Saturday, November 22, 2014

Distractions Along the Way

I’ve been meaning to write up my summary of and reactions to the Doctor Who series finale, but I haven’t quite managed it yet. First I wanted to see the episode a second time, then I wanted to hear commentary on it, then I was procrastinating. It’ll come in good time, I suppose.

In the meanwhile, I’ve been spending far too much time playing Doctor Who Legacy on the iPad. I don’t play many games, and those I do tend to be fairly simple ones, like solitaire, but this one has captured my interest.

The game doesn’t have much to do with Doctor Who. Oh, sure, it has characters that resemble those on the show - Doctors, companions, villains, monsters, good guys, aliens - heck, even the Third Doctor’s Whomobile - and something of a story line, but it’s really Dungeons & Dragons crossed with Bejeweled. Create a team - a Doctor and five allies - and match colored gems in order to generate hit points on enemies. Kill enough enemies before your team runs out of health and you win the level. Repeat. A lot. Over time, other characters and “time fragments” drop, and you level up characters by spending time fragments. The game’s currency is the crystal: sometimes these drop as you play the game, or you can buy them. Either way, you can spend crystals on leveling up characters, buying enhancements to the team (increasing hit points, or increasing resistance to damage, for example), or buying characters. In theory, you can play the game indefinitely without spending a cent, though buying as few as 6 crystals for a few bucks unlocks the “Fan Area,” with access to additional levels and some other perks.

The interesting bit involves tactics within levels and your overall strategy for leveling up characters with different skills in order to form successful teams for the harder levels. For example, some of the enemies might “poison” the team, delivering multiple rounds of damage even after the enemy has been destroyed. Having a team member who can “cure” the poison becomes a necessity.

I’ve managed to complete the first two “seasons” of the game, along with some of the extra material, but the Expert levels are still baffling to me. The enemies have such firepower and other abilities, such as locking gems into place, or “stunning” the entire team (so gem combinations have no effect) for one or more turns, that even advanced teams are wiped out in only a few turns. Well, that’s what keeps it interesting, I suppose.

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