Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins
Found-phone puzzler with mysterious ties to TV show.
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Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins is an adventure game for iOS and Android devices. The main story is based off the popular Doctor Who TV show, and involves tracking down clues to a mystery in a phone you've found. Help from a character in another location makes each step easy to figure out, and the app tends to provide additional aid, such as an icon indicating the phone's email messages or browser history need to be searched. Players essentially volunteer to help out with a missing person investigation and look through texts, photos, and other content on the phone. They'll use some investigation skills, but the character you frequently chat with does most of the critical thinking work involved in connecting the dots. Generally, the app doesn't have controversial content. There's only a few references to alcohol and a creepy creature that appears a few times -- but not a lot of violence.
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What’s It About?
Players search through a cell phone they found for clues about a mystery in DOCTOR WHO: THE LONELY ASSASSINS. Guided by messages from scientist Petronella Osgood, they complete tasks to try to find out what happened to the phone's owner, such as searching through photos, emails, and other content. Incoming calls, puzzles, and other items suggest a specific property in London is involved. Eventually, players will discover Weeping Angels, sinister creatures featured in a previous Doctor Who episode, are corrupting files and causing other issues.
Is It Any Good?
Although fans of the long-running BBC show are a likely audience, players who've never seen an episode can also try to piece together the app's unfolding mystery. While creatures that were featured on the show end up being a central plot point in Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins, and the doctor is mentioned and briefly shown, the TV show really isn't an overwhelming focus. Osgood, a character who contacts you for help searching the phone, provides direction throughout the experience. You can choose from a few pre-determined responses when chatting with her, which may potentially shift the storyline somewhat. Different types of media are featured, ranging from still photos to voice messages left by the phone owner's friends and incoming video calls. All of that helps offer a more robust experience than just reading emails and texts.
While the overall mystery is interesting, the actual tasks can start to feel a bit routine. For much of the early experience, you're essentially chatting with Osgood, then searching through content on the phone, swiping repeatedly over items that are flagged as clues to copy them, and promptly sharing them with Osgood. A couple exercises involve multiple steps, but there aren't many actual puzzles to complete, and a number of tasks just involve fairly simple actions. The malevolent Weeping Angels' habit of freezing everything on the page can make some items a little frustrating to complete -- such as trying to delete corrupted items from the phone which requires you to swipe repeatedly on the screen. The clue-hunting isn't very challenging, and the story isn't particularly long, possibly completed in a day or two. That said, there's some fun to be had in Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins. If parents are OK with the $2.99 cost, and kids don't mind the fact certain tasks will be somewhat similar, they may enjoy checking out the interactive elements and overall mystery.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about privacy. When would it be OK to look through someone else's phone -- and what items should you look or not look at?
Why would it not be a good idea to pick up a call from someone you don't recognize or know in real life? Why is this important, even when the calls in the game are pre-recorded?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Release date: March 22, 2021
- Category: Simulation Games
- Topics: Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Space and Aliens
- Publisher: Maze Theory
- Version: 1.808.125
- Minimum software requirements: Requires Android 5.0 and up or iOS 11.0 or later.
- Last updated: March 23, 2021
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