Rex Nebular and the Cosmic Gender Bender (header background)

Rex Nebular and the Cosmic Gender Bender

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Released in November 1992, Rex Nebular stands as MicroProse's first graphical adventure, joining the ranks of Return of the Phantom and Dragonsphere.

Crafted with the MicroProse Adventure Development system, the game embraced 256-color graphics, setting a new standard for visual storytelling.

In 2015, Tommo acquired the game’s rights, breathing new life into it through the Retroism brand.


Our protagonist, the hapless bachelor Rex Nebular, accepts a mission from Colonel Stone to recover a vase of sentimental value for a hefty reward. As Rex ventures toward the vase’s last known location, he encounters a twist of fate.

The planet, supposedly housing the vase, has vanished. A warship emerges, causing Rex’s ship to crash on an enigmatic planet inhabited solely by women.

The planet’s history unfolds, revealing a brutal war between the sexes that led to the extinction of males. Facing the challenge of survival, the females devised the Cosmic Gender Bender, a machine enabling them to switch genders temporarily.

Society on this planet is divided into Keepers, technologically advanced beings underground, and breeding Stock, living above ground with a primitive culture.

Their interdependence is vital for the planet’s continuity.

Rex Nebular and the Cosmic Gender Bender (gallery 01)

Gameplay Insights

Rex Nebular offers three difficulty levels, each influencing puzzle complexity and the perilousness of encounters. The intuitive mouse controls empower players to interact seamlessly with the environment.

Traveling between locations involves the use of teleporters and entering specific codes.

The game introduces death encounters, but fear not – Rex’s journey continues with unlimited chances and automatic restoration to the last safe position.

Graphics and Design

MicroProse showcased its artistic prowess by customizing image processing tools for 3D-rendering. This approach ensured smooth animation, maintaining quality while minimizing disk space usage.

The game’s aesthetic appeal contributed to its immersive storytelling.

Rex Nebular and the Cosmic Gender Bender (gallery 03)

From Past to Present

Rex Nebular and the Cosmic Gender Bender transcends its 1992 origins, persisting as a testament to MicroProse’s innovation.

Its acquisition by Tommo and the Retroism brand in 2015 breathed new life into this cosmic adventure, allowing a new generation to experience its charm.

Rex Nebular and the Cosmic Gender Bender (gallery 04)

Play Rex Nebular and the Cosmic Gender Bender online

You can play Rex Nebular and the Cosmic Gender Bender online, in a web browser, for free!

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How challenging are the death encounters in the game?

While the game features death encounters, players need not fear. “Rex Nebular” offers unlimited chances, and Rex is resurrected at his last safe position after each demise.

Is there a specific order to solve puzzles in the game?

The game encourages exploration and creativity. While certain puzzles may have a suggested order, players can often approach challenges in their preferred sequence.

What makes the gender dynamics in the game unique?

The game’s narrative introduces a society dependent on the Cosmic Gender Bender, adding a distinctive layer to Rex Nebular’s cosmic journey.

How does the game's difficulty impact the overall experience?

Difficulty levels influence puzzle complexity and the frequency of death encounters. Players can choose a difficulty that aligns with their preference for a challenging or more relaxed gameplay experience.