Simply put, Doctor Who is a British institution. It is by far the longest running sci-fi TV show in the world, and shows no sign of stopping. Speculation is currently rife around who will replace Jodie Whittaker and Chris Chibnall at the helm for the next era of the series.
However, you may be surprised to know that this success hasn’t translated into the world of video games. Infact, for a franchise with so much history and lore, there have been a relatively small number of low budget releases since it regenerated back in 2005. On the whole, these have been pretty average and not what fans had been hoping for.
Enter Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins. Originally released for PC and Mobile earlier in 2021, this found phone mystery game expands on the critically acclaimed and fan favourite episode “Blink”, which was the debut episode for regular villains the Weeping Angels.
In it, amateur investigator and all round film geek Lawrence (or Larry as he is also known) teams up with new friend Sally to trap the Angels and save the Doctor, who is trapped in the past. The game picks up several years later, with new owner Mr Flint looking to renovate Wester Drumlins, the house where all this took place. Realising this could release the Weeping Angels from their captivity, Lawrence sets out to stop him before it’s too late.
You play as an unnamed character who comes across a lost phone, and before long you make contact with UNIT operative Petronella Osgood (played by Ingrid Oliver). Together, you need to unravel the mystery by scouring the phone for clues and interacting in various ways to uncover the truth.
Parts of the phone are corrupted, which keeps you on the right track as you search for clues. Osgood will generally point you in the right direction, as you chat with her and each time choose from pre-prepared responses. This offers some limited choice in how to guide the conversation, but you’ll end up where you need to at the end of it.
You’ll be studying photos, inspecting chat logs and analysing emails to find clues. There are also easter eggs hidden on the phone which detail several of the Doctor’s visits to earth, that link directly to episodes from the TV series. In terms of your key objectives, you’ll need to note important information, piece back together broken data fragments, coax information from other characters and even battle the Angels themselves to prevent their transfer from the digital to the physical world.
Working the phone is intuitive and impressively accurate, with details such as time stamped messages and up to date call logs showing how much attention to detail has gone into the game. If you have a smartphone of your own, you won’t even have to think twice about how to navigate the one on screen.
You’re advised to wear headphones whilst playing for the best experience. I would absolutely recommend this, as well as killing the lights when you play. Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins does a great job of absorbing you into the mystery, intrigue and sometimes horror of the universe. There are even a few jump scares thrown in for good measure.
You can consider this game “canon”, as the events are skillfully linked to those of the TV series. Characters are played by the same actors and there are plenty of references to the show. The live action elements hold the same quality as any episode of Doctor Who would, which just adds to the high standard of finish in Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins. What results is an absolute treat for fans, especially as there’s even a surprise cameo at the end.
All in all, you’ll probably solve the mystery in a couple of hours. You may figure it out ahead of time, but the story is skillfully told and will keep your attention throughout, fleshing out characters not seen on screen for a good few years. It may not be the most ambitious of games, but Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins cuts no corners to ensure there’s a thrilling adventure on offer. Sometimes, less really is more.
Thanks to creative and inventive storytelling, Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins offers the best video game experience that the franchise has to offer.
Join the time-travelling Doctor by picking up The Lonely Assassins from the Xbox Store