Gale Force Nine has been producing some seriously good board games based on popular culture over the last few years. Firefly, Spartacus, Star Trek, Family Guy...
And now they're adding Doctor Who to their roster with their most recent release, Time of the Daleks.
Now, I was lucky enough to have been involved in the creation of this one by play testing the rules, so I do have some slight bias here. It is a seriously cool game though.
You, as one of the Doctors, along with your other Time Lords are attempting to stop the Daleks from reaching Gallifrey and destroying all of time. You'll need the help of the Doctor's companions and all his tools on the way if you hope to defeat Davros and his minions.
The premise of the game is very simple. As you travel along the Web of Time to Gallifrey, you will travel (via TARDIS) to many different locations. At these locations, you'll be faced with Dilemmas which need to be defeated lest the Daleks move closer to their goal.
Dilemmas are defeated by rolling your pool of dice and matching them to the symbols on the Dilemma. Roll enough and you achieve your goal and take your reward. Fail and you bring the Daleks to your location, making it harder for you to beat the Dilemma.
Your TARDIS is where you hold your equipment, companions and the Doctor himself.
As you can see, each Doctor starts with a pool of Story Dice. These can be added to and changed (focused) by the varying companions available to the Doctors on their travels. In this case, Clara allows the Twelfth Doctor to add a Green Story Die and a Red Story Die to his pool. In addition, he can choose to exchange one of his Black Story Dice for a Blue one.
Each die has its won strengths and weaknesses and you need to figure out which combination of dice will allow you the best chance of completing your mission.
Should you fail to roll the combination you need to meet the task, fear not! You companions and your equipment will allow you the opportunity to either re-roll some or all of your dice or even change them to exactly what you're after.
As well as facing the Dilemmas, you will also face Time Anomalies along the way. These are triggered by the approach of the Dalek ship on its way to Gallifrey and present more serious challenges for the Doctors.
Winning the game is pretty simple. While it's cooperative, only one Doctor can be the winner. Get to Gallifrey before any of the other Doctors, and you win! But, if the Dalek ship gets there first or you fail too many Dilemmas, then the Daleks win. If at any point you're required to place the seventh Dalek on the table, then the Time of the Daleks has begun and you lose.
The mechanics of the game are very simple and easy to learn, but there is definitely a degree of complexity and cooperation you need to get to grips with to make sure you're not failing too many challenges and bringing more Daleks on to the table.
And of course, you know that there are some pretty cool minis in this game too, right...
These are all in plastic and they should also paint up very nicely, or just be left as is.
So, if you're looking for a Christmas gift for that Doctor Who fan in your life, then this is something definitely worth looking at!
There are plans for expansions to include other Doctors in the game, but for now, the base set definitely has enough fun packed into it for you!