Bring me to the Main Page   Bring me to the Reviews Index

Who is who?

Dalek attack Logo

Bei Admiral Software hat man unlängst die schon arg angegraute BBC-Fernsehserie "Dr. Who" versoftet, damit auch die Kulturbanausen auf dem europäischen Festland was davon haben. Fragt sich nur was?

Dalek attack Wider Erwarten ging die TV-Konvertierung nicht einmal komplett in die Hose, stattdessen wird von der Story bis zur Steuerung konsequentes Mittelmaß durchgezogen: Der größenwahnsinnige Davros will die Menschheit unterjochen und zum Bau seiner klapprigen Kampfroboter zwingen, der lebensmüde Dr. Who stellt sich den Schergen des Bösen in den Weg...

Deshalb kämpft er sich mal auf einem Gleiter schwebend, mal per pedes durch horizontal scrollende Kanäle, Straßenzüge, U-Bahnschächte und Industrieanlagen im Endzeit-Design und ballert auf alles, was sich bewegt. Außerdem muß der Held in jedem der sechs Level ein gutes Dutzend Geiseln befreien, wobei ihm Granaten, Smart Bombs, Power-Ups, Extraleben und -energie sowie vier Continues den ohnehin nicht allzu schwierigen Job erleichtern. Seine Gegner tauchen nur sporadisch auf, so daß die bei einigen Gebäuden mögliche Fassadenkletterei fast schon spannender ist als die eigentliche Baller-Aktion. Sobald sich ein zweiter Spieler ins Geschehen einklinkt, wird es sogar halbwegs spaßig, allerdings auch gleich noch mal eine Ecke einfacher.

Die Steuerung via Stick oder Tasten ist simpel und nur manchmal etwas hakelig. Ähnlich durchwachsen kommt die Präsentation daher: Die oft ein wenig ruckelig scrollende Hintergrundgrafik ist passabel gezeichnet, aber nicht übermäßig originell, die Animationen sind ganz gelungen. Musik und FX werden wahlweise angeboten und klingen recht nett, aber keineswegs aufregend. Dasselbe gilt für das gesamte Spiel - knallhartes Mittelmaß eben. (pb)

Amiga Joker, January 1993, p.82

"08/15 ACTION"
Amiga Joker
1 MB

Dalek attack Logo

Publisher: Admiral Software
Price: £15
Release: Out now

Dalek attack Oh dear. It's a Doctor Who game. Doctor Who is one of those programmes, like Blake's Seven, that seemed so great at the time, and you look back on with fondness and say things like, "of course it's not as good as it used to be, and I preferred Patrick Troughton/Jon Pertwee/Tom Baker as the Doctor" until you see an old re-run and realise it was always crap. Which is something it shares with this game.

The plot is standard Doctor Who fare, with some wibble about Daleks taking over the universe while Davros cackles manically in the background like the mad person you always manage to bump into on your way to the newsagents.
Somehow the Timelords get involved and the Doctor has to save the universe and everything.

Before you play the game you can choose your Doctor from an array of three. There's the one with the silly hat and the scarf, the one with the silly coat and stupid bow tie, and, er, somebody else dressed in incredibly ill-fitting clothes and looking like the last person on earth to be even remotely capable of saving the universe from a race of totally insane and heavily armed robots.

Then comes the shock when the game loads, because you're controlling our Doc on some sort of high-tech floating platform massacring everything in sight with a powerful laser and chucking grenades, smart bombs and all manner of death-dealing heavy weaponry at the enemy. This hardly captures the atmosphere of Doctor Who, and in my day he'd take the lot on with only a sonic screwdriver and a clapped out old car called Bessie.

The game itself is very poor - it's a horizontally scrolling shoot-'em-up and the scrolling is jerky, the graphics are uninspired and the gameplay is simply tedious. Now if you're one of those people who's got all the videos, models and paperback books then you're going to be buying this anyway, aren't you? How sad. For anyone who's after a good game though, don't bother.

