Doctor Who: Legacy


Doctor Who: Legacy

DoraLet's get this straight right away... the free iOS and Android game Doctor Who: Legacy is basically Marvel Puzzle Quest: Dark Reign, which in turn was just Puzzle Quest. It's a turn-based match-3 RPG game chock-a-block full of collectible characters from BBC's beloved sci-fi adventure series, centering around the plot that the Doctor has to travel through space and time to assemble all of his friends and former Companions to thwart a war that threatens... well, everything. If you're hoping for some epic universe-trotting adventure where you'll get to participate in exciting stories and action sequences... well, this isn't that. But if you want some simple, addictive gameplay and some "gotta catch 'em all" style fever on top of some stunning artwork, Doctor Who: Legacy is still worth checking out.

Doctor Who: LegacyGameplay is simple enough, consisting of matching coloured tokens that correspond to different characters in your party to deal damage against opponents. The more matches and combos you make in a single turn, the more that damage is multiplied... even if the tokens you made a combo with don't match the colour of the character dealing damage! You can drag a token anywhere on the field, making matches even if the tokens you want aren't adjacent. Enemies may deal damage, inflict status effects, alter the board, and so forth. Characters can unleash special abilities once a certain number of rounds has passed, and you can match pink tokens to heal your party. Your party's health is determined by the characters that make it up, and of course, different characters have different strengths and abilities. As you win battles, party members that participate will level up, both learning new skills and earning points you can choose to distribute to raise their statistics. By spending certain amounts of coloured Time Fragments, you can also improve their Rank and thus unlock new abilities for them, and at certain level milestones they'll be boosted dramatically. You can only have one Doctor active in your party at a team, and he only has Ranks rather than levels as well.

Some characters will automatically join you as you play through the game, while others must be won as rare drops from battles, or outright purchased through microtransactions if you're impatient. While a lot of the big name characters are harder to get, like River Song, the game is actually pretty solid about delivering fan-favourite characters freely on a regular basis as you play, like Madame Vastra and Jenny. Other characters are more of a disappointment... hooray, a random unnamed Ood and an unnamed soldier! Still, each character can be valuable when you take their strengths and colours into account... some are best brought along for their healing statistic, while others are powerhouse of attacks and can be devastating when combined with another character who uses the same token. The developers also periodically issue free codes you can redeem for special characters, outfits, episodes, time crystals (also won in battles and used to purchase things), and more.

Doctor Who: LegacyDoctor Who: Legacy is a game whose reception is going to be determined by your expectations and what you actually wanted it to be. We've been dying for a big, epic, Doctor adventure, and, well, this ain't it, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it's a bad game. That being said, however, what people love about Doctor Who is the story, and having its beloved characters reduced to little more than pretty sprites on the screen that might spout a single line in the course of the game stings. Rory will join your party, for instance, but there's no tearful reunion, not even a single mention or reaction to it. There's no interaction between characters beyond a few plot-centric lines, and considering how varied the cast is here, it's an enormous missed opportunity. It's Doctor Who without the heart and soul, at which point you've got to ask yourself... is it really still Doctor Who?

The biggest complaint I actually have with the game, as the game it is rather than the game I'd want it to be, right after "THE DOCTOR DOESN'T FIGHT AND DESTROY ENEMIES", is that the main UI feels a little clunky, with separate screens and menus for everything that are a little tedious to click through. Why can't we immediately apply skill points when a character levels up instead of having to navigate to a different menu? Did the TARDIS menu really need to be separate from your Party menu? The game itself takes a long time before it offers any sort of challenge, with most of the difficulty coming from how low the heal bonuses are, but it does have a satisfying amount of depth to it when you start taking colours and special abilities into account. Each stage is actually carefully designed in terms of the colours it offers the most of and the enemies you face as to encourage you to develop strategies with different teams of characters best suited for the job. You can replay levels until you're blue in the face to grind items and levels, which is a good thing since some of those random rare drops can take a long time to get.

