I was delighted to read on this very site that BBC Worldwide have released The Mazes Of Time game as an mobile app on the Android Market, so naturally I rushed to the online shop and downloaded it. However, to say it’s a full release is about half-right. For the price of sweet F-A, you get about 4 levels. For the dedicated player, it works out at about 10-15 minutes of gameplay before you have to start forking over the cold hard cash to unlock the rest of the game (something that is beyond my abilities). Also, once you’ve completed the initial free session, the only way to go back to the later levels is creating a new save file (I named my second file Kasterborous). Not that it makes a blind bit of difference whether you do or not, as you have to go through the tutorials when you reopen a save file anyway.
You play as The Doctor and Amy, trying to navigate your way around levels and occasionally coming across Daleks, Cybermen and Silurians. Each character has an ability that the other does not and has problems that the other hasn’t, so you have to make them work together to get through the levels. For example, The Doctor can’t walk over certain areas of the floor because he’s too fat, but he can clamber over obstacles in his way and push boxes around. Amy, for her part, can crawl through small spaces (her crawl animation is hilarious) and generally serve as an assistant to The Doctor. Bizarrely, both of them regenerate upon dying.
The gameplay itself is rather fiddly, with the on-screen joystick sometimes not working quite as well as you’d like it to. One time, it took me about a minute and a half just to get in the right position to move a box. You also unfortunately cannot run properly, no matter how much you move the joystick. All you can manage is a bit of a light jog. The animation is pretty good and the design is done in the same style as the recent Adventure Games.
One area that works well in the game is the dialogue between The Doctor and Amy. You get the feeling that writer Oli Smith has a handle of the characters and how they talk to each other. This helps to add to the feeling that this is indeed a Doctor Who game, not some cheap knock-off called Doctor What-Where?
Overall, the game’s not that great. It has its moments and it’s a nice little way to pass the time. I’d recommend trying out the free version and seeing what you think. If your Doctor Who loving children are of an age to possess an Android phone, then they’ll probably like this as it’s not too difficult and you get to play as the Doctor. If that’s not worth doing for free then I don’t know what is.