The Doctor needs you… incoming signal from planetoid TG-88.3Ω, otherwise known as The Hollow Planet. Something (or someone!) has knocked out the local android population and taken over the mining facility built long ago on the planet’s surface.
Completion Time: 65 minutes
Date Played: 31st July 2020
Party Size: 2
The Hollow Planet is the latest game in partnership with BBC Doctor Who from Escape Hunt and, perfect for the current climate – it’s play at home! Set as a prequel to their physical escape room A Dalek Awakens, you once again come face to face with The Doctor’s most formidable enemy.
Again, I must preface this review by saying I’m not a Doctor Who fan. A lot of the cultural references went over my head. But the fact I still found this such an enjoyable game goes to show that it can totally hold it’s own as a fun sci-fi adventure. Haha yes … More sci-fi! What can I say? It’s my favourite genre of escape room!
The game begins with an exciting transmission from The Doctor summoning you to the planet TG-88.3Ω. An ancient mining facility once dormant suddenly starts sending strange signals. Something has taken over the planet and it needs to be stopped!
From there, you descend onto the planet and navigate your way around the mining facility. Room by room, shutting down each sector and attempting to get to the bottom of the mystery. Yes, The Doctor is there – but in an absolutely charming twist you also have Graves to help you, the sentient AI tour guide penguin hologram!
*excitedly screams in penguin*
In terms of puzzles, there’s a really creative mix! There’s a few easily recognisable and accessible puzzles, for example a folding one, a cutting and sorting one, a maze … Then a couple that were really ‘wow’ to me. One that involves colouring pencils, one that involves partially cutting and a little bit of weaving, one that’s a rather complex and cool looking nonogram, and a very slick looking ejector chute. Mind you, nothing too tricky! And, if you get stuck there’s a very helpful online manual.
More than anything what really makes this game special to me are the aesthetics of it. I didn’t know the style of derelict, brutalist space mining corps could look so visually wow? But they do! It’s not just pretty pictures though, the designers have really thought about what the tech might look like and how it ages over time. Glitchy holograms, faded terminals, and 100 years of dust. Writers, game designers and content creators take note! This is the dystopian future I want to see more of.
Oh and … Keep an eye out for Easter Eggs! The attention to detail in The Hollow Planet is second to none.
As I round off this review, I played The Hollow Planet in a group of 2 with another non-Doctor Who enthusiast. It worked very well for us, but I’d definitely recommend playing this in a group! Better yet, a group of Doctor Who enthusiasts willing to dress up and drink sonic screwdrivers with you. Are episode premier parties a thing in the Doctor Who world? Because this would be BRILLIANT as a game to play with all your friends to get you excited for the start of a new season.
*sighs in social distancing*
The Hollow Planet can be purchased for £14.99 on the Escape Hunt website.
Mairi is the editor-in-chief and covers escape rooms/immersive theatre in London, play at home games, and video games.