Doctor Who: Legacy (Free) by Tiny Rebel Games LLC is the must-have game for every Whovian out there. If you love the BBC sci-fi show, Doctor Who, and enjoy match-three puzzle games, then this is the perfect addictive combination. It’s almost like Marvel Puzzle Quest, except with Doctor Who.
If there’s one type of game that I can never get enough of, it’s definitely puzzle games, and match-three at that. And when you mash it up with my favorite television series ever, well, it’s impossible for me to say no. I heard about this game coming out from one of the many Doctor Who Facebook pages I follow (there’s so many I really can’t remember which it was), and I became ecstatic. And now that it is available, it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite games ever on iOS.
The visuals in the game are phenomenal. You will find game menu featuring Gallifreyan symbols on each option, along with the TARDIS poking up from the bottom. As you play, you will discover that all of the Doctors and companions that you find along the way will be drawn in comic book style, but they are still very reminiscent of what you see in the actual show. The enemies you come across will also be in the hand-drawn style, which is cool even though some of them are terrifying. The orbs that you will be matching up look stunning on the screen, and feature more subtle Gallifreyan symbols. And the best part? You get to hear the Doctor Who theme song on loop while you’re going through the game menus, and more subdued songs from the show while you’re battling against foes.
The game starts out with The Eleventh Doctor and Madame Vastra in Cardiff, London in the 18th century, when they find out about a paradox caused by an invading Sontaran army. You see, this is a paradox because in the actual television series, the Sontaran army didn’t invade Earth until the 20th century in “The Sontaran Stategem” episode featuring David Tennant, Catherine Tate, and Freema Agyeman. With this in mind, the Doctor and Madame Vastra need to go travel back in time from actual events in the series, to figure out who is behind it all and to fix the paradoxes.
The game itself will start out with the events in Series 7 with Matt Smith, from “Nightmare in Silver” and working the way back, episode by episode. Each level will feature waves of various enemies that you’ve come to love or hate, including the Weeping Angels, Daleks, Silence, Cybermen, and more.
In order to get past these baddies, you and your team will need to attack, which is done by matching up at least three or more orbs in a vertical or straight line. This is done by swapping adjacent orbs, or you can even take one orb and drag it to another spot on the screen to swap it with your target. This mechanic opens up many possibilities in the game, and makes it much more about strategy than just mindlessly matching.
You can have one Doctor to be the leader of the party, and up to five companions. Players are able to find more companions as the story continues, or get them as drops from clearing levels. You also can earn “time crystals” sometimes after a level, which you can use in the store for a random companion, and you never get the same companion twice. Each companion will have their own unique ability in battle that can be activated when you match enough orbs of their color (as indicated on the border around their portrait), and their image will be flashing. The pink orbs are able to replenish your health (the bar under all of the character portraits), so make sure to take advantage of them when you need to.
Of course, the enemies won’t be sitting at the top doing nothing while you attack them. They will also have unique abilities, or they will just do a normal attack on your team. You can see how many turns are left until they take action, so keep an eye on that counter and prepare your best attacks. After the waves of small guys, you will find a boss (or two) that you will need to take down. You can tell your team to aim their attacks at one specific target by tapping on the one you want to take down first.
After levels, if you’re victorious, you will earn experience points for your companions. The higher level they are, the stronger their attacks are and the more health points you will have overall. If you find a level to be too difficult for your team at the moment, it is possible to go back and replay levels for experience as well as possible companion drops. This is what I’ve been doing since I’ve reached the Silence, who are pretty tough, and I have also been trying to get Strax.
Once you finish all of the levels in Series 7, you will unlock Series 6 and are able to play through those levels. The developers have promised that Series 5 will be coming in early 2014, and there will be new episodes and characters (including K9 and Sarah Jane) daily for free through December as part of their 50th anniversary celebration. They will also be releasing older series over time, all the way up to “An Unearthly Child”.
I’ve been thoroughly enjoying Doctor Who: Legacy, as it pretty much combines two of my favorite things. The visuals are fantastic, I love hearing the theme song play infinitely, and the gameplay mechanic is a bit different from other match-three games and it’s also quite challenging. And the best part is that while the game is free, it does not force IAPs on you, and there is no silly energy requirement that you see most other games of this genre have nowadays. Plus, how can you say no to having Matt Smith or David Tennant in your game, along with all of the companions?
If you’re a Doctor Who fan and love puzzle games, then this is an absolute must-have in your collection. You can find Doctor Who: Legacy in the App Store as a universal download for free.