Doctor Who: Legacy

Legacy is a Doctor Who-themed game for mobile telephones. The Sontarans have been interfering in time to create the ultimate war. The Doctor is travelling with Madam Vastra, and must gather his greatest allies to battle monsters and villains.

The first time I played Legacy I clicked hastily through the tutorial level, impatient to start playing the game. It looked simple enough, and I was soon happily connecting three or more of the same-coloured crystals to trade blows with alien adversaries and replenish my ailing healthbar. I hit a bit of a wall in a level set in Grayle’s basement from The Angels Take Manhatten. I was out of Time Crystals, so no continues were available, and the Angels were whupping my crack team of the Paternoster Gang, Porridge and Rory time after time. I eventually realised that I could swap the Eleventh Doctor for the Tenth and that his special ability was courage, which gives some healing ability. Even that was not enough.

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So I deleted the game and re-installed it, reasoning that I could play through again and try have some Time Crystals left for the Basement. This time I followed the tutorial and found there’s a lot more to the game than I had previously realised. Turns out all the characters have special abilities you can deploy by pressing their picture, with Vastra dealing out 150 points of punishment to each opponent, and nurses Strax and Rory also having healing ability. I also learned that you can target individual enemies and the colour of their health bars take more damage from crystals of the same colour. I did not lot better this time. The knack is to learn to move the discs by sliding another one over them so that it shifts in the opposite direction.

It chimes with one of Doctor Who‘s central themes that the enemies faced here are defeated by intelligence, rather than violence. Although like the Doctor, clever jiggery-pokery ultimately lays waste to the alien hordes. There are some witty level titles too, like Nerves of Dalekanium and old school Who pastiching Terror of the Weeping Angels.

Legacy has the same quality of well-judged difficulty that Charlie Brooker astutely described about Super Mario in his excellent recent Channel 4 documentary Charlie Brooker: How Videogames Changed the World, “Each time [you die] you’ll blame yourself and not the game; and it’s that constant sense that next time you can do better that spurs you on, keeps you playing.” You find yourself replaying levels even when you feel there’s no way you could have won with the selection of gems on offer last time.

For a free game, there’s a lot of game play in Legacy. As well as progressing through locations from the series, you keep unlocking new characters. It’s visually very impressive, with the characters well-represented in bright, vivid colours. It’s the role play element will probably keep players coming back for more. You can develop the role call of characters; choosing to boost their attack, health or healing scores. With new characters being released into the game by its creators, its longevity should be assured.

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The Sixth Doctor will be particularly at home with a bright, multi-colored patchwork.

For really serious players, you really can’t go past than these tutorials by @theadiposetv:

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