Doctor Who: Legacy is fun, if simple, but best approached by fans as a game about collectibles since it's impossible to care about the plot. The game earns points for being fairly liberal with its item and character drops, as well the Time Crystals the store will sell you more of, so it never really feels like you're being nagged to spend cash. Since everything can be earned through playing, the only reason to pay for Time Crystals is if you want a particular character right away, or don't want to grind for the fragments necessary to upgrade. If you lose a battle, you're just booted back to try again. The developers are clearly extremely dedicated to the game (most recently developing their own keyboard to work around a bug Android users experienced), as well as taking in player feedback. It's clear they care about what they're working on. Though it may not be the game we're still wishing and hoping for, Doctor Who: Legacy is still gorgeous and entertaining as a stylish match-3 game without the typical restrictions of a free-to-play title.

NOTE: This game was played and reviewed on the HTC One S. Game was available in the North American market at the time of publication, but may not be available in other territories. Please see individual app market pages for purchasing info.

18 Comments

Think they're just trying to monopolize on the popularity of Puzzle and Dragons?

Probably not, since the setup is drastically closer to the other two games I mentioned in the review. :)

Does it take long to get a different doctor?

Sorry...tired...I mean Doctor. I'd much rather be looking at David Tennant!

Um... why is Matt Smith blonde? Why is David Tennant grey? Why do they all look like a bad colouring book in the hands of someone who has never seen Doctor Who? And most importantly... why no fez???

Dandy---the fez is coming.

I'm glad I read the whole review, because I am having a blast with this game. One thing I would mention: they are not kidding when they say character drops get more rare after the first few. Rory was the last immediate drop, Strax took about 10 tries, and after nearly 7 straight hours of play, I haven't gotten a single additional character from a drop!!

I did spend the minimum amount to get access to the fan area, which was well worth it, and between the crystals from the main game and from the fan area, I've been able to purchase some characters. In reading the documentation, it sounded as though they expected F2P players to have a full team with spares by the time they reached Season 6. With my drop rates, that would not have been possible.

BUT, lest it sound like I'm just griping (really I'm not, I'm just reporting), I think this game does F2P better than any game I've ever seen. It's a true fan game, hair colors notwithstanding! Unlike most F2P games, there is no countdown timer that you have to wait to refill. You can play as long as you want with no hassles. In addition, the game is set up in such a way that, although it will take slightly longer, it can be completed and almost all characters & costumes can be gained through F2P gaming.

On the paying side, a minimum purchase (right now about $5 in value) gives you "forever" access to the fan area. This is just additional battles with a few more crystals to win and an occasional character (so far they seem to be "fan" versions of characters in the main game). There is no hard sell to buy more. There isn't even a hard sell to buy ANY! I did it because I read the fine print that said all proceeds went to BBC programing. More Doctor Who for everyone!!

Not trying to write another review here, I just have had a lot of really bad experiences with F2P games in the past few weeks. Other than the UI issues Dora mentioned above, I happen to like this particular game type and mechanic for mobile gaming. For once, I feel like I can just play for fun without the in-app purchases being shoved in my face, and with confidence that the game devs care more about my experience than my money.

Wonderful, drstrosy, so glad you gave it a try, and thanks for your in-depth comment! Oddly enough, I think it took me a few tries to get Rory, but I got Clara right away, and I admit I spent the crystals I'd earned for River just because I went through that battle so. MANY. TIMES. and she never dropped. I've also had Sam Garner drop (who is surprisingly useful on my team of red/yellow/blue). One thing I want to mention is for players to check out the Advent Calendar!
http://www.tinyrebelgames.com/#!news/c7g6
Each day in December, they're releasing one free code (redeemable under options) for everything from crystals to characters... including K-9! You can redeem codes for days you've missed as well.

Awwww, K-9!! Gonna do it now.

I'm currently rocking a red-yellow-black team. I'd be curious to know what other people are playing and why.

