Why Whovians Adore Doctor Who Legacy

July 1st, 2014
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

OK, Doctor Who: Legacy is super fun to play. Not gonna talk about that much; the gameplay is simple enough, doesn’t need a lot of explanation. Match rows, build up power, hit the bad guys, advance. But this addictive game is also crammed full of inside jokes, references, heart, and insight, the exactly perfect bait for a Whovian. Seriously, you guys, we’ve got:

Companions who are unexpectedly awesome. We collect a companion like Amy or Clara and it’s no surprise of course. Only this is Doctor Who: Legacy. So we have Bitey the Cybermat. And Stormageddon, and Handles. Spoonhead and Flesh Doctors, young and old Canton, young and old Amy, fighting together! Ianto and Jack! Oods! Sarah Jane Smith! There are literally dozens of companions to help the Doctor save the Universe, some obvious, some obscure, each with their own contribution to make. We build their strength and endurance to higher and higher levels as we play.

These collectible companions have a special ability that is specific to their characters. For example, Clara’s special ability is to heal, just like she healed the Doctor after he was blasted with loss. Sassy River Song converts blue gems (Eleven’s colour) into her own red gems, just, you know, because she’s River Song. We have added a Dalek to our allies. A Dalek?! It’s Oswin Oswald in there, failing at soufflé, but increasing Eleven’s strength while she does. Rory heals because he’s a nurse, Vincent resets the game board because of how he sees the world… It’s all so wonderfully familiar, so… right.

The Doctor himself appears in several of his incarnations and we get to choose our favourite for each level (or episode) when we play. Will it be Sixie, with special ability Cavalier? Or Two, with his, I Don’t Like It. Nine offers Air From My Lungs. Grinning yet? The War Doctor’s ability is named No More. The Doctor’s abilities range from superhuman healing to stunning an enemy for up to four turns to changing gems from one colour to another to dealing a devastating hit to the enemy.

AMY: Okay, so we’ve basically run up the inside of a chimney, yeah? So what if the gravity fails?
DOCTOR: I’ve thought about that.
AMY: And?
DOCTOR: And we’ll all plunge to our deaths. See? I’ve thought about it. The security protocols are still live. There’s no way to override them. It’s impossible.
RIVER: How impossible?
DOCTOR: Two minutes.

- Flesh and Stone, 2010

Very, very often during his adventures, the Doctor faces a scenario where that extra two minutes is critical, where two minutes means the difference between annihilation and salvation. In Legacy, for the Doctor ‘s special ability only, you can use it as soon as it’s charged… Or you can stall, give the Doctor the extra two minutes he needs, dig in for a few more turns. And if you can hold off just that tiny bit longer, his ability’s power doubles. How many times have we seen the Doctor frantically wiring a solution, concocting an antidote, executing a plan, counting on those two minutes? Legacy gets it. There’s this, too: You can’t build the Doctor’s strength and endurance to higher and higher levels as we play–because his level is calculated by his team. His companions make him stronger, and the better they are, the better he is. Way to be, Legacy! Very satisfying.

In the meantime we’re navigating the Asylum of the Daleks. We’re fighting Angels in Manhattan and we’re traveling to Trenzalore. During all of this we face time distortions that make The Bells of Saint John interrupt Season Six, for example. We’re battling Cybermen, Daleks, Tocolofane, Dinosaurs, Weeping Angels… Many with their own, evil version of special abilities.

The key in this game is to never, ever give up, and never give in. Sound familiar? Just when we’re at our lowest, when Winston is stunned and the TARDIS (yes, of course she’s a character, I told you, this is LEGACY) won’t dematerialize and K-9’s low on batteries, a plan will unfold in your mind… The pieces will move on the board and you will not only survive (love it when that happens), but you will finish off those Sontarans and move on to the next level.

Levels of Legacy are accompanied by something else Whovians covet: A story. The levels of the game are like episodes of the show, complete with story arc and cliff-hangers. The Doctor and his team gather allies, defeat enemies, gain strength and intelligence, all in order to progress through the story. What’s the story about you ask? Spoilers…

As with most matters Whovian, we fans hold no small amount of influence with the Legacy team at Tiny Rebel Games. They not only accept suggestions from fans–they invite suggestions from fans! They encourage and consider and even appreciate suggestions from fans! When Jack Harkness was released into the Legacy universe, he had brown eyes. For about an hour. Now they’re blue. That’s how it’s done, Legacy! Details, everyone knows, are crucial to a believable Universe.

More addictive than Vraxoin, with gameplay as urgent and engaging as the most exciting episode, employing tactics that would make BBC producers proud, and set in a Universe where we all feel at home, I give you Doctor Who: Legacy, ladies and gentlemen! An ordinary game with extraordinary heart, crafted especially for us.

Editorial written by Dennie Kuhn

4 comments on this article
  1. Jese
    July 24th, 2014 at 3.01am | #1

    My only issue with the game is the HEAVY HEAVY 11th Doctor lean. We only just got Rose. Martha’s there….where’s Donna?

    Where’s *any* characters of note (except The Doctor himself) from Classic Who? I hope we get some characters from Classic Who and 9-10’s runs.

  2. Dennie K
    July 24th, 2014 at 3.51am | #2

    I hear you! Sarah’s there, and K-9, and I do believe the Brig is up next! I have no doubt Legacy has only just begun…

  3. JC
    July 24th, 2014 at 4.38pm | #3

    I have to admit, I was skeptical about Doctor Who Legacy. It seemed to be another puzzle game cashing in on the Doctor Who title in the hope that Doctor Who fans would spend money on what was probably a very generic game.

    The developers came on here around launch and suggested I try it anyway and see what I thought, but I couldn’t at the time as I don’t have an Android device.

    Recently, it’s been added to Facebook and I’ve given it a try and I must admit, some of my skepticism has gone. I mean, yes, it’s sort of a cross between Bejeweled and a basic RPG, but it has a loose story to it and like a lot of jewel games, it has been addictive.

    So yeah, it’s not a bad game after all. Far from a AAA title, but it’s not trying to be that. It’s an addictive, pick up and play title and for what it is, it does it well.

  4. Dennie K
    July 28th, 2014 at 2.38am | #4

    Thank you for reading and commenting!

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