DOCTOR WHO: THE EDGE OF TIME / DEVELOPER: MAZE THEORY / PUBLISHER: PLAYSTACK / PLATFORM: OCULUS, PSVR (REVIEWED), VIVE / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Written by Gavin Collinson (Snowfall and Doctor Who and the Horror of Coal Hill from 2010 and 2017's Who Adventure Calendars), The Edge of Time is a virtual journey which casts the player as an un-named companion who finds themself caught up in a perilous time-bending adventure during a quick trip to a backstreet launderette... Guided by Jodie Whittaker's Doctor (her appearances in the game don't go beyond a few voiceovers and the occasional hologram inside the Tardis), you need to travel across time and space, visiting three locations to gather three crystals which have the power to eliminate the "reality virus" that is threatening life all across the universe. Or something.
Gameplay is puzzle-based, usually requiring you to find and interact with various objects to progress the story. A few neat touches, like having to fiddle with some buttons while not letting the Weeping Angels out of your sight, work tremendously well in VR, but others are less successfully executed. Piloting the Tardis is more awkward than it needs to be, due to some slightly wonky controls, while other situations that could have involved of ingenuity are dealt with by a simple waft over with the Sonic Screwdriver. The most exciting part – climbing into a Dalek – isn't quite as fun as it sounds, with the aiming reticle taking its cues from the game's painfully slow movement, resulting in some frustratingly floaty combat that doesn't quite achieve its aims.
The Edge of Time makes up for its shortcomings in the gameplay department by throwing players into some really quite memorable scenarios. Opening the Tardis door and peeking inside for the first time, walking around its interior, and eventually going head to head with the Daleks, are moments that any Who fan is sure to get a kick out of. There are very few reasons to revisit the game when you're done, though, unless you particularly enjoy the story and want to listen to the Doctor call you “mate” a few more times...