Familiar worlds (including Skaro, Messaline, The Library and New New York) and monsters (notably Daleks, Cybermen and Weeping Angels) appear in the browser-based game, which is free to play. But there is a catch.
Players can purchase 'Chronons' to enhance their experience and accelerate their progress in the game, BBC officials explained. Ah well, if the choice is between paying someone in a low-wage economy to 'level up' your character or buying experience directly from the game operator, at least the latter provides them with an incentive to keep the game running and to develop others.
"Our goal with Doctor Who: Worlds in Time is to expand engagement with the immensely popular Doctor Who brand and allow fans to deeply immerse themselves in that universe," said Robert Nashak, executive vice president, BBC Worldwide digital entertainment and games. "The game's multiple worlds, its varied, wonderful characters and monsters, and changing story arcs will appeal to both Doctor Who fans and casual gamers alike."
And Daniel James, CEO of game developer Three Rings Design said "As a huge Doctor Who fan, the chance to develop this game with BBC Worldwide was a dream opportunity."
"We've worked to provide Doctor Who fans an experience that matches the quality and imagination of the TV show, and a forum to introduce casual gamers to this remarkable world with an experience accessible to players of all levels," he added.
The commercial launch of Doctor Who: Worlds in Time is scheduled for the first quarter of 2012. The preview is here (NB: Flash required).