Developer: BBC Worldwide
Price: $3.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPod Touch

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★½☆☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★½☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★½☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★½☆☆

Poor Dr. Who, the time-traveling British television star has never had much luck when it comes to video games, and it doesn’t appear that streak is going to end anytime soon. Though Dr. Who: The Mazes of Time does its best to stay true to the television series on which it’s based, it struggles mightily at being a game which is worth any gamer’s time. Ugly visuals, fussy controls and lackluster gameplay all combine into a messy, bland experience that just doesn’t work on any level. Not even a Sonic Screwdriver could fix this mess.

The app finds the good Doctor and young assistant Amy Pond lost in time, trying to find their way back to their rightful place. Along the way the duo must solve a number of puzzles in order to progress from their landing point to the next stage, with various pitfalls along the way. This barebones plot is accompanied with similarly sparse gameplay, where players must guide the pair through boring rooms and unclever puzzles.

All the familiar gaming tropes are here, switches of various types must be pressed, with boxes that must be moved and enemies that must be distracted in order to progress. There’s literally nothing new to see here as the game takes a totally by-the-numbers approach to puzzle solving. The droll gameplay is made worse by the inaccurate controls, which are twice as likely to lead you into a spike pit as they are to accurately lead you to your goal. Puzzles which require careful timing are particularly frustrating, as you’ll likely spend a lot of time restarting rooms over and over again due to ill-fated deaths.

The game’s lone bright spot is that since it was developed and published by the BBC it features authentic music and sound effects from the series. Unfortunately, even this high point is tempered by the lack of voice acting. What fun is a game where you merely read the banter between the Doctor and Amy rather than hearing it?

If this were just another anonymous game on the App Store then it’s likely no one would really pay it much heed or care about its unimpressive nature. But this is a title based on a massively popular television series which has a large base of very devoted fans. You would expect something more from an app like this, but it fails to deliver on every count. The nicest thing I can say about Dr. Who: The Mazes of Time is that it’s a game; beyond that I have no more kind words.

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