Amiga Power, Issue 22, February 1993, p.86

(Many thanks for Codetapper for the original HTML of the review)

It's got hardly anything going for it I'm afraid. The scrolling is so bad it gave me a headache, there's no excitement whatsoever, it doesn't give you the flavour of Doctor Who at all and it still doesn't explain how the Daleks are so powerful when they can't even get up a flight of stairs. Find a better way of spending your fifteen quid.

Dalek attack Logo

Currently found glued to his telly at 7:15 every Friday, Steve Merett enters Alternative's Tardis to join Patrick Throughton, Tom Baker and Sylvester McCoy in a battle to the death against the Daleks.

Yes, I know that the sets are wobbly, and that the monsters are nearly always a failed rep actor in a wet-suit, but Doctor Who holds a certain magic for me – and before you ask, my complexion is clear, yes I AM interested in women, and, no, I do not possess an anorak. As a wee nipper, watching Jon Pertwee battle against Autons, Sontarans and Roger Delgado's Master was an essential part of my week. And, of course, there were the Daleks. If it wasn't for Terry Nation's gliding creations, Doctor Who probably wouldn't have made it past its initial twelve-week run. However, in the second story in this fledging series, the Daleks glided up to menace William Hartnell and Co. And, in doing so, won themselves a place in the history books. It is ironic actually that in the 27 years Doctor Who was on our screens, only the Daleks broke the mould of the popular 'men in suits' idiom – although it was the easiness of copying them in the playground which started 'Dalekmania' in the 60s. Whatever the reason for their success, even now in these days of Bart Simpson and the Toxic Crusaders, the Daleks still keep people glued to the telly – well, they would do it if the BBC saw sense and brought the programme back!

Obviously, for such a long-running programme, there is no shortage of Doctor Who merchandise, but whilst there have been a number of Who derivative games, only two 'official' titles have hit our screens – until now. The first was a tawdry Acornsoft BBC Micro effort, which starred Peter Davidson's Doctor as he worked his ways through a series of dire puzzles and simplified arcade sequences. The second was 'The Mines Of Terror' by Micropower and starred Colin Baker's incarnation – although, rather sadly, licensing restriction meant that Micropower couldn't use popular characters such as the Daleks, K9 and Co. and the result was a dull little arcade/adventure involving the Doctor, a metallic cat, and a race of robots who trundled along on castors – sound familiar?

Thankfully, no such restrictions limit Alternative's latest attempt at a Who tie-in, but the game still falls short of expectations. Opening with a sampled Dalek tirade and a dodgy, warbling rendition of the programme's theme tune, Sylvester McCoy's face appears on screen to give us a wink before fading away to be replaced by the show's old diamond logo. So far so good then. Next up, an option screen appears allowing the player to choose which Doctor out of Patrick Throughton, Tom Baker and Sylvester they wish to control. In addition, Ace and a UNIT Soldier offer themselves as a companion for later in the game, and K( also wags his little aerial at the prospect of joining in the fun – I must say, though, that I was disappointed that Jon Pertwee wasn't included, but never mind. On selecting your Time Lord, he duly legs it to the Tardis and dematerializes into the game.

Dalek attack Unrestricted by a meagre budget and guest appearances by people like Bonnie Langford and Ken Dodd, Alternative's binary vision of Doctor Who is a multinational affair with the Doctor battling against his oldest foes in Britain, Tokyo and the USA whilst simultaneously searching for parts of a machine which will enable him to put an end to their plans forever – however, despite such grand intentions, the game still looks as if the backdrops have been roughly assembled and would wobble if touched! Actually, I'm being rather cruel here, but it has to be said that so much more could have been done with the game's graphics. The Doctor sprites are too small and, although recognisable, are far from impressive. In additions, although Alternative will please die-hard fans with the inclusion of Ogrons (apelike henchmen), Robomen (converted humans harking back to Hartnell's era), and Emperor and Special Weapons Daleks, the sprites just aren't imposing enough, and it's hard to be intimidated by a Dalek or Ogron which is little more than half an inch tall and is barely distinguishable from the similarly-coloured backdrops.

