Doctor Who: Evacuation Earth for the Nintendo DS has officially been released!Â Reviews have begun to trickle in, and so far, they’re overwhelmingly… mixed.
One of the most consistent points made by those who have played the game has to do with its apparent extreme similarity in format to the Professor Layton series of DS games, as seen in this analysis from The Official Nintendo Magazine, who gave the game 69 mushrooms out of 100 (or something like that):
“They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If this is true then Professor Layton must be blushing with the intensity of a bonfire just now, because Doctor Who DS is a blatant copy of his adventures…
“…As you explore each location (by tapping a foot icon and then one of the arrows that appear on the screen, of course) you’ll come across various puzzles. Each one rewards you with a certain number of points (just like Layton’s Picarats) and getting a puzzle wrong reduces the number of points you get. When you solve a puzzle you even get a little three-stage animation with a TARDIS replacing Luke or Layton.”
Digital Spy, who seemed to like the game least (two stars out of five), commented on what it considered to be Evacuation Earth‘s more awkward moments.
“It’s also completely riddled with technical issues and strange design choices. Characters will flick in and out of view, the screen tends to flash white when initiating dialogue, and touch input is inaccurate and sporadic, often moving the wrong tiles if layered on top of each other, or worse still, choosing to select something on the opposite side of the screen.
“The way in which the game closes off areas and directs you from one person to the next lessens the sense of adventure, and if you forget your current objective or direction, there’s no reminder of what to do next. You can’t manually save either, which would be fine if it didn’t tell you when it chooses to auto save – but this isn’t much of a problem since you can plough through the game in three hours anyway.”
On the flip side, a positive review came from Blogtor Who, which pointed out Oli Smith’s writing in particular:
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.
Judging from the cutscene from the game that Blogtor Who provided with the review, the writing and Matt and Karen’s vocal performances are indeed among Evacuation Earth‘s better qualities.