Review by Suzanne
Tiny Rebel Games has finally released their highly anticipated Doctor Who Infinity game on Steam. The Orphans of the Polyoptra is the second of three stories available for purchase and features the Third Doctor and Jo Grant, who find themselves during WWII bombings in 1942.
I was really looking forward to play the second story of Doctor Who Infinity, The Orphans of the Polyoptra, because it features the Third Doctor and I was thrilled to see that just like in Doctor Who Legacy, both classic and modern Doctors would be part of the game. Having Katy Manning voice acting the story was just the icing on the cake!
As with The Dalek Invasion of Time, The Orphans of the Polyoptra unfolds like an animated comic book, with Katy Manning telling the story from Jo Grant’s point of view. The story is cut into episodes, just like the classic serials were, which is a nice touch.
The visual arts
I had high expectations after having played (and enjoyed) The Dalek Invasion of Time and the first thing that surprised me was that the Third Doctor doesn’t always look like the Third Doctor, as if different artists drew him and all versions were used in the story. Also, the characters don’t always reflect what is happening in the story: for instance, Jo Grant is smiling during a stressful situation. While I admire her optimism, it’s quite confusing at times.
However, the idea to start each episode with an opening reminiscent of the Third Doctor’s openings back in the day is brilliant. It feels ‘Classic Who’ and it feels good!
For me, the story was slightly disappointing. Whilst I enjoyed the seeing the Zarbi again, it did feel a bit like they were chosen for nostalgia and the story was more of an afterthought. The plot is quite simple, but works if you consider that the story has to fit in a game. I felt like some bits of the story were missing at times, which confused the narrative a little.
However, you do know straight away that the story is written by people who love the show. There were lots of references to episodes from the Third Doctor era, which was a nice touch. As soon as Jo mentioned the origins of her ring, my mind was filled with a famous Venusian lullaby. One has to love those memories!
Katy Manning is still a lovely Jo Grant, but I thought her performance lacked the passion I’m used to hear when she reprises her role in audiobooks. I found her acting quite linear, as if she was simply reading the story. I also found that scenes mixing written dialogues and voice acting felt a little weird and unbalanced.
If you like medium to hard difficulty puzzles, then you will love The Orphans of the Polyoptra. The puzzles are really interesting, with a diversity that forbids you to feel bored. You have to plan, think, be quick in order to succeed. I have to admit though, I struggled at times and skipped the board a few times as well.
The game itself is exciting and challenging, and the fact that finishing the story unlocks a level select menu allowing the player to win achievements is a nice touch for those who would like to retry some of the levels or puzzles.
Despite the fact that I was a bit disappointed by the story, I still had a good time. It’s a good and solid game, but like any tv shows, people have their favourites episodes and ones they consider are stronger than others. This one might be weaker than the first, but it still has the Classic Who touch that Whovians will enjoy!
Tomorrow, we will be reviewing The Lady of the Lake, the third story for this game and you can still check out yesterday’s review of the first story, The Dalek Invasion of Time. Be sure to subscribe to and follow us on social media to ensure you never miss an update!