Starting in a sewer setting, the Doctor pilots a Dalek anti-gravity disc which he must steer through the narrow drainage system – shooting anything which gets in his way as he goes. Yes, indeed, Alternative have broken the good Time Lord's life-long tradition of not killing things unnecessarily by arming him with a laser gun – although on later stages Alternative try and validate this by explaining that it isn't in fact a laser gun but a specially-modified Sonic Screwdriver. Hmmmmm. Oh well, once out of the sewers and having defeated what appears to be a two-headed Loch Ness monster in a dull blasting match, the action switches to that of a conventional arcade/adventure with the good Doctor out-running the aforementioned Daleks, Ogrons and Robomen in search of the machine parts. This section proves extremely tough, and even with the extremely agile 793 year-old leaping from platform to platform, it often seems nigh-on impossible to avoid the pursuing baddies.

Providing our hero's energy holds out, though, he eventually gets to repeat the pattern throughout the said countries., before eventually heading towards Skaro – home of the Daleks and base of their evil leader, Davros.

I'm not sure if I was expecting way too much because I'm such an ardent fan of the programme, but Dalek Attack falls short on a number of counts. Admittedly, the game proves quite fun in the short-term, but prolonged play prompts irritation thanks to numerous 'no-win' situations, and I'm also disappointed by the platform action the programmers have opted for. Bearing in mind that every story climaxed with the Doctor outwitting his foes, I feel that Dalek Attack would benefit from more puzzles in the action. Also, the general 'look' of the game wrecks the multi-national 'epic' scenario the game is given by making it look dull and lifeless. It is by no means a complete loss and I'm sure that it's sub-twenty quid price win it a lot of fans, and Alternative are indeed to be commended for this price point, but even so I hope when Alternative have another tab at the licence – and I sincerely hope they do as they are on the right track – it regenerates into something better than this.

CU Amiga, February 1993, p.p.62-63

Plans to bring the Doctor on to the big screen have been mooted since Tom Baker stepped into the long scarf of the Time Lord. However, since 1988 a comapny called Green Light (now called Coast To Coast) have held the rights to produce a Doctor Who film. Although publicity posters have been created and scripts knocked together, no other action has been taken and filming has yet to get started. In fact, the only definite news is that ex-Bond girl, Caroline Monroe, is lined up to play the Doctor's assistant. Although no real news has been given, rumours have been flying around for ages, with Dudley Moore, Rutger Hauer, Donald Sutherland and John Cleese all 'definitely' set to play the Doctor, whilst everything from the Daleks to every monster the series has spawned will be appearing, too. Personally, I'd bank on the TV programme returning first...

It was just over 29 years ago that William Hartnell stepped out of the fog at his Trotter's Lane junk yard to introduce himself to two school teachers who had followed his 'grand-daughter' home. Since then, the mysterious Doctor has regenerated into Patrick Throughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davidson, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy in his travels across the universe. Along the way, he has also encountered more monsters than you could shake a stick at, ranging from the plastic-based Autons to the sub-aquatic Sea Devils, from the all-powerful Cybermen to the vegetarian nightmare Krynoids. In addition, the good Time Lord has also launched countless TV 'celebs' on their path to fame, too, with people like Jean Marsh, Leslie 'Dirtie Den' Grantham, Peter Purves and that woman who play Gail Tilsley on Corontation Street all making their debut as victims of evil oppressors in the series. But what of the future?
Unfortunately, the BBC don't want anything to do with the series and although several independent companies are begging to produce the show, Auntie Beeb is quite content to live on the cash generated by re-runs, videos, books and other merchandise based on the show. But with the show's 30th anniversary just around the corner, who knows what they've got planned...

buyers guide
release date:
number of disks:
number of players:
hard disk:
Out now
In house


Dalek Attack is fun but extremely dated...