Doctor Who has a rich history of spin-offs from its main TV series, with everything from audio dramas to books to web series. And, since 1983, a plethora of video game spin-offs. These have ranged from the good to the bad to the just plain bizarre, covering just about every genre you can think of. From classic arcade to puzzle platformer to VR, the Doctor has tried it all. Now, from the developers behind Simulacra, Kaigan Games OU, comes Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins, a found phone adventure for the Doctor to add to their repertoire.
The Lonely Assassins, which is also an epithet for the utterly terrifying villains the Weeping Angels, follows on from the plot of Blink, a fan-favorite episode from 2007, which first introduced the species. Famous for being the first “Doctor-lite” episode, the game follows the episode’s deuteragonist Larry, 14 years later, as he has another run-in with the Angels. Unfortunately, Larry has disappeared, and it’s up to you, as the person who found his phone, to assist UNIT member Petronella Osgood in locating Larry and stopping the Weeping Angels before it’s too late.
Like most found phone games, The Lonely Assassins is primarily a mystery, with a hefty dose of genuinely unsettling atmosphere and more than a few jump scares. It is about Weeping Angels after all, and they’re practically made of jump scares. While the game is targeted towards fans of the show, it’s also accessible for anyone who picks it up with no prior knowledge, as it treats the player like you have no prior knowledge. Osgood, played by the charming Ingrid Oliver reprising her role from the series, is your guide to the world of the Doctor and more than eager to explain everything to you. Still, fans of the show will grasp the plot quicker and there are more than a few easter eggs to be found, referencing both New Who and Classic alike.
Besides Osgood, the other main characters you encounter, mostly through scraps of texts, photos, and a few angry phone calls, are Larry, Natasha, and Mr. Flint, with a special vocal appearance by Jodi Whittaker at the end of the game. Like Ingrid Oliver, Finlay Robertson reprises his role as Larry from the series in several video and voice clips, as well as a few pictures. It’s apparent right off the bat that your task is not so much “Did the Angels get him?” but “How did the Angels get him?” though there is a small sliver of hope that he’s still in 2021. Larry is still his nerdy, TV-loving self, quirks and all, and we get to find out all about his equally geeky wife, Natasha. Mr. Flint, on the other hand, is the new and extremely rude owner of Wester Drumlins, the mansion from Blink where the Angels were trapped in the basement at the end of the episode. He was odious enough that I kept hoping the Angels actually would get him, and it would serve him right.
The game uses actual Doctor Who music to set the atmosphere, which is fun and fitting, and the layout of the game and the phone design are bright and clean. Even if you’ve never played a found phone game before, it’s easy to tell what and where everything is, and there’s even a “to do” list that functions as a hint button if you get stuck. Conversations with Osgood let you pick from a variety of responses, and depending on the clues you pick up along the way, there are multiple endings to discover.
Going into The Lonely Assassins, I didn’t have high expectations for it. I’d never played Simulacra and the Doctor Who video games have a tendency to be mediocre at best. Not to mention, a Doctor Who found phone genre game? Bit of a dodgy concept I thought. Genuinely, The Lonely Assassins is the best Doctor Who video game I’ve played, and beyond that, is just a solid game in general. It’s got a creepy atmosphere, a compelling story, and interesting characters. The gameplay is solid – it’s just clicking around a phone, after all – and the twist of there being multiple endings was something I wasn’t expecting but was pleasantly surprised by. If you’re a fan of Doctor Who and the Weeping Angels, or even just a fan of found phone games in general, check out The Lonely Assassins – you won’t be disappointed.
TechRaptor reviewed Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins on PC with a copy provided by the publisher. It is also available on iOS and Android.
- Creepy Atmosphere and Fun Scares
- Intriguing Mystery
- Interesting Characters, New and Old
- Short Run Time Only Clocks In At 3 Hours Long