30 Dec

Doctor Who Encyclopedia is an interactive book and is published by Random House.

Explore and search over three thousand entries by episode, character, place or object and see the connections that link them together. Open interactive ‘portals’ for the Doctor, Amy, Rory, River and other major characters. Build an A-Z of your favourites, explore galleries of imagery and preview and buy must-have episodes.

This application currently offers information on the Eleventh doctor (the two series released to date), information on the 9th and 10th doctors can be purchased in app. The 9th doctor can currently be purchased for 69p  (was £4.99 on release, which many people complained about as it is only one series of information.)

The encyclopedia can be explored in many different ways with several portal pages, images, friends and places being just some of the the options available.

The application has a great visual look, but unfortunately, you soon find this is still over substance, as you will find it hard to find some information and easy to find others.

Most of the information lacks images or sound, and the text is given in a small scrollable area, rather than making more use of the large screen of the iPad. On one section I called up a pop up box appeared with only enough space for six or so words per line, and a scroll bar that went on for miles.

There are nice images and galleries in the application and these are nicely done with the option to expand the image to almost full screen.

Sound in the application is lacking, with the odd effect or Tardis noise, you will find yourself reading the application in silence.

The main issue I had with the application was the navigation of the information, I have used hundreds of application over the years and this has to be one of the worst “encyclopedia” designs I have seen. The search often does not work when you enter it, you select an option and sometimes wait not knowing if it is going to go a page or not. There are portals for some of the companions, but these do not include all the information on that companion, there is more hidden elsewhere in the app. For example, you need to search which episodes River song appears in, this should have been within her portal.

On the upside:

  • Lots of Doctor Who information.
  • Some great artwork and images.
  • A searchable database of information.

On the downside:

  • Crashes a fair bit.
  • User Interface is not great, could be a lot easier to navigate.
  • Search does not work as expected at times, like coming back with no results on a search for “Dalek”

Overall, this is an interesting application which could have been great. I am a big Doctor Who fan and would have been very happy if this application fulfilled half the promised features. However, it all seems a little half baked at times. Some of the stuff is great, but other sections are just lacking in images, sounds and content. For something claiming to be the “ultimate series companion” it is incomplete and badly put together. Fans will more than likely give it a break, but will find themselves disappointed rather than excited.

Rating: 74%

Size: 99.4 MB

Price (at time of review): £2.49 (With in-app purchases for additional doctors)

Link: Doctor Who Encyclopedia – Random House


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