I used to work in a very well-known toy shop that sold pink toys for girls and blue toys for boys. The shop was divided along these lines with a girls’ section at one end and a boys’ section at the other. It didn’t bother me at all at the time; I wasn’t a parent and these gender divisions seemed logical.
Now I find it incredibly annoying, especially as I have a daughter who likes dolls and princesses but also garages, cars, Ben 10, Horrid Henry and sonic-screwdrivers.
So when I was told about a new Doctor Who DS game aimed at boys aged 7 – 12 years, I felt my frustration rising again. We decided to try the game out. My mission? – To prove that Doctor Who is not just for boys and that girls can enjoy the game too.
We are relatively new viewers of the television version. IJ is still very keen on the slightly less scary Sarah Jane Adventures, but we both know the characters and understand the concept of the TARDIS.
Doctor Who: Evacuation Earth is inspired by the Doctor’s adventures across time and features the Eleventh Doctor, Matt Smith and his companion Amy Smith played by Karen Gillan. Players take the role of the Doctor and Amy and set out on a mission to rediscover the TARDIS after a solar storm.
We found some aspects of the game were a little difficult for a seven year old and there is rather a lot of onscreen reading involved. The tasks get progressively harder and some involve a lot of hand-eye coordination or solving a complex puzzle so that you can progress to the next stage of the game. When IJ couldn’t manage it I was more than happy to take over. In total she calculated that I had played the game on her Nintendo DS for a total of two and a half hours.
Together we managed to unpick locks, fix circuits; complete number riddles and guide an energy ball around a maze with the help of a sonic screwdriver, as we worked our way around the island. IJ found it quite hard, but any easier and it wouldn’t appeal to older audiences. I have to admit I loved it and there were so many parts of the game I am still yet to complete.
I have made it my mission to do so.
Fans of Doctor Who, or anyone who likes games which revolve around logic, adventure and skill, will love this game. And that includes girls too.
There is also a Nintendo Wii version of the game. Both games are priced at £34.99 (but cheaper on Amazon).
We were also sent a Horrid Henry'd Horrid Adventure for the Nintendo DS as an added extra. I’d like to say I have a daughter who detests anything that involves dirt, worms and all things horrid, but I’d be lying. One day she may marry Horrid Henry, or so she says.