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Doctor Who: The Adventure Games was a series of five adventure video games for PC and Mac that tied in with the first two years of the Matt Smith era as the Eleventh Doctor on television. It was the first series of games to feature the voice of the actors playing the then-current televised Doctor and companions.

The five games were delivered primarily by download from the main BBC Doctor Who website. Though primarily for UK habitants — since the games had in part been funded by the BBC license fee — the games were eventually made available internationally.

The series isn't available in any official online form since the end of May 2017. Due to the nature of desktop video games, usually the game could still be installed onto a device even after this point but due to the nature of how the game's region-lock coding operates, this is not possible.[1]

Production[edit | edit source]

Commission[edit | edit source]

The Adventure Games was commissioned for BBC Online by BBC Wales Interactive as part of the "Doctor Who Episodic Game Initiative", which aimed to foster computer literacy through the use of a interactive game, made available for download.[2]

Integration[edit | edit source]

Box UK worked with the BBC to create a web application which would integrate these game into the online space of the official Doctor Who website. This approach would allow for greater data extrapolation and a more streamlined user experience.[2]

Promotion[edit | edit source]

Details regarding the game were announced on 21 April 2010. The game was made in conjunction with the Doctor Who TV production team, with Matt Smith and Karen Gillan lending their voices and likenesses to the games. In announcing the game, series producer Piers Wenger stated, "There aren't 13 episodes of Doctor Who this year. There are 17 — four of which are interactive. Everything you see and experience within the game is part of the Doctor Who universe."[3]

Footage of the game was shown after Victory of the Daleks. It revealed one game would involve the Daleks and a destroyed London in 1963 with the tagline "Fight the Daleks". This was later released as City of the Daleks by Phil Ford, initially announced as being available on the 5 June, 2010.[4] A second series of another four games was commissioned for release in 2011,[5] but only the first games of Series 2 was released before further production on The Adventure Games was cancelled.

Availability[edit | edit source]

The first of the games, City of the Daleks, was released for download via the BBC's official Doctor Who website on 2 June 2010 for PCs — a few days earlier than the originally announced release date of 5 June. It was later revealed that the early release of the game was part of a system test as they geared up for the official release date. A trailer for the game was shown after Vincent and the Doctor on Saturday to mark its official launch. [6] A Mac version was later released on 15 June 2010.[7]

On 23 July 2010, the first two games were made available in the United States trough digital distribution service Direct2Drive, However, Direct2Drive chosen not to release the Mac versions of the games.[8] Only the first two games were released in the service.[9]

Robert Nashak from BBC Worldwide has said that in the future there could be a retail version of the games,[10] although it never was released.

On 17 May 2014, the series with its five games was released on Steam, published by Legacy Games.[11]

In October 2015, the games became unavailable from the BBC website.

At the end of May 2017, the series was removed from Steam, due to an expiration of Legacy Games' license with the BBC.[12]

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

The Adventure Games is a puzzle-based game. The player must navigate obstacles with a specific pattern to them, crack codes, use objects to bypass obstacles and navigate mazes. There is little margin for error; most hazards kill automatically and (as the Eleventh Doctor) it can be hard to escape from enemies once they've spotted you. The game follows a linear path: tasks have to be handled a certain way and in a certain sequence.

Playable characters[edit | edit source]

Playable characters in all the games are the Eleventh Doctor and Amy Pond and in the second series, Rory Williams. However, the player can not choose which character to play with, as this is tied to in-game story progression. The only exception is at the end of TARDIS.

Collectibles[edit | edit source]

Series 1[edit | edit source]

A Jelly Baby card.

Each game of the first season of The Adventure Games has collectible cards, marked with a "DW" logo, which provide extra information on the Doctor Who universe. There are fifty to collect in total over the four games, ten each of Doctors, Companions, Friends, Enemies and Jelly Babies.

There are also "Who Fact" popups which can be found throughout the games giving more info on the characters and objects encountered, but they are not counted toward a collectible total in Series 1.

