Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins puts you right in the middle of a truly epic mission

Doctor Who Lonely Assassins Tardis
(Image: © iMore / Russell Holly)

Doctor Who Lonely Assassins Osgood

Doctor Who Lonely Assassins Osgood (Image credit: iMore / Russell Holly)

Another text on this phone, the fifth one this hour. It's from her again. She wants my help to figure out what happened to the owner of this phone, but I'm just some guy and she's clearly way too deep into something way more important than me. Her messages are confusing, and often talk about a Doctor who lives in a blue phone box, and that somehow the guy who used to own this phone I happened to find is connected to this other missing person.

All I know is her name: Petronella Osgood. She seems to think that, somehow, my help will be useful to her and I sure hope she's right (for all of our sakes) because this whole thing is getting really weird.

Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins What I Like

Remember Osgood? The science-y almost companion to The Doctor has turned up in a couple of killer episodes, and gained quite a bit of attention by being one of the only in-story open fans of everyone's favorite time traveler. If you're wondering what she's been doing with her free time while The Box remains hidden, this new story is perfect for you. Osgood has reached out to you through a phone you have picked up, and is asking you to sift through the apps and messages on this phone to figure out what happened to its owner.

If you are a Doctor Who fan, this game is absolutely worth the $3 to dive back into some of these classic stories.

As you dig through this stranger's phone, the owner of the phone and the mystery of his disappearance become woven into multiple modern Doctor Who stories. Modern classics from past Doctor incarnations and current characters we love become a part of this story quickly, revealing one of the most terrifying enemies of the current Who era, the Weeping Angels.

The gameplay itself is a lot of fun. You're presented with the UI of a fairly generic-looking Android phone, and you need to open faux versions of the mail client and browser and other things on the phone in search of clues. The photos in the gallery are actual photos of real places. The videos that pop up occasionally are not at all animated, and include Osgood actress Ingrid Oliver back in her awesome lab coat. When you find something, you share it with Osgood via text and the plot continues. While there is some great audio to go with this, nearly everything plot-related happens through text. You really do want headphones to enjoy some of the clues and background audio, but the actual gameplay won't require much more than responding to Osgood via text and occasionally answering the "phone" when it rings.

Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins What I don't like

Doctor Who Lonely Assassins Angel

Doctor Who Lonely Assassins Angel (Image credit: iMore / Russell Holly)

For me, Doctor Who is a co-op experience. I watch with friends and family, we talk about every aspect of each episode, and even schedule re-watches together especially during quarantine. As entertaining as The Lonely Assassins is, I can't share it with anyone until they have completely finished the story. There are multiple paths to get to the end, and this narrative puzzle is going to encourage careful decisions when navigating all of the research options. This is very much a solo experience, and not easily described or shared with others until it's over. While I absolutely appreciate the overall story and plot, it's tough to not be able to involve my friends the same way I have other Doctor Who games and shows.

It's also worth highlighting that, while developer Maze Theory did an incredible job building something that fits so well into multiple Doctor Who stories, it's very much a single play-through deal.

Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins Should you buy it?

If you are a Doctor Who fan, in particular a fan of the last couple of Doctors, this game is absolutely worth the $3 to dive back into some of these stories. The text-based narrative mystery is fun, the visuals are entertaining, and honestly, Petronella Osgood deserves her own spinoff show where she solves mysteries on Earth using nothing but her big awesome brain and occasional help from semi-willing folks all over the world.

Have fun, hang out with Osgood, save the world. How could you not love this?

Russell Holly

Russell is a Contributing Editor at iMore. He's a passionate futurist whose trusty iPad mini is never far from reach. You can usually find him chasing the next tech trend, much to the pain of his wallet. Reach out on Twitter!