Game, Set, and Match to Thirteen – a deceptively simple yet addictive Doctor Who puzzle game that Whovians are enjoying/frustrated by right now. Here’s why.
I would like to go on record as deeply despising every Doctor after the Eighth. No not their characters, nor the actors, nor their storylines, but their elusive faces in the BBC’s Doctor Who game Thirteen.
This free online game, available on the official Doctor Who website, was released at the end of June. And if comments on Whovian social media pages can serve as any indication, it has been quite popular with the fans.
Of course, it helps that it is highly addictive and deceptively simple.
Based on the popular 2048 puzzle game, the Doctor appears as his first incarnation, William Hartnell. Every move that you make adds a Hartnell puzzle piece onto the 4 square by 4 square game board. From there player movement, which can slide all pieces vertically or horizontally in each direction, is meant to unify matching faces in order to regenerate the individual Doctors into their next incarnation.
Early Doctors are easy enough to maneuver, but restraint is paramount so that the game field doesn’t become over-cluttered, encumbering further movement.
Popular strategies include either choosing not to shift the pieces up or down in a particular attempt, but limiting movement from side to side and one additional direction. This allows the maximum amount of combinations while forcing the new game pieces to be added in a space where they can be more straightforwardly combined.
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So, while it’s been easy enough for me to get to the Eighth Doctor’s regeneration, and Paul McGann’s face will glow up with approval every time, after that I feel like I’m River Song pursuing an advanced degree in hunting down the remaining Doctors’ faces across space and time.
Twice I’ve managed a pair of Tenth Doctors, but beyond that I’ve yet to accomplish. All the while the bottom of the game page mocks me with its tagline, “Can you join the Doctors to get to the Thirteenth?” No.
No, I can’t.
But, it hasn’t bested me, and I haven’t bested it.
You haven’t seen the last of me, Thirteen!
What about you? How far have you regenerated your Doctors? Have any of you actually succeeded at finishing this game? Tell us your strategy and more by commenting below!