Doctors[edit | edit source]

Companions[edit | edit source]

Friends[edit | edit source]

Enemies[edit | edit source]

Jelly Babies[edit | edit source]

Series 2[edit | edit source]

In the second season's single game The Gunpowder Plot the collectibles are 41 various facts about Jacobean Life, revealed by examining relevant objects in-game. Additionally, the "Who Fact" popups discovered by the player now count toward a goal of 20 collectible items of Who trivia; these can all be found in the Doctor's Drawing Room.

Cast and characters[edit | edit source]

Primary cast[edit | edit source]

Series 1[edit | edit source]

Series 2[edit | edit source]

Guest cast[edit | edit source]

Series 1[edit | edit source]

Series 2[edit | edit source]

Games[edit | edit source]

Series 1[edit | edit source]

Episode Number Title Writer Featuring Available
1 City of the Daleks Phil Ford Daleks 5 June 2010
2 Blood of the Cybermen Phil Ford Cybermen 26 June 2010
3 TARDIS James Moran The Entity 27 August 2010
4 Shadows of Vashta Nerada Phil Ford Vashta Nerada 22 December 2010

Series 2[edit | edit source]

The second series of The Adventure Games was announced in 2010.[14][15] The first and only game in the series was The Gunpowder Plot.[16] The second series was announced as cancelled in February 2012, following a muted fan reaction to The Gunpowder Plot.[17]

Episode Number Title Writer Featuring Available
1 The Gunpowder Plot Phil Ford Rutans, Sontarans, the Silence 31 October 2011

Crew[edit | edit source]

Producers[edit | edit source]

Executive producers[edit | edit source]

Writers[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • The Adventure Games prominently feature music from a previous series, unlike the majority of Series 5. Most Series 5 and 6 episodes used previously written music.
  • A short teaser for the third game was released on the BBC website in the form of a short script entitled Wish You Were Here.
  • The episode index at the back of the 2011 edition of Doctor Who: The Encyclopedia places the first series of The Adventure Games between Vincent and the Doctor and The Lodger, and places The Gunpowder Plot between The Girl Who Waited and The God Complex.

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. https://twitter.com/jamessutherland/status/1373307809564098566?s=20
  2. 2.0 2.1 BBC: Doctor Who Game Integration. Box UK. Retrieved on 29 September 2019.
  3. http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/dw/news/bulletin_100408_01/adventure_games
  4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/dw/news/bulletin_100422_01/Adventure_Games_Launch_in_Sheffield
  5. http://doctorwhotv.co.uk/more-doctor-who-games-next-year-9508.htm
  6. http://www.mcvuk.com/news/39261/BBC-explains-early-Doctor-Who-release
  7. http://gallifreynewsbase.blogspot.com/2010/06/city-of-daleks-now-available.html
  8. http://www.gamesetwatch.com/2010/07/d2d_selling_episodic_doctor_wh.php D2D Selling Episodic Doctor Who
  9. https://www.vice.com/en/article/wj85k5/the-best-doctor-who-video-game-was-just-ahead-of-its-time
  10. http://doctorwhotv.co.uk/torchwood-the-game-8995.htm
  11. https://www.mcvuk.com/business-news/pc/doctor-who-the-adventure-games-materialise-on-steam/
  12. https://techraptor.net/gaming/news/doctor-who-adventure-games-leaving-steam-at-end-of-may-2017#:~:text=Doctor%20Who%3A%20The%20Adventure%20Games%20(developed%20by%20Sumo%20Digital%20and,the%20game's%20Steam%20Community%20page.
  13. http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/dw/news/bulletin_111003_01/The_Gunpowder_Plot_More_Stars_More%20Monsters
  14. http://doctorwhotv.co.uk/more-doctor-who-games-next-year-9508.htm
  15. http://doctorwhotv.co.uk/adventure-games-series-2-update-22626.htm
  16. http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/dw/news/bulletin_110721_01/New_Adventure_Game_The_Explosive_Details
  17. http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/gaming/s7/doctor-who/news/a367305/doctor-who-the-adventure-games-shelved-by-bbc.html
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