Doctor Who : The Adventure Games

8th April 2010 • Blog Post by Seb Patrick •

This is just absolutely bloody wonderful and phenomenal.

Doctor Who and video games have never got on all that well. The canon basically consists of Dalek Attack (a lovely little PC/Amiga/Speccy/C64 platformer that unfortunately had very little to do with the style or aesthetic of Who itself) and Destiny of the Doctors (an “interactive” CD-ROM adventure that was a nice idea but hampered by frankly woeful execution). Last time it was announced that there was to be a new series tie-in game, we briefly built up hope that we’d finally get the time-travelling point-and-click adventure game that the show so badly deserves, but it ended up being some cheap reprehensible Top Trumps bollocks for the PS2. Indeed, the best that Who has managed in the gaming field have been those free BBC flash games that showed up on the official site during the Eccleston series – of which the best by a considerable margin was that terrifically fun Last Dalek thinger, which saw you playing as a single Dalek wandering around exterminating Van Staten’s minions.

Finally, though, Doctor Who is getting a “proper” computer game. Okay, so it’s not a full-on, commercially-released enterprise, but it’s nevertheless exciting for a number of highly significant reasons:

1. It’s written by Steven Moffat and Phil Ford
2. It ties directly into the series (with the first three of four episodes being released while Series Fnarg is broadcasting)
3. It’s being developed by the people what did Broken Sword
4. It’s FREE.
5. It’s got Amy’s legs in it.

CAN’T. WAIT. Check out the new issue of PC Gamer for more info and screenshots.

Seb Patrick once met Paul McGann, who immediately pretended to be Mark McGann. He writes for Den of Geek, BBC America, Film4 and the official Red Dwarf website, among others. He owns over thirty toy Daleks and wishes the Dapol factory tour was still open.

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13 Responses

  1. There was also a text-adventure version of “The Key to Time” published in 1984 for the Spectrum and “Doctor Who and the Mines of Terror” from 1985 on the Commodore 64. The former seems to have been an unofficial title, not uncommon at a time when video games were largely seen as very niche and so copyright law was very laxly enforced.

    http://www.worldofspectrum.org/infoseekid.cgi?id=0006530

    http://www.lemon64.com/games/details.php?ID=744

    Also worth mentioning is a independent freeware text-adventure which forms a sequel to “The Brain of Morbius” (I can’t remember the name, sadly, but did play it some years ago) and “Daleks”, a very simple strategy game in which the player is surrounded by a swarm of daleks (which rarely look anything like the TV cyborgs) who move towards the player and must be forced to crash into each other (?!). The latter actually inspired a 1994 Amiga shareware title which (unofficially) turned it into a full “Doctor Who” title complete with sampled music, loads more features, “proper” daleks that shout “exterminate” and fire lasers (although they do still crash into each other) and lives represented by each of the Doctor’s incarnations (seven at the time).

  2. Seb Patrick

    >Also worth mentioning is a independent freeware text-adventure which forms a sequel to “The Brain of Morbius”

    Ah, yes, I vaguely remember getting hold of that some time in the mid-90s.

    Obviously I was oversimplifying for the sake of a quick blog post, but there’s definitely scope for an article on the history of Who games at some point…

    (I remember seeing a .WAD for a Doctor Who DOOM at some point, too, though never got round to downloading it. Wonder if it’s still out there?)

  3. Hendiadys

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/tv/2923947/New-Dr-Who-game-set-for-release.html

    In fact some new features of the Tardis in the TV show originated here – like the stairs, designed to allow certain functions in the game.

    No.

  4. Hendiadys

    but there’s definitely scope for an article on the history of Who games at some point…

    Including cameos? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3NMIWIB4lE (skip to 6:30)

  5. Andy M

    In fact some new features of the Tardis in the TV show originated here – like the stairs, designed to allow certain functions in the game.

    THEIRS A 1-UP HIDDEN UNDER TEH STAIRS IN THE TARDIS U GUYZ!!

  6. VS

    Interesting that the Cybermen don’t have a C on their chest, but instead an outline of their faceplate. Wonder if that carries into the show…

  7. This is exactly what I’ve always wanted. Thank you, Moff.

  8. Hendiadys

    THEIRS A 1-UP HIDDEN UNDER TEH STAIRS IN THE TARDIS U GUYZ!!

    PLUS THEIRS AN ACTION FIGURE WHAT DEFINITELY LOOKS MORE LIKE TEH COMPUTER GAME VIRSWON OF MATT SMITH THAN TEG REAL ACTRE.

    And after one episode we’re clearly ready to vote on who was best out of David Tennant and Matt Smith, as well. So the papers think.

  9. Hendiadys

    http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=241476&site=pcg

    “If they don’t play the game,” says writer Phil Ford, “Then they’ll actually be missing part of the new series.”

    God, that’s a bit annoying. At least we don’t have to pay for the privilege of filling the gaps, but this still reminds me of the way that the Matrix game was attached to the two sequels in 2003. “The BBC is using license-payers’ money to fund the development of a full-blown episodic PC game” – cut to shot of Daily Mail readers fuming.

    More here:
    http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=241479&site=pcg
    and here:
    http://gallifreynewsbase.blogspot.com/2010/04/doctor-who-adventure-games.html

  10. Nick Ridley

    It/They’ll be rubbish.

  11. Jonathan Capps

    Well, that comment was sure to be worth approving.

  12. Nick Ridley

    Tie-in games are not allowed to be good. Usually.

  13. ChrisM

    Those screen shots look excellent.

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