Daleks, Cybermen, Weeping Angels – The list of threats is endless in a universe where no one is ever truly safe from danger, but there is one man who has made it his mission to defend the defenceless, help the helpless, and save everyone he can: a mysterious stranger, a force of nature who has seen his own planet die, a madman with a box who eats fish fingers and custard.
Designer: Martin Wallace
Publisher: Crucible 7 Entertainment
Recommended Ages: 13+
Playing Time: Approx. 60 minutes
The game itself is played with 3-4 players who act as the Doctor and his companions to defend specific locations while sending the Doctor’s enemies to conquer locations your opponents are trying to protect. Each player starts the game with one location, and cards in the deck consist of attackers, defenders, locations and support cards.
The game utilises many game changing rules and mechanics including (but not limited to) field modification, card drafting, hand manipulation, area influence & hidden effect triggers. A typical game will last about an hour, but can take more or less time depending on peoples knowledge of the game and experience at playing it.
As stated before, the game has 4 main types of cards: Attackers, Defenders, Locations & Support cards.
Attackers target specific locations, and earn points for the player wielding them if they’re in play at the end of the game. They also combat any Defenders which are guarding the location. Attacker cards include the Cybermen, Weeping Angels, Daleks, and even The Master.
Defenders try to remove attackers so that the location owner scores points for protecting it. There are only 4 types of defender cards, which are The Doctor, Amy, Rory and River Song.
Support cards provide different abilities, such as enlarging your bank or providing time points (which can be used to draw additional cards). Some Supporters help you, others may hinder.
Overall the game is quite interesting to play, as it tends to play out like an episode of Doctor Who, where you have the Doctor and his companions battling against the miriad of enemies to defend the helpless and protect various locations. The game itself can be a little complicated when you first play it due to its “Clockwise-Counterclockwise” method of turn and card passing. Throughout the game you have to pass cards to the player on your right, however turn order goes left. This can get confusing for new players but is easily overcome once you get the hang of the game. Once you know how to play, the game becomes fairly simple and straightforward.
In 2013, it was nominated for the 2013 Origins Best Traditional Card Game award, later going on to win that same title.
Although a fun game, it can get confusing with its turn and card passing method, as well as working out what some card effects do. (Thankfully, the manufacturers include a cheat sheet in with the game so you can review that at any time). I personally also found some of the rules can be confusing and needed online clarification. That’s just me though.
And yes, I know it should have gotten 5/5 just for being Doctor Who. But where’s the fun in that?