Whovians rejoice! I know the Doctor hasn’t had much luck in the gaming world, but Google has recently released a game worthy of the Doctor’s legacy! After 50 years of outwitting Daleks, Google has decided to celebrate this monumental anniversary by finally crafting a game that won’t only make you think and solve puzzles like the Doctor, but you’ll actually feel as if you are the Doctor! Come along as we take a journey through time and space! Allons-y! Geronimo! and… um… Are you my mummy?
Console: The Internet
Release Year: 2013
Once inside your TARDIS, travel to November 23, 2013 – it’s a Saturday, if that helps. Then, on your Interwebs browser or whatsits, go to Google. You’ll notice the Doctor and all his former incarnations bobbing above the logo. Clicking the logo will initiate the game. A brief cinematic will follow, showing a nasty Dalek stealing Google! The canonized story  goes as follows:
The 11th Doctor, having saved the universe yet again, decided to drop Clara off and take a brief hiatus from universe saving and the like. After traveling throughout time and space a bit, the Doctor eventually became bored. Thinking there might be nothing he could do to stave off the unbearable monotony that comes inherent with intergalactic space travel, the Doctor went back to Earth to find Clara in order to begin saving the universe again. Of course, the Doctor overshot Clara’s time period by a millennium or two, and he ended up in a time in Human History where an evil dictator rules. This dictator had discovered a way to weaponize dance and uses this knowledge to oppress all Man and Oodkind. The only way to defeat this foe is to beat him at his own game; the Doctor must challenge him to a Dance Off, and the evil dictator must get served!
However, there’s only one hitch: The Doctor’s moves leave much to be desired. Knowing this, the Doctor goes back through history in order to enlist all his former incarnations. United, they throw a smashing dance party in order to refine and hone their craft. Unfortunately, the Daleks – in conjunction with the Cybermen and a Weeping Angel for some reason – somehow are privy to the Doctors’ plan, and they crash the party and steal the Google Logo. Because everyone knows you can’t throw a proper dance party without Google. Determined, the Doctors jump into the TARDIS and whoosh through time in order to rescue Google and continue their dance party so they can rescue the future Earth!
Are you a bad enough Doctor to rescue Google?
It’s a griping and intense plot, and one can easily see how it’s setting up for a trilogy. Anyway, after the Dalek escapes with the logo, the character select screen appears. You’ll find that all 11 Doctors are playable from the start.
The open slot beneath 6 is vacant for a post-launch DLC character. It’s rumored to be Commander Strax. One can only dream…
Selecting a Doctor is purely for aesthetics as each Doctor plays the same. And the game thankfully shows you how to play in the proceeding one-screen tutorial. If you’re a casual gamer who has trouble learning the mechanics of a game, you may need to watch this tutorial several more times before you feel comfortable continuing on your adventure. Unfortunately, Google made the oversight of making the tutorial only a few seconds long with no way of returning to it without resetting the game. It’s a small quibble, but a nuisance nonetheless.
Make sure you left-click. Right-clicking makes the Doctor lick things.
As you can see, Google decided to utilize all the Next Gen graphics it could find to make this game as beautiful as they could. The detail on each Doctor’s clothes is impeccable! But we all know that graphics aren’t what make a game; it’s the gameplay! And how does Doctor Who: Google Edition play? Lovely, that’s how! Level One has you riding elevators and pressing switches and dodging Daleks! It’s all very exciting, especially when you have to backtrack to the TARDIS! Levels 2 and 3 have you doing pretty much the same thing but with a Cyberman sometimes. Then there’s Level 4! This level finds the Doctor in a cemetery against Daleks and a Weeping Angel, who’s kind of a son of a bitch.
Level 5 has you navigating a laboratory full of diabolical squares. It’s quite difficult and a real nail-biter! After successfully traversing the environment and returning to the TARDIS, you’re treated to the game’s ending: the Doctors recommencing their Dance Party!
Ain’t no party like a Doctor party, cuz a Doctor party don’t stop!
It’s a poignant ending that leaves many unanswered questions: What about the dictator? How did the Daleks know of their plan? Will the Doctors’ moves truly be fresh enough to save all of Earth? Thankfully, Google has already stated that development for the sequel is well underway. All that’s left to do is wait and write tons of fan fiction about it, I guess.
Short but sweet, Doctor Who: Google Edition – though filled with flagrant and gratuitous product placement – is still a wonderful licensed game any gamer will enjoy. The music is grating and sounds like tribal drums for some reason, but you can always turn the sound off. However, doing so will deprive you of all the legendary sound effects, each represented faithfully: the whoosh of the TARDIS, the flipping of switches, and the excellent Dalek quip “Exterminate!” yelled every time they kill you.
Needless to say, I recommend this game highly! Well done, Google! And well done, Doctor! Here’s to another 50 years!