Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins by Kaigan Games OÜ
Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins by Kaigan Games OÜ simulates going through someone’s phone to uncover a mystery: the disappearance of someone named Larry Nightingale. With the help of someone named Dr. Petronella Osgood, I had to go through his phone to piece together why he’s missing and possibly find where he is before it’s too late.
Can’t Look Away
The game is based on the Doctor Who television show and is specifically connected to a third series episode entitled “Blink.” The Lonely Assassins has you dealing with the same subject matter brought up in that episode, giving a supernatural feel throughout the whole game.
As someone who doesn’t watch Doctor Who, the game does a good job of giving plenty of information to players who aren’t familiar with the episode or the show. After watching the episode after playing this game, it feels like a nice interactive sequel or expansion on the episode. It’s expertly done for newcomers as well as offering enough for Doctor Who fans.
Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins really does a good job feeling like a guided mystery but also providing enough leniency to give me the feeling of sleuthing and piecing things together for myself. Since this is Larry’s phone, I could go through his text messages, websites visited, photos, and even see the last received phone calls. When I found relevant pieces of information, like forum messages detailing where he could’ve possibly gone or an email detailing what website he last visited – I could upload them to Osgood. Each clue feeling like steps towards uncovering the full picture.
UNIT, TARDIS and Other References
Throughout this journey, I would text with Osgood, who would help further elaborate things as well as offer up suggestions on where to look next. This is a big part of the game, and thanks to the well-written dialogue, it does a good job creating someone enjoyable to talk to throughout.
For Doctor Who fans, there is a side mystery involving the Doctor’s time machine spacecraft, the TARDIS. By uncovering the mystery of Larry’s disappearance, I stumbled across photos of the TARDIS. I would then upload them to Osgood to unlock more conversations about this other side mystery. This part of the narrative wasn’t as compelling as the main mystery, but I suspect it was mostly fan-service for Doctor Who fans.
As the game progresses, it features plenty of tense moments. You’ll have the occasional small jump scare here and there, via corrupted things within the phone. It’s all effectively done, but not terrifyingly so. It’s more on the softer side of horror, leaning toward psychological most of the time. I would say don’t expect a scary game, as Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins is more focused on its investigatory gameplay.
Phone Fun and Mobile Mayhem
It’s effective at creating a believable phone to sift through. There is not a whole lot to this phone, like extra websites or features that you don’t need, so it’s not an overwhelming simulated experience, but one that does a good job of recreating a mobile device setup. Small touches like seeing text banner notifications pop up at the top or website images looking pixelated until they load up fully make it feel more believable and sell the aesthetic really well.
For this review, I played the Steam version, but I feel like the overall experience would be more immersive on a mobile phone. I was still able to lose myself within the game even when staring at my monitor, but I’d say if you’re interested and have a choice, play the mobile version for a more immersive experience.
Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins is a fun, compelling, bite-sized mystery for those looking for one. It’s even enjoyable for those unfamiliar with Doctor Who.
And for Doctor Who fans, it feels like one of those older licensed games, working within the established canon, adding bits and pieces to it but not rocking the boat in major ways. Whether or not you’re a fan of Doctor Who, I wholeheartedly recommend this game.
Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins is available via the Nintendo eShop, Apple App Store, Google Play Store and Steam.
Check out the official trailer for Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins below: