This Doctor Who Sliding Puzzle Game Is Driving Me Insane and I Can't Stop Playing It

Like staring into the time vortex itself, I hate it, but cannot stop.
Like staring into the time vortex itself, I hate it, but cannot stop.
Screenshot: BBC

I’m sorry, but if I see Patrick Troughton’s face ever again, it will be too soon.

Advertisement

Doctor Who’s latest attempt to distract us all from the, well, World in Which We Live is not a new piece of short fiction, or a tiny slice of audio-drama fun, but instead a procrastination nightmare from which I cannot escape.

Advertisement

Doctor Who: Thirteen is simple enough, really. A tile-sliding game in the vein of 2048, you have to match Doctors from William Hartnell’s first (well, I guess now he’s “First” in a different context), all the way through to Jodie Whittaker’s incumbent Time Lord. Two Hartnells make a Troughton, two of which make a Pertwee, and so on and so forth. Good luck getting even the modern era of the show’s Doctors however, because blimey, by Rassilon’s ridiculously oversized shoulderpads it seems unnaturally hard for a little time waster.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH.
AAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH.
Screenshot: BBC

Maybe I’m just better at trying to split my brain in two over the chronology of the Time War than I am at logic puzzles. I’ve seen John Hurt’s War Doctor exactly once, but otherwise, I’m drowning in seas of Bakers, Colin and Tom alike, and Troughtons, endless Troughtons, as I curse one trapped in a circle of McCoys and McGanns that I’ve somehow managed to cut off from the pack. It’s like when the second Doctor regenerates at the end of “The War Games” and is just surrounded by spinning ghosts of his own confused face.

Advertisement

At this point, I’m with the Master: turn them all into Cybermen, blow Gallifrey to smithereens, and start all over. Should you desire to waste a bit of your own time—no TARDIS required—you can check out Doctor Who: Thirteen here.


For more, make sure you’re following us on our Instagram @io9dotcom.

Advertisement

James is a News Editor at io9. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

TheNobleRobot
TheNobleRobot

I’ve never played 2048 or Threes (if that’s really what this game is based on), but figured out a easy system where I can pretty reliably get to Eccleston’s 9th Doctor (10th in sequence thanks to John Hurt) pretty quickly. Simply never press the down key.

However, with limited space of the board, the randomness of where new tiles appear (and whether it will be a Hartnell or a Troughton) will eventually get me (my high score is 13004. I don’t know if score is mapped directly to progress).

The more I played, the more I realized that unless there’s some other trick to it that I haven’t figured out (a distinct possibility), it stops becoming a game of skill or strategy at a certain point (since eventually there is always a “correct” move) and becomes a game of keeping your luck going as long as possible.