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REVIEW: Evacuation Earth

I’ll be honest, I’m not what you would call a “gamer”. I don’t play video games much, I don’t own a PS3 or an XBox and don’t play online – the whole gaming thing is kinda lost on me. (Having said that, I do own a Wii. Probably explains a lot.) I like to dip in and out of games, nothing that takes up too much of my time. Or terribly realistic. So it’s with this in mind that you should contextualise my review.

Evacuation Earth, the new Doctor Who game for the Nintendo DS, is an old~skool point and click style adventure game, similar to the Professor Layton games (so I’m informed, I’ve never actually played or even seen that series). It’s a new story where the Doctor and Amy find themselves on Earth, in the future, and the population is being evacuated.

Writer Oli Smith manages to capture much of the humour of the relationship between the time-travelers with familiar pop culture references, including The Who and Bonnie Tyler (well, I say “pop culture”…). And ten gold stars for a most gigglesome use of the phrase “girl cooties”! Matt Smith and Karen Gillan are on top form providing the voices, evoking the fun of their onscreen antics from Series 5. The graphics are slightly simplistic but I guess that’s the style, and it suits the relaxed, story~based nature of the game.

At first Evacuation Earth may seem like it’s aimed at the very young but the puzzles one encounters get increasingly, and quite quickly, tough. And infuriatingly addictive. (Though, totally un~Who related, it has to be said.) It probably won’t satiate “proper” gamers who like non~stop action, an over~bearing soundtrack, hyper~realism, etc… (to me, the tropes of the modern game) but it will please those who like to take things a bit easier. Those of us who like to play the odd puzzle whilst The Doctor and Amy crack jokes either side.

Definitely a must for the younger fans for Christmas, Evacuation Earth will also keep the older player involved for some time wiling away the winter hours half puzzled, half amused.

Doctor Who: Evacuation Earth
is available for the Nintendo DS now


  1. I'm a "proper" gamer, a longtime gamer. And this sounds absolutely lovely to me.

    Actually, I think that's probably "hardcore" gamer you're looking for. Those are the ones complaining when a game doesn't have enough "realism" (i.e. blood & guts) and looking down at more casual players for not being as crazily obsessive about playing games as them. As you can tell, I don't much like the type. 🙂

    I wonder, though, how the story of this game relates to the Wii one, if at all. The summaries made it sound rather like they were connected in some way…

  2. I'm a long time gamer as well and I must say that it's a little harsh of you to assume all gamers only like to blow stuff up. I'm an adventure game lover from way back and this little gem looks to hark back to the dayso f classic, hand drawn point-and-click adventures suck as Broken Sword. I'll be getting this for sure!

  3. I ain't a 'hardcore gamer' (I love games like Uncharted but I hate first person shooters cos I find them so outdated, limited and samey) but is this really the best a DS can do? A bunch of drawn stills with a voice track over the top? Shame they can't get Smith and Gillan to use the motion capture techniques of the aforementioned Uncharted games to really bring the characters to life and have Smith and Gillan actually performing the character animations. Part of the reason I enjoy watching those actors is in their visual performance (particularly Smith's quirks) and it's what I felt was one of the big things lacking from the Adventure Games. Or is it just too costly for a company to risk on a Doctor Who game and so we just get usual shovelware crud?


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