I'm playing red-yellow-blue. Part of it is character preference, but part of it is simply the way my team works out. Clara is my healer, and both Sam and Jenny's colour swapping abilities (Sam can change green to blue, and Jenny from blue to red) can allow me to set up massive damage chains, while Vastra and Smith deal group damage with their special abilities. (The highest damage I've dealt with a single character was actually over 5k points from Jenny alone as a result of a MASSIVE chain that dealt almost 20k total from party combined. Was, of course, sadly wasted on a non-boss enemy with only a few HP left.)

I've been using Amy for the boost her special ability provides to yellow gems, though she's probably going to get swapped out soonish when/if I can get a hold of a better yellow character because her stats are fairly meh. I like having two of each colour type in my party because it means I'm attacking with at least two characters on every match, and the colour swapping abilities enable me to make sure I'm never stuck too badly by a stage that offers a heavier mix of other colours. If I could get a yellow character who could change black gems, I'd be set.

Pretty disappointed River doesn't have a more interesting ability. She's not THAT kind of doctor, and she's a lot more swashbuckling than anything else.

(Sidenote: Just had Nefertiti drop this morning right away. Might have been five or six tries to get her?)

Wow, I am still in the no drop desert--I had saved up 20 crystals and got the Women of Doctor Who pack, but I haven't had another in-game drop at all since Strax.

My strategy has some similarities--I went with red because I love the 10th Doctor, and his healing ability is fantastic. I also have a tendency to waste really great combo strings on the last tiny bit of HP on a non-boss enemy, but they sure are fun to create. I don't currently have two conversion cards, but that's something I may look for as a replacement to my Amy.

So my reds are 10th Doctor and Jenny providing healing, some tanky goodness, and conversion. My yellows are Vastra and Amy mostly because Vastra is a beast and Amy gives a boost, but like you, I'm waiting for something better to come along. And my blacks are Porridge and K-9 who, on top of boosting stats, are just an unbeatable team of stun and bomb once their abilities start proccing (procking? procing? I never know how to spell that particular non-word). I wouldn't be able to beat some of the self-healing enemies without them.

What I'm dealing with now is that everyone is leveled up to Rank 2 max and I can't find any of the heart fragments, which they all seem to need to rank up. I've asked on the wiki, but while I wait, I think I may try some other team combinations and see if I can put together anything else I like.

Has anyone had trouble installing the app for android? I've reinstalled and reported an issue at least 6 times, but everytime it freezes on the menu so I can't continue any playing after I've gone through the mandatory tutorial.

Heart fragments start dropping in season 6. You will not find a single one in season 7. I, too, spent the minimum to get into the fan area and beyond that did f2p only ... and I have more characters than I know what to do with.

One question though ... what is the actual mechanic by which allies level up? I took 3 level 1 allies out, played them together, and now two are level six and one hasn't even made two?!? Advice welcome/appreciated.

Sorry this is from awhile back but after I put my original question on here I emailed tinyrebel and they were really good and getting back to me and fixing the problem. Very appreciated especially for a free app!

@Karen Miller, I believe that a character gains more experience when you play their color. So a green player won't gain as much exp in the first couple of levels of season 7 where there are no green gems as they would in a level that had them (Just a guess)

For the DW: Legacy fans, just a quick note: if you aren't a fan on facebook, you may not know about the HUGE update that dropped today. There is a bit of a delay between downloading the update and getting the new content, but DANG--it is a LOT of content. In fact, it's almost a new game.

Here are the broad strokes:
1. Perks - new ways to upgrade and improve players...much needed for those of us who have multiple fully evolved teams at their maxed levels.
2. Season 5!!! WOO HOO!!
3. You can now purchase an episode that has the little TV icon on it straight through the game. Squee!! DW on my iPhone!
4. The Advent area is supposed to be turning into an Expert area. Some people already have this content. I do not.
5. More levels in the fan area have been rumored for weeks, so I'm excited to see what is added there as well.

Hope you guys are still playing! These devs are super responsive to us fans, and keep their FB page and web site very up to date.

Oops...in #1 I meant CHARACTERS, not players.

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