The first episode of the Doctor Who adventure games is available now in the United Kingdom, so sci-fi site io9 has stepped into the TARDIS and taken it for a spin. The two-hour PC adventure City of the Daleks takes The Doctor and companion Amy Pond across three settings for some puzzle solving and Dalek dodging. It sounds like a fun way to spend a little time, but I wouldn't know for sure since it won't be available in the United States until July, and while the game is free in the UK thanks to their television licenses, the rest of us will have to pay something for it. In the meantime, here's a snippet from io9:
As for the technical aspects of the game; the graphics are pretty good for something designed to work on practically any system, and Matt and Karen were both kind enough to provide voices for their uncanny valley counterparts, as well as the multi-talented Nicholas Briggs, who gets to scream both "Exterminate" and the ever popular "My Vision Is Impaired!" (Sadly, we never get a single "Seek! Locate! Annihilate!") Several people have reported trouble getting the game to run on their system. Mine crashed on startup a couple of times, but has behaved itself since, with the exception of a few moments where the animation and audio don't quite sync properly. If this was a commercial release, I might complain about some of the rougher edges, but quite frankly, it's damn good for something the BBC are providing free for the majority of their customers.
The gameplay itself is reminiscent of a simplified version of ‘Thief', with the majority of the action comprised of sneaking around and hiding from Dalek patrols (who just like their classic series counterparts have absolutely terrible peripheral vision), while interacting with various items and objects in the environment. There are also a couple of simple-yet-frustrating mini-games consisting of moving circuit parts through an electrified maze, rewiring an electric panel with different colored wires, and rotating Kaled characters to correctly hack into a Dalek computer system.
I can understand having to pay for the game (and if it's only two hours long, it had better be cheap), but why the month-long delay? It's bad enough that it takes a few weeks for BBC America to air new episode of Doctor Who compared to its UK counterpart/mothership, but now even the games have to be delayed as well? And don't play the "Well, American shows lag behind UK broadcasts" card with me. I don't agree with that direction of delay either.