The Whodle was the name given to an interactive Google game by those involved, released on the 22nd and 23rd November 2013 on the Google homepage in celebration of Doctor Who's fiftieth anniversary. As The Guardian boasted, at the time of its release Whodle was "one of the biggest [doodles] the company [had] ever produced", comprising not only of an animated doodle with all eleven Doctors at the time, but also of an 8-bit five-part interactive game.
The player, given the choice between eleven Doctors, must navigate the Doctor through various locations to find the six letters to Google's name, while at the same time avoiding enemies lurking nearby. If killed, the Doctor regenerates into his next incarnation, and is brought back a few steps. Upon retrieving a letter, the player must get the Doctor back to the TARDIS to get to the next level. Navigation is accomplished by either clicking on the square to which the player wishes the Doctor to go, or through the use of the arrow keys on the keyboard. The whole thing is timed; the goal is to collect all six letters as quickly as possible without getting killed.
What follows are the six parts to the game:
- The Doctor exits his TARDIS to an underground area where a Dalek is seen patrolling. The player must navigate the Doctor to the "G" at the end. To do so, the Doctor must flick a switch to get a vertically moving bridge, cross it, get to the next switch to obtain a horizontally moving bridge, and retrieving the "G" on the other end, while all the while avoiding the Dalek.
- The next level takes place around a lava river in a desert-like area. The player must move between the islands through sliding bridges, and climb up a ladder to get the "O" on atop a huge nest. Two Daleks patrol the area.
- Next, the Doctor arrives by Tower Bridge in London. Three Cybermen guard the place. A switch lowers the moat. After retrieving the "O" from within the castle on the other side, the Doctor must flick another switch to bring the TARDIS to the port on his side of the river.
- The next hiding place is a rainy graveyard. Three Daleks cover the area between the TARDIS and the gated "G". After getting past them, a switch will open the gates, and the "G" can be taken. Just as the Doctor gets it, though, the entrance to the graveyard opens, and a Weeping Angel steps out.
- Next up is a spaceship, with yellow squares being shot across the floor in quick succession. Touching any of these kills the Doctor instantly. After getting across, a switch both stops the squares and raises the globe around the "L". Immediately after the letter is picked up, squares begin to spurt out from two directions. A switch on the other end reveals the "E", which appears in oil in front of a Dalek. Once this too is retrieved, the squares come from the original place as well, and the Doctor must skirt through them to return to his TARDIS and complete the mission.
- All the Doctors parade beneath the now-completed Google logo.
- First Doctor
- Second Doctor
- Third Doctor
- Fourth Doctor
- Fifth Doctor
- Sixth Doctor
- Seventh Doctor
- Eighth Doctor
- Ninth Doctor
- Tenth Doctor
- Eleventh Doctor
- Weeping Angels
- Head designer - Matthew Cruickshank
- Engineering - Rui Lopes, Corrie Scalisi, Mark Ivey
- Additional support - Doug Simpkinson, Jonathan Shneier
- 3-D design - Leon Hong
- Special effects - Kevin Laughlin
to be added
- The game was not only BBC-approved, but the corporation even provided the Google designers with the proper sound effects.
- The plot is a likely reference to the search for the six segments of the Key to Time in season 16. In both instances, the Doctor must travel to different, seemingly unrelated locations in the universe and retrieve the 6 different pieces, all the while facing deadly enemies standing in his way.
- This game was released on 22 November all around the world, except for the US and Canada, where it was released on the 23rd.
- While the game is not playable on the mobile theme, the opening moving doodle is nevertheless still on display.
- The Daleks shout their mighty catchphrase "Exterminate" before first killing the Doctor, and the Cybermen — though more closely resembling their appearance in so-called "Classic" Doctor Who — say, "You will be deleted", the catchphrase of the BBC Wales variant of the species.
- The Weeping Angel can move so quickly, they seem to simply disappear and appear somewhere else. When they kill, the Doctor crumbles to stone.