This week, Three Rings released its first trailer for Doctor Who: Worlds in Time, a massive-multiplayer online puzzle/adventure game which loosely adapts the current incarnation of the wildly popular BBC franchise.
Players in the game design an avatar by choosing the race and gender of their character, then move from world to world, and puzzle to puzzle, helping the Doctor through various stages that each help stave off the end of the universe. The battle is never ending, and players can earn bonuses for becoming skilled at solving different puzzles - much like Three Rings previous popular casual MMO title Puzzle Pirates.
The similarities don’t end there: it will also feature a strong focus on team work and character customization - including designing one’s own sonic screwdriver.
The game is slated to run on a micro-transactions model - meaning that it will be free for most players to join, but if players want to they can pay extra for additional in-game items or characters boosts - a monetization model very familiar to players of casual MMOs.
"Our goal with Doctor Who: Worlds in Time is to expand engagement with the immensely popular Doctor Who brand and allow fans to deeply immerse themselves in that universe," said Robert Nashak, executive vice president, BBC Worldwide Digital Entertainment and Games. "The game’s multiple worlds, its varied, wonderful characters and monsters, and changing story arcs will appeal to both Doctor Who fans and casual gamers alike."
The game is expected to serve as a platform for fans of the show to socialize over puzzles, but probably won’t be an incredibly immersive or stimulating experience for most seasoned gamers. For that we’ll have to wait for the recently announced Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock.
Doctor Who: Worlds in Time will be released early 2012, but gamers who want to participate in the open beta process can do so on the game’s website now.