Have you ever wanted to join in the Doctor’s adventures via a video or console game?
The Doctor’s adventures have graced our screens for nearly sixty years throughout time and space. They’ve taken us across the universe from television, to the big screen, novels and more. Every Doctor Who fan, at least once, has wanted to go on one of the Doctor’s adventures; and video games have given us that opportunity for decades.
From simple text-based stories, all the way up to exploring entire virtual realities, here are some of the Doctor’s finest adventures that we got to play, instead of watch...
Doctor Who: The First Adventure
Despite what the title might imply, The First Adventure wasn’t a playable version of An Unearthly Child. It is, instead, the first licensed Doctor Who game.
Released for the BBC Micro in 1983, it is made up of four levels. In an odd twist, the first and last levels sound like Fourth Doctor stories. You can easily imagine the Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith being stuck in “The Labyrinth of Death,” or the Doctor with a look of horror as Leela opened “The Box of Tantalus.” The middle two levels, “The Prison,” and “The Terrordactyls,” sound like they’ve been ripped directly from 60s Who.
Players took control of neither the First nor Fourth Doctors, but the Fifth, who was on an epic quest to find the Key to Time and initiate the Second Age of Time. Each level was a take on another famous game, such as Pac-Man and Frogger.
Doctor Who and the Mines of Terror
Gracing the BBC Micro and Commodore 64 systems in 1985, Doctor Who and the Mines of Terror pitted the Sixth Doctor against the horrors of the aforementioned mine. A platforming/adventure hybrid, the Doctor was accompanied by the original companion Splinx, a cybernetic cat. No word on if Splinx and K-9 have met yet…
Doctor Who and the Warlord
A fully text-based adventure, 1985’s Doctor Who and the Warlord was another game for the Sixth Doctor. Players took on the role of the companion, who was separated from the Doctor at the state of the game. After visiting many distant worlds and times, the climax of the game brought players to the Battle of Waterloo, where they had to outwit Napoleon!
Complete with a rendition of the Seventh Doctor’s theme tune, and voice acting, Dalek Attack hit multiple systems in 1992. Not only the main antagonists, the Daleks might have had a hand - or should that be plunger? - in designing the game. During the opening level, players controlled the Doctor on a flying platform, happily shooting everything that crossed his path! For every subsequent level, the sonic screwdriver acted more like the Master’s Laser Screwdriver, blasting everything that stood in the Doctor’s way.
Destiny of the Doctors
1997’s Destiny of the Doctors was the last Doctor Who game we’d see before the relaunch in 2005. Packed full of classic enemies, it was set entirely within the TARDIS. Players took control of the Graak, an amorphous blob created by the Fourth Doctor to save the first Seven Doctors from the Master.
Destiny of the Doctor is also the last appearance of Anthony Ainley as the Master. His appearances were all filmed, rather than rendered by the game’s engine. All of these cutscenes were put together for the DVD version of Survival. If you’ve got a copy, go and check them out!
Evacuation Earth/Return to Earth
More than a decade later, Doctor Who returned to the world of gaming with a timey-wimey concept that even the Doctor would be proud of. On the 29th of October 2010, Evacuation Earth and Return to Earth were released. Both games featured the Eleventh Doctor and Amy arriving on the SS Lucy Gray, but at different points in the ship’s timeline.
In Return to Earth, the TARDIS crew defended the ship against both the Cybermen and the Daleks. Many years later, they would arrive before the ship had taken off in Evacuation Earth. The SS Lucy Grey needed their help once more, as the Daleks attacked. Except, these were the Daleks from Return to Earth, who had come back in time to alter the course of history!
The Adventure Games
Between the 5th of June 2010 and the 31st of October 2011, the world was gifted five new adventures for the Eleventh Doctor in the form of the Adventure Games. These episodic releases pitted players against Daleks, Cybermen, the Vashta Nerada and even classic foes, the Rutans!