Play It: Doctor Who: Worlds in Time

Doctor Who: Worlds in Time is an online puzzle-rpg from the BBC. In it, you become the Doctor's newest companion. Time shards have been scattered all over the universe, causing massive interruptions in day to day life. The Doctor gives you a sonic screwdriver and sends you out into the various worlds to retrieve the shards. Doctor Who: Worlds in Time

The controls are a combination of mouse and keyboard. The mouse is used for navigation and task assignment in your party, while the keyboard pops up occasionally during the different puzzles you solve.

Each task in the Doctor Who universe is associated with a different kind of puzzle. From lock-picking to circuit blasting, interviewing locals to combat, everything you do is accomplished through fast puzzle solving.

The puzzles are familiar to gaming fans. There are variations of Breakout, Bejeweled, Pipeline, and Tetris, among others. The fun comes from the variety of puzzle styles and the constantly ramped up difficulty.

By the second stage, your three person party could have to solve five puzzles at the same time. You can only work on one puzzle at a time. That means you have to hop around from task to task with great speed like the Doctor himself. Solving a puzzle does not mean the task is complete, either. You're filling a meter that lets you know when the task is complete.

Doctor Who Worlds in TimeThe RPG elements are well thought out and implemented. It's not a hardcore RPG with an elaborate system of classes and balances. As you level up, you earn coins and other key objects to improve your sonic screwdriver. You then arrange the possible upgrades inside a hex-grid. Presumably, you will reach a level where you have to remove upgrades to put in more pertinent upgrades.

There are more casual elements, as well. The TARDIS provides you with an empty room that you can decorate with the money you earn in the game. You also start out wearing plain pajamas but can purchase any number of Doctor Who-inspired clothing and accessories to spruce up your character.

Perhaps the best part is the casual online multiplayer. For each mission, you can add team members to your roster. You meet them in an open square environment and invite them to join you on your mission. If you don't add real life teammates, the game will provide you with a full roster for the mission.

Doctor Who: Worlds in Time is a strong online puzzle-rpg that will appeal to Doctor Who fans and other casual gamers. That is why Sketchy Details says to play it.

Thoughts? Love to hear them.

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The Link Rally: 26 January 2012