What is your position on crowd funded games? (e.g., Kickstarter, Early Access on Steam)

Doctor Who: TARDIS (Windows)

Published by
Developed by
Released
Also For
41
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
2.7
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  RussS (781)
Written on  :  Jan 16, 2011
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  2.71 Stars2.71 Stars2.71 Stars2.71 Stars2.71 Stars

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful

write a review of this game
read more reviews by RussS

Summary

A short and disappointing 'filler' game.

The Good

It seems as though the budget has been pulled from the Doctor Who adventure games. Maybe this instalment was always pitched as the mid-season 'cheapie'. Either way someone obviously wrote this game to be as cheap as possible, recycling locations from previous games and re-hashing mini-games.

It should have been a warning: on the page advertising the game there's also a downloadable text prequel. This turns out to be a short two-page script for what should have been the games introduction, clearly sacrificed to budget.

The game is set wholly in the TARDIS, mainly in the control room. The sole new location is a study in a mystery location aboard, inside it are various relics from previous games and TV episodes. Once again you play as either the Doctor or Amy, the plot contriving to split them up and complete tasks independently.

The story this time is much shorter than the previous games, about half the length, not surprising given the lack of locations. The plot seems cobbled together with two different sets of problems to deal with plus a third final challenge which is totally unrelated again. It's a real shame as the previous games flowed well whereas this feels patched together.

The Bad

The hotchpotch plot really destroys the flow of the game, as each character must continually run errands to make use of what sparse locations there are. This only serves to highlight the games main short-coming; the engine isn't designed for cramped interiors. It's obviously made to explore strange new worlds, and trying to navigate twisty corridors and stairs, identifying hotspots which are too close together is a frustrating experience. Especially given the numerous timed sequences, where I failed several times as I struggled to rotate the Doctor to the perfect angle so he'd notice the right console. It all serves to highlight the problems of the engine rather than play to it's strengths.

Once again this episode makes use of mini-game puzzles, but once again it's the same puzzle. No matter how you dress it up, it's always a steady-hand maze game! Surely it can't be that hard to code a different mini-game?

The Bottom Line

Hopefully this is a mid-season lull for the Doctor Who games, with the time and budget directed towards the finale. TARDIS is a cheap mishmash of a game, that does a dis-service to it companions and exposes all the flaws of the game engine. That it still features the full voice acting is some kind of compensation, though once again they sound lacklustre as in the other games. If you're interested in playing the series, please start at City of the Daleks.