year upon year of wandering about in cold BBC TV studios,
brandishing hacked up hair dryers against actors dressed
up as megalomaniac mushrooms, Doctor Who is now a computer
game from the Leeds software house Micropower.
is usual, the good Doctor is pitted against that well
known baddie-in-the-street, The Master. The trouble
is that this chap has managed to get his hands on the
plans for the Timelord's TIRU device, a handy little
bit of techno marvel that is the temporal equivalent
of a video editor. Slices of time can be chopped from
the continuum and altered, allowing the future of the
universe to be altered. Obviously if you are a megalomanic
lunatic then the possibilities are endless, and one
possibility The Master wants to realise is to make himself
immortal, setting himself up as the Devil at the beginning
of time. This would be worth avoiding since it's better
to stick to the devil you know.
master has holed himself up in the Mines of Terror
-- not a nice place, where Heatonite is mined. This
mysterious compound is the secret raw ingredient needed
to make a TIRU. The day needs saving and time itself
needs someone who is used to saving days (and the universe):
whole game is a full graphic interpretation of an adventure,
with a large number of psychologically contortionate
problems to be solved. Unhappily, as emissary of the
Timelords, the Doctor isn't allowed to possess any weapons
when he beams down to the mining complex on Rijar, not
even the awesome sonic screwdriver. This leaves him
a little defenceless should he come into mortal combat
with any of the controllers that patrol the mines in
search of intruders. These devices are quite dumb, but
if the Doctor ever comes close then they activate into
raucous mash-up-the-civilian mode. The controllers'
main disadvantage is that they can only travel along
the metal walkways constructed for them.
screenshot was not in the original review]
Doctor himself remains central within a scrolling window
and can roam around in Son of Blagger style (up, down,
left, right and jump), but can also collect and use
various objects found around the huge map. Four objects
can be held at any given time and these are shown at
the top of the screen. Using the function keys, it's
possible to manipulate the items.
there are no weapons supplied to you, a Splinx is. This
weird creature looks exactly like a household moggy,
but is in fact a highly sophisticated robot that's immune
to detection from any of the aliens. Pressing S takes
you to a programming screen that allows a set of instructions
to be set up and executed by the splinx. These are fairly
simple, but can enable the Doctor to get at items he
normally wouldn't be able to reach.
complete the game the plan has to be retrieved from
the lab and then returned to the Time Lords, not all
easy since the map is absolutely huge. A fair bit of
help is given via the packaging, which includes a full-blown,
though not very detailed, map of the mining complex.