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Wii Game Review

Top Trumps: Doctor Who


Format: Wii
RRP: £19.99
5 021290 036741
Age Restrictions: 3+
Available 05 December 2008

An amalgamation of two hugely successful brands, Top Trumps and Doctor Who, Top Trumps: Doctor Who for the Nintendo Wii offers fans of both a change to engage with a huge selection of characters, each with their own unique abilities and skills all set in a visual theme inspired by the animated series; Doctor Who: Infinite Quest. With four character cards exclusive to the Nintendo Wii release, now players use the unique Nintendo Wii controls to do galactic battle. Think you know your Doctor Who characters? Now is your chance to prove it and outwit your opponents...

I’m not really sure why, but the whole Top Trumps craze passed me by, even on its original release as a card game in the seventies, I felt myself to be a little old to be passing my time in frivolity when there were girls to discover. For those like me, who missed the original craze, or long time fans of this popular game we now have the opportunity to play the game on the Wii. To be honest I wasn’t expecting much of Doctor Who: Top Trumps, so was pleasantly surprised just how addictive this game can be.

The premise is very simple. Two players are dealt a number of cards, each card representing someone or something different. The original game has been out long enough to cover almost every subject from wildlife to vehicles and popular films. Statistics on individuals subjects are available, you pick one that you think will beat your opponent, at which point both players reveal their cards, if your value is higher you get to keep your opponents card. The object of the game is to collect all of the other person’s cards.

This particular version takes its theme from David Tennant’s version of Doctor Who with static illustrations from the animated show; the presentation of the playing screen keeps this cartoony feel, except for the actual pictures on the cards which are shots from the show. Each card shows appropriate statistics for Height, Intelligence, Monster rating, Darkness and Courage. So you take your best guess - the Doctor would score highly on intelligence and courage but low on darkness. If he is your card you’d think you were on a safe bet, but then is Davros more or less smarter than the Doctor? Only one way to find out.

This is where the frustration of the game and its addictive nature comes from, as you find yourself trying to memorise each and every card to increase your chances of stealing the whole pack.

To increase the playability of the game there are a numbers of mini games which can be played to gain extra cards or abilities. As you go through the game you also unlock information about various characters, plus you can get to play either as the good guys or the monsters.

The game can be played by an individual, against the computer or against a friend, both work equally as well, but as a quick pick up and play game, the single player mode works better. What would have been a real kicker would have been online play, where, like the original card game, you ran a real risk of loosing your cards for good.

From the original feeling, that this would be a bit of a waste of time, I did find myself playing the game, becoming increasingly sucked into the minutiae of various statistics and actually enjoying myself.

It’s a simple idea, simply executed, but then so was Tetris which proved that game play wins over flashy graphics every time.


Charles Packer

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