It’s generally accepted that movie to game adaptations suck, but there is another beast that is all too often forgotten: the TV to game adaptation. Because of this, it was with great trepidation that I sat in on a meeting with Icarus Studios to check out Dexter, the upcoming iPhone adaptation of the hit Showtime series. Surprisingly, I walked away very impressed.
Since I was unfamiliar with the show, I had them walk me through the basics: Dexter Morgan works by day in a crime lab in Miami but moonlights as a serial killer. His day life is just a cover for his true self. He is a self admitted monster, who shakes his blood lust by killing other serial killers. In the game, players will seek out evidence to prove whether or not a suspect is a murderer. Once that evidence has been gathered, players will set up the kill room, stalk their victim, and seek a confession. If all of this is successful, Dexter will commit his deadly deed and take a slide of blood as a trophy.
The game itself is comprised of minigames that have been combined to create a full gameplay experience. Based on what we saw, it would seem as if Dexter should contain enough variety to keep players occupied. Unfortunately, the E3 demo was not fully finished, so we were unable to play through it ourselves. The game looks beautiful and uses an engine developed internally by Icarus, with the cutscenes being some of the best that I have seen to date on an iPhone. With Michael C. Hall lending his voice and likeness to the project, it will clearly keep a very Dexter feel. The episodes will follow the TV show with a few extra bits added for the purpose of gameplay, supplementing those with a thirst for more info on the Dexter universe.
As someone unfamiliar with the series, Dexter for iPhone gave me a desire to go and check out the show, but the main appeal of this game will be to those who are already fans. When asked for a price point, we were informed that this is a premium game and will carry with it a premium price. From everything we were shown, it is clear that some serious time and effort has been put into it, so the game will probably justify whatever price it is eventually listed at.
Dexter will be launched as four 8-10 hour episodes, with the first expected to be out this summer.