PC Review: Doctor Who: The Adventure Games: Shadows of the Vashta Nerada

Can the Doctor and Amy survive against the Vashta Nerada?

The Doctor and Amy discover a sub-aquatic base that’s been attacked by a sea monster from another world, but its crew are living in fear of something else – a voracious horror that hides in their shadows. The Vashta Nerada.

The last episode of The Adventure Games, TARDIS was quite disappointing but it did set up a cliff-hanger leading to this final episode, Shadow of the Vashta Nerada…now those who are unfamiliar with the foes, they live in the shadows and essentially kill anyone in the dark, but they can also animate the bodies of those they’ve killed. So darkness is essentially your enemy in this final episode as you explore the sub-aquatic base under attack.

You meet up with some survivors and an AI that will help the Doctor, although one insists on taking the escape pods to safety, despite the fact they’ll be eaten alive by the Vashta Nerada if they use them. Of course, the Doctor isn’t going to let that happen! The puzzles remain more or less the same as they have in past games, with some new ones like remembering code sequences and following flickering lights so you don’t end up in the darkness.

The Vashta Nerada will animate the bodies of some crew members and chase you, but you will actually have to dispose of them as opposed to just sneaking around them as in past episodes. The first encounter works fine as all you have to do is move a block to force them into an alcove where a light is, but the second is quite awkward as you need to lure two of them into a chamber without getting killed and I have to admit, I died numerous times trying this.

You will switch between The Doctor and Amy during specific parts of the episode, although I did find it funny that Amy actually did something useful for once. Now if only the game would give you full control of the camera to look a little lower…The episode is fairly short, but not nearly as short as TARDIS was. It does have a nice Christmas feel to it as the base is meant to be celebrating the holiday, before the Vashta Nerada and sickness spread across the base.

It’s an easy episode, with only the odd tricky part to do. It shouldn’t take more than an hour or two to do, but remember it’s free. There are also a number of collectables hidden around the base for completionists, although all they do is host facts about characters and events from the Doctor Who archive. The visuals are more or less the same, but there does seem to be a small improvement in the character models. Voice-acting is great and the soundtrack sets the atmosphere as you would expect.

The Verdict

Shadows of the Vashta Nerada is a good climax to the first series of The Adventure Games. It hasn’t been the most consistent and it’s been incredibly easy, but fans like me will enjoy it nonetheless. The Time Lord is more than welcome to reappear in a second series and I can’t wait for it and the start of the new series of the show next year…