More Frustration Than Dexterity
The term 'Fumble-Core' isn't one I had heard of before someone tried to describe Dexterity to me, but it perfectly encapsulates games like Surgeon Simulator and Ampu-Tea. Games whose main challenge lies not in intricate gameplay and design but more in how awkward they are to control. While the description might not sound all together positive the genre can be fun if done right. Dexterity is a fumble-core game in which your goal is to try and help some patrons escape from a museum where the front entrance has mysteriously vanished. You do this by competing in a variety of different puzzles to earn points.
Most of the puzzles in Dexterity basically require you to get to the endpoint as quickly as possible, taking out enough enemies to meet an arbitrary quota. It might sound a bit like a lo-fi Superhot and it does sort of have that vibe. Lo-fi might be a bit generous honestly. Almost everything is constructed from very basic, untextured polygons from the environments to the characters. During gameplay, the only actions you can take are grabbing and chucking things and karate-chopping by randomly flailing around with the mouse. Far from the hilarious results that come about when trying to control similar games, Dexterity is unfortunately devoid of humor or enjoyment.
Dexterity Is Too Limited (Literally)
The time limits are the biggest downfall of Dexterity. While the challenges might give some sort of passing enjoyment if they were fairer, they leave you with so little time that getting 3 points on most of them is nigh-on impossible. Obviously, games like Surgeon Simulator are also nearly impossible to do because that's sort of the point, but that's because of the controls not a time limit. In Dexterity, you have no time to mess around and get a hang of the controls since you have around 3-6 seconds to finish if you want a top score. It would be okay if the middle or lower scores were easy to get, but they hang around the 'just about doable' range.
Worse than all of this, is that you need to get top scores on almost every level if you want to complete the game. To open the door in the museum you need to collect 72 points, with 3 points possible per level and a total of 27 levels that means that you can get at most 81 point, so you can miss only 9 of them in total if you actually want to win. If the challenges were even slightly fairer then the game might have been a passable one, but as it stands it's really hard to think of anyone to recommend it to. The challenge is too high for a game with imprecise controls. Dexterity seems to miss the entire point of 'fumble-core' games.
Finishing Up With Dexterity
If you like nearly impossible challenges that you might be able to wrangle some fun out of Dexterity. The time limits are super tight and the challenges the wrong side of a poor physics engine. It feels like the idea may have had some merit if the game was changed. But it doesn't even have a unique concept or beautiful visuals to fall back on. It looks worse than Bubsy 3D did, and in this day and age, there is no excuse for that. In short, Dexterity fails to be funny, entertaining or even a decent time sink. There are infinitely better-made indie games in the 'fumble-core' genre to pass your time with. And yes I am determined to make 'fumble-core' a thing.
Dexterity was covered on PC via Steam with a copy provided by the Developer.