Platforms: PC & Mac
Developer: Sumo Digital
Publisher: BBC Wales Interactive
In previous years, I've sat down to watch the Christmas specials of Doctor Who and I've been fairly entertained throughout, however in my opinion 2010's episode was the most disappointing thing about Christmas Day. Luckily, at the end of the show there was a trailer for a new Doctor Who Adventure Game and so, with great joy, I got myself onto the BBC's website to download and play though it, only to discover that I'd missed the release of the third episode in the series and hurriedly worked my way though it to catch up.
As the title suggests, TARDIS gives us a glimpse into the Doctor's fantastic blue box, and unlike the previous episodes it leads directly into the next. The episode's set within the confines of the temperamental time machine, and Amy has to save the Doctor after the ship gets pulled into a space riptide, causing him to go hurtling through the TARDIS's double doors into space and narrowly avoiding death thanks to the ship's shields. Unfortunately, whilst she's rushing around trying to assemble a make shift device to retrieve the Doctor, using spare parts that he's collected from his various travels, she inadvertently unleashes a being known as The Entity. Just as Amy gets the Doctor safely back inside, the TARDIS hits another riptide, which results in it splitting in two leaving the Doctor in the past, whilst Amy finds herself 1000 years in the future with The Entity. If you've not guessed by now the Doctor ends up having to merge the TARDIS back together, so that he can save his lovely companion from the clutches of The Entity.
The chemistry between the Doctor and Amy in the TV show seems to finally be bleeding into the Adventure games, although it's still not quite up to scratch, but it's certainly better than it was in the previous two episodes.
Once again I felt that this had been made for long serving Doctor Who fans, seeing as there were numerous references to the old series littered about the environments, and it was also nice to see a couple of references to previous Adventure games episodes as well.
Unfortunately, there isn't anything surprising when it comes to the puzzles that you have to overcome throughout the course of the game, however the inclusion of a quiz about The Doctor and his adventures at one point in the course of events, was a nice addition that might have new fans scratching there heads when it comes to the Doctor's earlier incarnations.
Getting to interact with objects from The Doctor's past, such as The Master's laser screwdriver, is great fun and this episode got another tick in the plus column by giving you the opportunity to create improvised devices from these trinkets.
One of the things that I loved about this episode is the conflict resolution at the end, there's not a massive showdown with lots of weapons, but simply a tense sequence where The Doctor eventually comes to an agreement with a potentially dangerous creature.
At the very end of the game, you'll get the chance to explore the TARDIS's flight deck as either Amy and/or The Doctor, and I'd strongly advise you to look over the control panel as both, because the captions that you'll get are slightly different. As The Doctor you'll be able to identify everything in great detail, whereas Amy's trying her best to work out what the various knick knacks are, and her captions inject a bit of light hearted comedy into the mix.
Of course the ultimate experience that this episode offers up to Doctor Who fans is the chance to actually pilot the TARDIS, and you'll have to think on your feet pretty quickly in order to remember exactly what does what.
As good as this episode is I couldn't help but feel that it was a little bit short and the gameplay had become somewhat predictable. Also, one of the most exciting things about setting the episode in the TARDIS, is having the chance to run about and explore the various rooms that we've heard about in the past, so it was somewhat of a disappointment that the only places that you could go were The Doctor's study and the flight deck.
However, I'd say that once again this is a sign of the games improving, and I'm certainly getting excited at the prospect of another series being commissioned, which hopefully won't be quite so restricted in terms of what you can do.
- You get to fly the TARDIS
- You get the game for free again
- A concise, well told story
- It's quite short
- You don't get to explore enough of the TARDIS
- The gameplay's a little bit predictable
Short Version: An enjoyable little tale, but unfortunately the gameplay's a little repetitive.