As one of the most ground-breaking sci-fi programs in TV history, you’d think that there would be a rich history of Doctor Who video games but strangely that’s not the case. Throughout the 1980’s, there were many pc games and after the 2005 relaunch too off there have been many more elaborate games.
In an earlier blog post, I chronicled the previous entries in the Doctor Who gaming legacy, but my favorite is still the pinball game.
With the arrival of a new Doctor, there is of course a new videogame featuring Peter Capaldi as the 12th incarnation in an adventure game that teaches programming skills to children while blasting away enemies with the unlikely aid of a Dalek.
(official press release below)
The Doctor and the Dalek is a new video game from the BBC, free to play on the CBBC website from Wednesday. It sees the Doctor (voiced by Peter Capaldi) team up with a suspiciously friendly Dalek in order to take on Cybermen, Sontarans and Britain’s shaky position in the digital economy.
Released as part of the BBC’s Make It Digital initiative, the aim is to teach children programming skills as they guide the Dalek across alien worlds including Sontar and the Cyber-tombs of Telos. Every time they encounter new obstacles, such as impassable chasms or powerful enemies, players can upgrade the Dalek by playing minigames that cover the fundamentals of coding. Although it will start with the basics, eventually the game will explain complex subjects like Boolean operators and hacking telepathic Pathwebs.
The story from series writer Phil Ford promises derring-do and universe-ending consequences, as well as tying into the curriculum for Key Stage 2 and 3. And if that’s not enough, the Doctor has issued a heart-felt plea to children around the world:
“Oi! Short and not-very-old one! I need your help – I’ve got a Dalek and we’ve got a mission to save the universe,” the Time Lord said. “Come on! Chop chop!”
The Doctor and the Dalek is released Wednesday 22nd October at bbc.co.uk/cbbc