First Impressions: Doctor Who Worlds Apart Beta Launch

Finally, after months of waiting, the beta for the online game Doctor Who: Worlds Apart is here!

Or at least, the cards are.

Doctor Who: Worlds Apart is BBC's first digital card game based on my favorite TV show and quite possibly the greatest TV show ever. It features creatures, characters, and places throughout its 57-year history, from the Doctor to the Daleks, from Susan Foreman to Clara Oswald, and it uses blockchain technology that makes the cards "unique", meaning they can be traded among players and even be worth actual cash!

The game won't be out till 2021, but Worlds Apart has allowed people like me who pre-registered earlier this year to get in and...get free cards! Also, to buy cards before anyone else. In true collectible card game fashion, you buy blind "packs" that have a chance to contain some cards of varying rarities and usefulness. Seeing as I've been saving up for this launch, I bought myself a Premium Pack ($12.99) just to see what the fuss is all about.

Fingers crossed aaaand....

Images of unique card frames from the game Doctor Who: Worlds Apart

As I have no idea what the gameplay is like on Doctor Who: Worlds Apart, the only excitement I got from the packs is for the unique card frames you get. While the frames themselves are purely cosmetic and have no impact on gameplay (yet), they have levels of rarity apart from the actual card's rarity, and basically makes certain cards more rare than others. The TARDIS frame is the rarest but is guaranteed from a Premium Pack (and as of this writing, you only get these from Premium Packs and above), so it's great to see one from my pulls! 

Doctor Who: Worlds Apart boasts of "beautifully hand drawn designs", which doesn't really translate well in the browser. The cards are rendered in 3-D, so you can actually turn it around to see the card backs. You can go to your Collection tab to check out the cards you own and look at them more closely, but it doesn't do the designs justice. Maybe when the app arrives we may see them in a better way instead of this clunky interface?

Close up of Petronella Osgood card from Doctor Who: Worlds Apart game

You can also sort your cards by rarity, which allowed me to realize I pulled a Legendary card (the game's highest card rarity), the Hand of Omega. Those abilities sound badass. Not everyday you have a card game that allows you to blow up planets!

picture of Hand of Omega legendary card from Doctor Who: Worlds Apart card game

And the cool thing about this is, with my legendary card now the blockchain, I'm one of the very few in the game to actually have this combination of frame and card, and I can actually prove it because the game emails you certificates of ownership for your cards.

Every. Single. One.

While it's a nice gesture, what if you go on a shopping spree and buy like 100 cards? Will Google send it to the shadow realm of spam for unleashing a tidal e-wave on your inbox just like it did mine?

Seeing as I'm part of the Beta, I was hoping there would be special perks for us. Apparently there is...when you buy a Founder's Token.

Picture of Founder's Token from Doctor Who: Worlds Apart card game

To have to pay to be known as one of the first to gain access to the game doesn't sit well with me. It does come with some perks, but at $250USD? No thank you. Although I hope this cash grab would be limited to this and not to the actual game itself. Looking at you, Magic: The Gathering.

The actual Doctor Who: Worlds Apart game doesn't come out til late 2021 at the earliest, so it's nice to have a first taste of what a digital card game with blockchain feature would be like. Will this have the potential to be a literal game-changer? Only time (and the actual gameplay) will tell.

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