Doctor What!

by A.K. Fox
Crash Issue 35, Dec 1986   page(s) 128

Producer: CRL
Retail Price: £7.95
Author: A.K. Fox

Four foolish timelords, doctors, What, When, Where and Why are getting themselves into a bit of a scrape. They got together for a reunion party: large amounts of Neuro Cardinal Cocktails were consumed but getting home after that party wasn't something any of them had actually considered.

Thus the four Doctors find themselves stuck is four different locations with thumping great hangovers and very hostile environments to contend with. The four doctors must take a trip and visit the Jelly Baby of Infinite Wisdom and Ultimate Knowledge who lives in the tower of Darabur, a place newly as remote as Crash towers. In order to get to this guru Jelly Baby each Doctor must be transported via the Trydis to a certain location. From there all four doctors must make the it way to the tower of Darabur for the ultimate confrontation.

Each of the four doctors is stuck in a different location. Doctor Why is stuck in What's laboratory. Dr What is stuck under a sheer cliff face which seems totally impossible to climb. Doctor When is lost in a hostile forest full of horrible beings and Where is being hassled by some very nasty Daleks. The general idea is to extricate each doctor from his nasty predicament and get him into his Trydis to rendezvous with the other doctors.

Various objects can be picked up along the way which are essential in order to finish the game. Each Doctor can on carry three objects at one time. Time can be picked by pressing the relevant key and dropped and used at any time during the game. Some of the objects will disable a nasty such as the baseball cap which, when thrown will slip over the marauding Dalek's head and stop it from moving.

Each Doctor has a certain amount of energy, which is represented by a magenta jelly baby on the bottom right hand corner of the screen. This energy is lost every time the doctor collides with any of the monsters in the game and this is shown by the jelly baby gradually being eaten away. If one of the Doctor's should die in this way then it will be impossible to finish the game.

Control of the Doctors can be changed by pressing keys one through to four. The Doctor you are currently controlling is shown at the bottom right hand corner of the screen. The middle section shows what objects are being held by the Doctor you're controlling.

The game ends when all four Doctors are at the Jelly Baby of Infinite wisdom. It will now tell you your IQ depending on how you managed to get that far in the game.


Control keys: definable
Joystick: any
Keyboard play: responsive
Use of colour nasty, garish with lots of clashes
Graphics: naff
Sound: boring spot effects
Skill levels: one
Screens: approximately 40 to 50

Dr What would probably be a lot easier to play and a lot more appeallng if the instructions told you something about the game? After a sly chat to the people at CRL (which didn't really make anything clearer) I was just about to admit defeat when low and behold for no reason apparent I managed to transport myself, gosh! Could I do it again, you must be joking. The graphics are below average for this type of game, there is lots of colour clash and the characters move badly. The sound is dire, there are no tunes and virtually no spot effects during the game. On the whole this is an unpleasing game to play so I wouldn't recommend it.

WHAT the hell is this? WHEN can I pull the plug out, please? WHERE does it go? and, WHY the hell release it? just a few of the questions I asked myself when I started to play this rubbish. Dr. What is obviously, from the packaging, suppose to be a rip off of the BBC's Dr. Who, and a very dismal effort it is. The graphics are average, sound is practically non-existant, and playability is kept to a minimum. I shouldn't think many people would go wild over Dr. What - that is if CRL don't get sued first.

It's been a long hard month. Just as I thought I was getting to the end of it with my sanity intact, this comes along. CRL really don't do themselves any favours by releasing this sort of thing. The aardvark fan is a hard man to please, and I some how don't think this is going to come up to the mark. Instructions are minimal, graphics are dull and generally I can think of no good reason to buy this even if it was on CRL's budget label.

Use of Computer: 41%
Graphics: 38%
Playability: 28%
Getting Started: 16%
Addictive Qualities: 19%
Value for Money: 12%
Overall: 17%

Summary: General Rating: A nasty steaming dollop of What.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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