Tue. May 28th, 2024

Throughout the decades, Doctor Who has captivated audiences with its thrilling adventures, enigmatic characters, and epic battles against evil forces. But have you ever wondered if you could be a part of the action yourself? In this retrospective, we will delve into the history of Doctor Who video games, exploring the highs and lows of these interactive experiences. From classic text-based adventures to modern-day blockbusters, we’ll take a trip through time and space to uncover the evolution of Doctor Who video games. So buckle up and get ready to travel through the vortex of gaming history!

The Early Years: Text-Based Adventures

The Peter Davison Era

Doctor Who and the Mines of Mind

Doctor Who and the Mines of Mind was released in 1985 for the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, and Amstrad CPC home computers. It was developed by Software Projects Limited and published by Virgin Games. The game was designed to capitalize on the popularity of the fifth Doctor, Peter Davison, who had recently completed his stint as the Time Lord.

Doctor Who: The Ultimate Adventure

Doctor Who: The Ultimate Adventure, also released in 1985, was developed by Adventure Soft and published by BBC Video Collection. The game was available for the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, and Amstrad CPC. It featured the fifth Doctor and his companion, Tegan, as they explored various locations from the show, including the TARDIS and the planet Zog. The game consisted of a series of text-based adventures that required players to solve puzzles and make choices that would affect the outcome of the story.

The Colin Baker Era

Doctor Who: The Computer Game

During the Colin Baker era, Doctor Who video games saw a significant shift towards more interactive experiences. The Doctor Who: The Computer Game, released in 1983, was one of the first games to be developed specifically for home computers. The game was designed for the ZX Spectrum, a popular home computer in the UK during the 1980s.

The game was a text-based adventure that allowed players to explore the TARDIS and interact with various characters from the show. Players could choose to play as either the Fourth Doctor or the Second Doctor, each with their own unique storylines. The game featured a text parser that allowed players to issue commands to the characters, such as “open door” or “talk to companion.”

The Doctor Who: The Computer Game was praised for its innovative use of text-based gameplay and its faithful representation of the Doctor Who universe. However, the game was also criticized for its lack of interactivity and its reliance on simple text commands.

Despite these limitations, the game was a commercial success and paved the way for future Doctor Who video games. The success of the game also helped to establish Doctor Who as a viable property for video game adaptations, setting the stage for more ambitious and interactive games in the years to come.

The Rise of Graphical Adventures

Key takeaway: Doctor Who video games have evolved significantly over the years, from text-based adventures to graphical adventures and console games. The games have featured various Doctors, including Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith, and Jodie Whittaker. The games have also included various companions and enemies from the show. Doctor Who video games have paved the way for more ambitious and interactive games in the years to come, with many upcoming titles set to expand on the franchise’s rich history and iconic characters.

The Sylvester McCoy Era

During the Sylvester McCoy era, Doctor Who video games saw a shift towards more graphical adventures. The era saw the release of two significant games, Doctor Who: The Video Game and Doctor Who: The Adventure Game.

Doctor Who: The Video Game

Doctor Who: The Video Game was developed by the BBC and was released in 1992 for the Sega Master System and Sega Game Gear. The game was a side-scrolling platformer that followed the Seventh Doctor and Ace as they battled against the Daleks on the planet Skaro.

The game was well-received for its faithful representation of the Doctor Who universe and its challenging gameplay. However, it was criticized for its short length and lack of variety in gameplay.

Doctor Who: The Adventure Game

Doctor Who: The Adventure Game was developed by the BBC and was released in 1993 for the Sega Master System and Sega Game Gear. The game was a text-based adventure game that followed the Seventh Doctor and Mel as they explored various locations in time and space.

The game was praised for its engaging storyline and challenging puzzles. However, it was criticized for its lack of graphics and sound, which made the game feel text-heavy and dull.

Overall, the Sylvester McCoy era saw the rise of graphical adventures in Doctor Who video games, with the release of two significant games that were well-received by fans of the show.

The Modern Era: Console Games

The Eighth Doctor Era

Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock

Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock, released in 2012, marked the beginning of the Eighth Doctor Era in console gaming. Developed by British video game developer, Super Mario 64, the game featured the voice talents of both Paul McGann, who portrayed the Eighth Doctor in the television series, and John Barrowman, who played Captain Jack Harkness.

The game was a third-person action-adventure game set in the universe of Doctor Who. Players controlled the Eighth Doctor as they explored various planets and encountered numerous enemies from the series. The game featured a unique blend of puzzle-solving and combat mechanics, allowing players to use the Sonic Screwdriver and other gadgets to solve puzzles and defeat enemies.

Doctor Who: Legacy

Doctor Who: Legacy, released in 2013, was a free-to-play mobile game that spanned multiple Doctors, including the Eighth Doctor. The game was developed by Adult Swim Games and featured a puzzle-based gameplay mechanic where players had to swap tiles to create a complete scene from a Doctor Who episode.

