REVIEW: Evacuation Earth

I'll be honest, I'm not what you would call a "gamer". I don't play video games much, I don't own a PS3 or an XBox and don't play online - the whole gaming thing is kinda lost on me. (Having said that, I do own a Wii. Probably explains a lot.) I like to dip in and out of games, nothing that takes up too much of my time. Or terribly realistic. So it's with this in mind that you should contextualise my review.

Evacuation Earth, the new Doctor Who game for the Nintendo DS, is an old~skool point and click style adventure game, similar to the Professor Layton games (so I'm informed, I've never actually played or even seen that series). It's a new story where the Doctor and Amy find themselves on Earth, in the future, and the population is being evacuated.

Writer Oli Smith manages to capture much of the humour of the relationship between the time-travelers with familiar pop culture references, including The Who and Bonnie Tyler (well, I say "pop culture"...). And ten gold stars for a most gigglesome use of the phrase "girl cooties"! Matt Smith and Karen Gillan are on top form providing the voices, evoking the fun of their onscreen antics from Series 5. The graphics are slightly simplistic but I guess that's the style, and it suits the relaxed, story~based nature of the game.

At first Evacuation Earth may seem like it's aimed at the very young but the puzzles one encounters get increasingly, and quite quickly, tough. And infuriatingly addictive. (Though, totally un~Who related, it has to be said.) It probably won't satiate "proper" gamers who like non~stop action, an over~bearing soundtrack, hyper~realism, etc... (to me, the tropes of the modern game) but it will please those who like to take things a bit easier. Those of us who like to play the odd puzzle whilst The Doctor and Amy crack jokes either side.

Definitely a must for the younger fans for Christmas, Evacuation Earth will also keep the older player involved for some time wiling away the winter hours half puzzled, half amused.

Doctor Who: Evacuation Earth
is available for the Nintendo DS now


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