Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins is a “Lost Phone” Style game developed by Kaigan Games, the same team that did Sara is Missing and the Simulacra series. It’s published by Maze Theory and Another Indie, and it’s available on Steam, Nintendo Switch, Google Play Store, and Apple Store.
The game is based and expands on one of the more famous episodes of the modern era of Doctor Who Called Blink (From Episode 10 of the third season Of the Tenth Doctor Played by David Tennant.) where in the Wester Drumlins, you meet the Weeping Angels.
Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins – Don’t blink. Blink and you’re dead. They are fast. Faster than you can believe. Don’t turn your back. Don’t look away. And don’t blink.
Not only the lore of a Doctor Who game that piqued my interest, but the idea of having to interact with the Weeping Angels. This was going to be bringing back some of that fear from the original episode. Oh, and the fact the main person is called Lawrence Nightingale too. Not often do you see my surname in a big TV show.
Now, let’s see if we can find my Cousin Larry shall we?
First and foremost it’s mainly a mobile game that’s also available on PC. Even though in places it feels like you want to flick the screen (reading messages) it’s still very navigational and still works very well on PC too.
Now, For the gameplay, We start off by finding a phone and have to try and unlock it to gain access. There are 3 attempts on the pattern combination in order to unlock the phone.
As you can guess, I don’t get into the phone and set off warning alarms and then self-destruct sequence starts.
Don’t worry, someone is trying to overwrite it remotely, stopping the destination.
It’s OK, it’s Petronella Osgood from UNIT (Unified Intelligence Taskforce) stopping the self-destruct and helping you to gain access to the lost phone. She even calls you up and gives you the 411 on the situation.
This is where the story kicks off. You find out from Osgood that this phone belongs to Lawrence “Larry” Nightingale (Honestly no relation, but it does get freaky) Larry has gone missing and no one seems to know where he is. Then… He “Blinks” on your screen during a conversation with Osgood.
With most of the conversation, the majority of the game you are mainly talking via a text chat to Osgood with pre-defined answers. This is similar to that of an RPG adventure where different responses will prompt different answers.
Along with a chat interaction you do your investigations by using and browsing the phone for clues. These range from text messages with other people, Emails, Photos, and Browser history.
However, as you can expect, this doesn’t go as smoothly as there are a lot of things that go “bump in the night” or “bump on your phone” as strange anomalies appear in different locations on your phone during different parts of the investigation.
Not giving too much away, you can investigate these anomalies on your phone by a new app that Osgood installs on your phone to enable you to scan for evidence. The Icon appears in the bottom left corner of the screen when something can be scanned which is a good indication that something is there.
Once you have collected the evidence found on the phone with the scanner, you can then upload it to Osgood which then triggers the next part of the investigation. This continues with the ongoing investigation with her into where Mr. Nightingale has disappeared to.
As I mentioned earlier, the majority of the interactions are chat-based, but you do get some Video Interaction either by a Video, Video Chat, and later on via security cameras.
These are great additions as it allows for that greater immersion to the story and to feel part of the investigation for Larry. Also, as part of the investigation, you will receive some phone calls that allude to more questions being unanswered but will eventually come in handy further along you go.
Take note of phone calls from a radio tower as these play a big part of the end game but don’t worry, you can always call them at any point and similar to other numbers too, just in case you feel you may have missed out on some important information.
Like all investigations, pay close attention to everything as there are some hidden messages in chat conversations that Larry had with other people and some information could be useful for links within emails. It’s all very cross-linked with each other but in ways, it’s not obvious.
Graphics & Audio
It’s an interactive multimedia investigation experience and there were a lot of good examples of this. From the chat interaction that felt like a real chat with Osgood to receiving Video calls, it felt like I was really doing the investigation.
For me personally, Referencing Mr. Nightingale felt it was directly aimed at myself especially when “I” received a video call from Mr. Flint.
As with the visuals, the audio is spot on too just like interacting with your phone which adds to the immersion of the investigation
Honestly, it’s a short game but it’s very fun, however, I feel once you have done it once, there aren’t too many ways you can do it too differently and of course, you will already know what’s going on.
However, after the end credits it does give you an operation card on the extras you have found. If you happen to be a completionist that likes achievements/trophies etc. and needs to do this (I personally don’t care for them) then you can actually 100%.
There is a side mission of sorts where you can find the Doctor in time, that’s a neat feature in fairness and added little bonus. I almost found them all.
Historically I don’t do story-based games but with it being about the Weeping Angels and the added bonus of referring to Mr. Nightingale for my personal added interactive experience, I couldn’t wait to continue playing the game, albeit being short.
Also, the interaction with the Doctor is few and far between. Well, except for finding the Doctor in time, there is only one other interaction with the Doctor and I feel that’s a good thing.
Why? I felt part of the team, part of UNIT, and the investigation rather than the Doctor’s companion which added to that in-depth level of investigation.
With it being short, not a huge replay value, I still feel this is a good game to pick up and play as it expands the Whovian universe and with that, I will Award Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins the Thumb Culture Gold Award.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.