The Eighth Doctor’s episodes featured in the game included “The TV Movie,” “Dreamland,” and “The Waters of Mars.” Players could collect and unlock various characters from the series, including companions and enemies, to help or hinder their progress.

While Doctor Who: Legacy was not a traditional console game, it still contributed to the Eighth Doctor’s presence in the video game world and allowed fans to engage with the character in a new and unique way.

The War Doctor Era

Doctor Who: The Maze of Time

In the early 2000s, the Doctor Who franchise began to experience a resurgence in popularity, and with it came a new wave of video game releases. The first game to kick off this new era was “Doctor Who: The Maze of Time,” released in 2000 for the Sony PlayStation. This game marked a significant departure from the text-based adventure games of the past, representing a major evolution in the Doctor Who video game landscape.

A Platformer Adventure Game

“Doctor Who: The Maze of Time” was a platformer adventure game that put players in the shoes of the Doctor as they navigated a series of mazes and puzzles to save the universe from various threats. The game featured a variety of levels, each with their own unique challenges and obstacles to overcome. Players could choose to play as either the Eighth Doctor or the War Doctor, each with their own unique abilities and weapons to aid them in their quest.

Graphics and Sound

The graphics in “Doctor Who: The Maze of Time” were top-notch for their time, with detailed character models and environments that perfectly captured the aesthetic of the show. The sound design was equally impressive, with a haunting score that perfectly captured the atmosphere of the game. The voice acting was also spot-on, with Peter Davison reprising his role as the Fifth Doctor and Sir Derek Jacobi providing the voice of the War Doctor.

Story and Characters

The story of “Doctor Who: The Maze of Time” was a thrilling adventure that took players across time and space, from the far-flung future to the darkest corners of the past. The game featured a range of characters from the Doctor Who universe, including the Doctor himself, as well as his companions and enemies. The story was engaging and well-written, with plenty of twists and turns to keep players on the edge of their seats.

Legacy and Impact

“Doctor Who: The Maze of Time” was a landmark game in the Doctor Who video game universe, representing a significant evolution in the types of games that were being produced. Its mix of platformer gameplay, stunning graphics and sound, and engaging story made it a hit with fans of the show and gamers alike. The game’s success paved the way for a new wave of Doctor Who video games, many of which would build on the innovations and successes of “The Maze of Time.”

The Ninth Doctor Era

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor

During the Ninth Doctor era, Doctor Who video games primarily focused on console games. One of the most notable games released during this time was Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor, which was developed by BBC Wales Interactive and published by Asmodee Digital in 2018.

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor was a multimedia game that combined puzzle-solving and interactive storytelling. Players took on the role of the Tenth Doctor, voiced by David Tennant himself, as they explored various locations and time periods in an attempt to stop a villainous force from destroying the universe.

The game featured multiple episodes, each with its own unique storyline and challenges. Players could collect sonic screwdrivers, which were used to solve puzzles and progress through the game. The game also included mini-games, such as a whack-a-mole style game where players had to defeat Daleks.

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor received positive reviews for its storytelling, voice acting, and faithfulness to the show. However, some critics felt that the puzzles were too easy and that the game was too short.

Doctor Who: Return to Earth

Another notable game released during the Ninth Doctor era was Doctor Who: Return to Earth, which was developed by Real Interactive and published by BBC Worldwide in 2006.

Doctor Who: Return to Earth was a first-person adventure game that featured the voices of Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper. The game’s storyline took place between the events of “Rose” and “The End of the World,” and followed the Doctor and Rose as they investigated a series of mysterious events on a space station.

The game featured a variety of puzzles and mini-games, including a game where players had to navigate a maze to escape a space station. The game also included a morality system, where players could choose to act either as the Doctor or Rose, and their choices would affect the outcome of the game.

Doctor Who: Return to Earth received mixed reviews, with some praising its storytelling and graphics, while others felt that the puzzles were too simplistic and the game was too short. Despite this, the game remains a fan favorite and is often cited as one of the better Doctor Who video games of the Ninth Doctor era.

The Tenth and Eleventh Doctor Era

Doctor Who: The Doctor and the Daleks

  • Release Date: November 2010
  • Platforms: Nintendo DS, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows
  • Developer: Asylum Entertainment
  • Publisher: BBC Games
  • Genre: Action-adventure
  • Plot: The game follows the Doctor and his companions as they attempt to stop the Daleks from destroying the universe. Players can control either the Doctor or his companions as they travel through time and space, battling Daleks and solving puzzles.
  • Significance: Doctor Who: The Doctor and the Daleks was the first Doctor Who console game to be released in over a decade. It was met with mixed reviews, with some praising its sense of humor and faithfulness to the show, while others criticized its short length and lack of variety in gameplay.

