BBC’s time traveling Doctor has his own, free-to-play browser MMO that’s undergoing a bit of a preview. It’s certainly different from any other traditional MMO and it’s not because of the quirky Doctor.
The 2D art style and the puzzle-based gameplay set it apart from some of the more combat hungry F2P titles out there making it something of a mental game than a twitch based one. Though when you’re trying to solve things while on the clock, you might be twitching anyway from trying to beat it.
Right now, the only thing you need to sign up for it is an email address. Once that’s punched in, you’re briefed by Doctor in the TARDIS on what has to be done to keep space-time from unraveling, all presumably leading up to a spectacular climax.
I made it to the second mission where I was promptly mauled by living mannequins when my AI controlled teammates couldn’t unlock a door in time. One can always team up with other living people, though, for a better chance at survival.
And everything is puzzle based from rewiring cables, unlocking doors, to combat which is handled through a Tetris-like mechanic. There are also levels earned to grow your character and even a bit of crafting to build new toys. It also looks like the game will use micro-transactions to purchase special “Chronos” points for in-game goodies like clothing or upgrades.
The points slowly generate themselves over time – think glacially slowly – making it tempting to splurge a few bucks to get a slight boost providing a look at how the game may finance itself in the long run. Or you can just stick to what it gives you for free and earn things the old fashioned way as you save the universe.