DOCTOR WHO is the longest-running sci-fi TV show in the world, and has a phenomenal fanbase.
The programme is also the most successful sci-fi series of all time, in terms of broadcast ratings, iTunes traffic and sales of DVDs and books, according to Guinness World Records.
Since it first aired in 1964 a total of 11 Doctors have graced the screen, providing generations of fans with plenty of exciting episodes. And since its revival in 2005, the series has risen in popularity further.
Now Asylum Entertainment is publishing two new Doctor Who releases on Nintendo consoles – Evacuation Earth on DS and Return to Earth on Wii.
The developer-publisher is working with BBC Worldwide to bring the games to retailers nationwide at the end of this month.
Koch Media – which is distributing the games – says Asylum is targeting Doctor Who’s young fanbase.
“The Doctor Who games have both been crafted as Christmas gifts to appeal to the younger end of the market,” says Koch’s head of marketing Amy Namihas.
“Many of us remember hiding behind the sofa as children whenever the Daleks came on screen, and so the games are for the seven to 12-year-old age group.”
THE DOCTOR IS IN
Both games boast their own storylines penned by Doctor Who book author Oli Smith, offering players two separate adventures. Characters are voiced by TV actors Matt Smith and Karen Gillan as the Doctor and Amy Pond.
The titles are even compatible with some unique Doctor Who accessories (see ‘Super Sonic Screwdriver’).
In action adventure title Doctor Who: Return to Earth on Wii, the Time Lord and Amy help the SS Lucy Gray return to Earth while preventing the Daleks from retrieving a lost Time Axis.
The pair soon arrive on a human colony ship, and are attacked by the ship’s maintenance robots. After heading to the craft’s headquarters, the Doctor discovers a Cyber Leader has connected himself to the ship’s AI. It’s down to players to take control of the Doctor and Amy to prevent the Cybermen from killing the ship’s crew – and them.
In Professor Layton-style puzzle adventure game, Doctor Who: Evacuation Earth on DS, the Doctor and Amy arrive at the Lake District to watch humans leave the planet, when the TARDIS gets lifted from them and bolted onto the evacuation ship. They board it and realise the Silurians have built a second ship below it.
After the Doctor finds a solution to separate the two crafts, a Dalek ship unexpectedly smashes into the humans’ ship and splits the Silurian half off. The Daleks force the Doctor to fix their ship, who initially goes along with their plan but has a few tricks up his sleeve that he hopes will help him escape.
RETURN TO GAMES
The Wii and DS games are an extension of the massive Doctor Who brand, which has won several awards – including the BAFTA Award for Best Drama Series in 2006. This only gives further credibility to both the new Doctor Who games.
And despite the BBC offering casual players free downloadable episodic Doctor Who Adventure Games on PC, Return to Earth and Evacuation Earth provide an all-new experience on traditional console platforms.
Koch is also providing a marketing campaign for the games, with a print campaign, website takeovers, TV ads, retail POS materials and primary school panel advertising planned.
The popularity of Nintendo’s Wii and DS platforms, combined with Doctor Who’s tremendous following, is sure to make these two new releases respective Christmas hits.
SUPER SONIC SCREWDRIVER
The Wii and DS Doctor Who games will be accompanied with a selection of unique gaming peripherals.
There’s a Sonic Screwdriver Wii Remote and Nunchuck pack, a Sonic Screwdriver DS stylus and cases displaying images of Amy Pond (Karen Gillen) and the Doctor (Matt Smith).
Both accessories have been produced by Koch Media’s Blue Ocean Accessories arm. The firm says these products will appeal to both casual gamers and Doctor Who fans, and will be a great seller in the run up to Christmas. They are due for release alongside the new games.