Doctor Who: Infinity

  • Release Date: June 2018
  • Platforms: iOS, Android
  • Developer: Seed Studios
  • Genre: Endless runner
  • Plot: The game follows the Doctor and his companions as they travel through time and space, running from danger and collecting items to upgrade their abilities. Players must avoid obstacles and enemies while collecting power-ups and completing missions.
  • Significance: Doctor Who: Infinity is a free-to-play mobile game that has been praised for its stunning visuals and engaging gameplay. It features a wide range of characters from the show’s history, including the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors, as well as popular companions like Rose Tyler and Clara Oswald. The game has been well-received by fans and critics alike, with many praising its accessibility and addictive gameplay.

The Future of Doctor Who Video Games

The Thirteenth Doctor Era

Doctor Who: The Edge of Time

  • The Edge of Time is a virtual reality game developed by Mazoo Games and published by BBC Studios in 2019.
  • The game features the thirteenth Doctor, played by Jodie Whittaker, as she navigates through various locations from the show, including the TARDIS, and encounters iconic characters and enemies from the series.
  • Players assume the role of a Time Lord and must solve puzzles and unravel mysteries to progress through the game and save the universe.
  • The game’s storyline takes place between series 11 and 12 of the show, allowing fans to continue their adventures with the Doctor beyond the screen.

Doctor Who: Puzzle-Clash

  • Doctor Who: Puzzle-Clash is a mobile puzzle game developed by Real Pix Games and published by BBC Studios in 2020.
  • The game features the thirteenth Doctor and her companions, Yaz, Ryan, and Graham, as they travel through different locations from the show, battling against classic enemies like the Daleks and Cybermen.
  • Players must match and swap puzzle pieces to defeat the enemies and progress through the game’s levels.
  • The game features a multiplayer mode, allowing players to compete against each other to see who can reach the highest score.
  • Doctor Who: Puzzle-Clash offers a fun and engaging way for fans to interact with the show and its characters in a casual gaming setting.

Beyond the Thirteenth Doctor

Upcoming Games

As the world of video games continues to evolve, so too does the realm of Doctor Who video games. While there have been few official announcements regarding upcoming games, it is clear that the franchise is poised for a bright future. One potential title on the horizon is “Doctor Who: The Edge of Time,” which was released in 2019 for the Oculus Quest and PC. This virtual reality game puts players in the shoes of a Time Lord, allowing them to explore the universe and face off against classic villains like the Daleks and Cybermen.

Another exciting development is the upcoming “Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins,” a mobile game set to be released in 2021. This narrative-driven title follows a mysterious assassin known as the “Gallafreyian,” who is tasked with tracking down and eliminating Time Lords. Players will have to use their wits and cunning to navigate the game’s twisting storyline and uncover the truth behind the assassin’s motivations.

Indie Developments

In addition to the official games produced by BBC Studios, there has been a surge of indie developers creating their own Doctor Who games and experiences. These range from small, fan-made projects to larger, more ambitious efforts that showcase the creativity and passion of the game-making community. One example is “Doctor Who: The Game,” a fan-made 2D platformer that has gained a cult following for its clever level design and faithful recreation of the show’s characters and settings.

Another notable indie game is “Doctor Who: Legacy,” a puzzle game that challenges players to match tiles to unlock new characters and storylines. With over 300 levels and a wide range of Doctor Who characters to collect, this game has become a favorite among fans of the show and gamers alike.

The Legacy of Doctor Who Video Games

As the franchise continues to grow and evolve, it is clear that Doctor Who video games have carved out a unique and important place in the world of gaming. From classic titles like “Doctor Who and the Warlord” to modern masterpieces like “Doctor Who: The Edge of Time,” these games have provided a way for fans to engage with the show’s rich history and iconic characters in new and exciting ways. As the future of Doctor Who video games remains uncertain, one thing is certain: the legacy of these games will continue to inspire and delight fans for years to come.

FAQs

1. Has there ever been a Doctor Who video game?

Yes, there have been several Doctor Who video games released over the years. The first Doctor Who video game was released in 1983 for the ZX Spectrum home computer, and since then there have been numerous games released for various platforms, including consoles and PC.

2. What types of Doctor Who video games have been released?

There have been a variety of Doctor Who video games released, including platformers, puzzle games, and role-playing games. Some games have been based on specific episodes or storylines from the show, while others have been original stories featuring the Doctor and his companions.

3. Which Doctor Who video games are the most popular?

Some of the most popular Doctor Who video games include the classic platformer “Doctor Who: The Adventure Games” series, which was released in the late 2000s and early 2010s, and the more recent “Doctor Who: The Lodger” VR game, which was released in 2019.

4. Are there any upcoming Doctor Who video games?

At the time of writing, there are no officially announced upcoming Doctor Who video games. However, given the enduring popularity of the show and the franchise’s history of releasing video games, it’s likely that we will see new games released in the future.

5. Where can I find and play Doctor Who video games?

Many classic Doctor Who video games are available to download and play online, while some more recent games may be available on platforms like Steam or the PlayStation Store. Some older games may require the use of an emulator to run on modern systems.

I Played Every Doctor Who Video Game

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