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Test Tube – My Ex-Boyfriend the Space Tyrant

Posted by Cha Holland On Thursday 7 March 2013Comments Off

Welcome to Test Tube. Not to be confused with our full reviews, these ‘two hour test’ articles see us tackle remakes, ports, mobile games and other titles of interest.

Available on PC l Published and developed by Up Multimedia l Unclassified l Supports 1 player

If you’ve been hanging out for some gay-themed pulpy sci-fi you’re in luck. My Ex-Boyfriend the Space Tyrant is a colourful, cheeky point-and-click adventure from Melbourne based game developer Luke Miller. It stars Captain Tycho Minogue, who is roped into trying to stop an alien invasion apparently headed up by his ex-boyfriend. Has the sweet Andy really become the conqueror Emperor Andromedus?

The game delights in sexual innuendo but doesn’t contain actual sex, based on my few hours with the game. It might take a certain frame of mind to appreciate the constant double-meanings and humorously-shaped objects but there’s no denying the design knows what it wants and goes for it. The writing also includes a smattering of geeky and pop culture references.

The puzzle design is straightforward, but sometimes frustrating. The major challenges occur when it seems obvious what to do, but the game won’t let you before completing relevant conversations or other criteria.

The vibrant visuals, courtesy of comic artist Joe Phillips, contribute to a sense of over-the-top fun and adventure. The character design is particularly striking, with a lively cast ranging from interstellar drag queens to mediaeval knights. There are some less polished elements, such as pathing issues and some less attractive background elements, but nothing unreasonable for an indie game of this scope. More seriously, there are occasional freezes and bugs, so be sure to save often.

Sexualised male characters are the norm here, with no shortage of generous crotch bulges, skin-tight outfits, bare chests and leather harnesses. It all comes across in a light-hearted, cartoony way and it’s certainly no more extreme than typical female design in more heteronormative media, particularly considering the comic book aesthetics.

Overall, My Ex-Boyfriend the Space Tyrant is an entertaining mix of sci-fi, comedy and romance.  I’m looking forward to spending some more time with the game and seeing how the story ends.

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