremely popular) adventure genre.
Rex Nebular seems to be a cross between several well known adventure game heroes, such as Lucasart’s Zak (Zak McCracken and the Alien Mindbenders) and Sierra’s Roger (Space Quest series) with just the touch of adult fun in the Larry or Les Manley manner.
Rex is a macho type of a guy, who gets shipwrecked on a planet with absolutely no male specimen of the human race. But things aren’t all that fun for him and one might have expected, for he came there with a mission in mind. A mission to find a valuable vase.
Actually the game begins with Rex presenting the vase to his employer and the rest of the game is just a sort of a flashback as to how Rex got back to him, to collect the money. The intro also includes speech, but the rest of the game doesn’t.
The game is a fully mouse operational point’n’click pixel hunting adventure, where you need to collect and combine different objects to move on.
There are several scenes, where you die, but luckily you are just placed back to the previous screen and you can try again, as though nothing has happened (it’s a mix between senseless Sierra deaths and a virtually no-death LucasArt’s games).
The puzzles seems somewhat logical, but they also try to be funny. Unfortunately they usually fail. The most bothersome thing is probably the interface. You can not see what is on the screen (or at least can’t make out what those random pixels are suppose to be) unless you drag a mouse (with either button pressed) over it. This really makes it more difficult and less fun to play. On the other hand the possibility of seeing what you can do with a certain object (apart from the standard verbs) is a welcomed novel feature (just please, don’t go licking those poisonous darts).
Technically the game is less then I expected of Microprose. The sound will quite soon start bothering you. It’s quiet and unnoticeable with exceptional bleeps which hurt the ears. The graphics are highly pixilated and the speed is terrible, although having animated text seems nice, it’s not helpful and it takes up loads of time.
The game is slow paced and not as funny as it could have been, with a 60s B-rated sci-fi movie type of a plot. Still it’s not all that bad, but compared to let’s say The Lure of the Temptress (which was Revolution’s first attempt of an adventure game) this game does seem pitiful. No wonder Microprose never got famous for making adventure games.