Critic & User Reviews
Great story and puzzles.
posted by WRONGonRED (DELTONA, FL) Jan 22, 2011
Member since Jul 2007
2 out of 2 gamers (100%) found this review helpful
If you are a gamer that is expecting a lot of action and a fast pacing story, this game is not for you tho.
posted by DJAnalLightBulb (MCKINNEY, TX) Jan 23, 2012
Member since Dec 2011
1 out of 1 gamers (100%) found this review helpful
This deserves more than just 9!
posted by TheCjGuy (BUFFALO, NY) Nov 15, 2011
Member since Sep 2011
1 out of 1 gamers (100%) found this review helpful
The story and plot are very good and left me with a few awed and jaw dropping moments. The characters are interesting enough to care about them; whether you hate them or love them and all somehow connect together.
There are six endings for the game. I suggest you look up the three bad endings first and then do the 'safe' ending and then the 'True' ending which is the best possible. It ties everything up and the order gives you the most the game can offer. If you thought something was like that, well, you learn some new things and it turns your theory inside out.
Speaking of the endings: all good endings for this type of game. The end of the true could have used a little more on a certain two or three characters in this endings, as I was suspecting...well, you'll know if you play this too. Nevertheless, I think it is perfect for what it is!
Although I don't have energy right now to go into detail, if you are a fan of this genre, it is perfect for you! I recommend getting this for a good two-night rental. Took me hours to beat even with having the ability to skip text I had already seen.
I sure hope the sequel is better- which there will be- and can somehow tie up some loose ends. But that's just hoping.
999 is a perfect 10
posted by HLarge4 (WOONSOCKET, RI) Apr 29, 2011
Member since May 2010
7 out of 8 gamers (88%) found this review helpful
So when I tell you that 999 is perfection, I want my full meaning understood.
Your playing an interactive novel. I won't try and sell the game as something it isn't. Its a text adventure with a small cache of still images, almost zero character animation, and puzzles that almost solve themselvs.
So why is this a ten? It is excitement like I've never encounterd in a game before. You will tap your screen at lightning speed, desperate for the next line of text to appear, you will ache as you decide which of the choices presented is the right for you. You'll find your 9 cliched characters transforming into beautifully tragic human being with very real problems. You'll ponder the real mystery behind the events. And, if your anything like me, you will literaly pulse with thougts of the game while its closed away as you go about your life.
I have never played a game that stayed with me in such a personal way. i had never felt a stab of guilt at the untimely demise of a fellow character. And I've never, in over 20 years of gaming, restarted a game to pursue alternate endings so fast. Literaly before the screen loaded, I was already pounding start to do it again, but hopefully better.
If your worrited about alternate ending, dont't. the way the final true ending ties it all together with leave you floored, covered in goosebumps, and cheering for just how powerful, brilliant, emotional and timeless a video game can be. Dont just rent it, buy it.
Brilliant, to put it lightly
posted by Iamnobody (WILMINGTON, DE) Dec 28, 2010
Member since Jul 2008
6 out of 7 gamers (86%) found this review helpful
As far as the writing is concerned, I could rave for many times the space I have here about it's astounding quality. Suffice to say that the tale is excellently developed and the characters, however cliche their art may appear, are all very deep and extremely convincing.
As a game, 999 consists primarily of two things: escape the room puzzles and the text choices you'd expect to find in a visual novel. Despite being part of a genre I've already admitted to hating, the puzzles manage to be one of the most fun parts of the game. Unlike many other games of the genre, 999 never opts for a fantastic, if totally unrealistic, solution to any of its escapes. Instead, every puzzle is solved in a way that makes practical sense, and better yet, fits perfectly into the rest of the story. Also unlike other games of this type, every puzzle but the first is solved with the help of several other characters. This is also connected to the story, and many of the games most important events and decisions take place in what would otherwise be a regular puzzle. Furthermore, the characters can offer helpful hints if you become stuck on one of the more difficult puzzles.
The choices the game offers are pretty straightforward: you're either choosing what to say in a conversation, or choosing which door to go through. Either way, the choices usually have consequences and help personalize each playthrough.
In short, 999 easily ranks among my favorite games of all time and should not be missed by anyone with a DS.
A truly amazing, underrated game.
posted by Triedge (LAWRENCEBURG, IN) Mar 25, 2011
Member since Dec 2006
5 out of 6 gamers (83%) found this review helpful
You play as Junpei, a college age guy, who wakes up in a room with a door adorned with the number 5. You soon find a way out and discover what's going on. A person who refers to him/herself as 'Zero' has trapped you and 8 other people on what is supposedly a boat stranded in the middle of the ocean. You find out that Zero's having you all play a deadly game called 'The Nonary Game'. And now, you must work together with the 8 other people to find the door with a 9 on it and escape from this madman. That's the basic premise. I can't say much more without spoiling.
The gameplay is split into two parts: The narrative of the game, the top screen of the DS showing the pictures, the bottom screen typing out what's going on like a book. The other part of the gameplay is the puzzles. These puzzles are like 'Escape-the-room-games' with more logic involved and less nonsense. The puzzles are difficult, but they all can be figured out with careful thinking.
As for the story? This story is one of the absolute best I've ever seen in a videogame. It really left an emotional impact on me, and made me think for at least an hour after figuring out what happened. That being said, there's 6 endings you can get, but only 1 true ending. I suggest getting them all, you find out more that way.
To wrap this review up, here's my conclusion:
Story: Fantastic story. One of the most gripping I've ever experienced.
Gameplay: The interactive novel/puzzle gameplay was great, but it may turn some people away.
Music: The music sounds good, and fits the game well.
Graphics: Pretty good for a DS.
Replay Value: A lot if you're going after all 6 endings.
The game took me about 2 and a half weeks to beat. I highly recommend this game to anyone looking for something cool.
An exciting turn for DS gaming.
posted by Pyrospazz (BROOKFIELD, MA) Nov 30, 2010
Member since Mar 2009
3 out of 5 gamers (60%) found this review helpful
The story changes depending on your choices and actions. While most of the game is reading, that's not all there is to it. When you're not reading, you're thinking your way through some challenging puzzles.
Funny thing about the puzzles. The deeper into the game you get, the puzzles in turn become more challenging.
999 has multiple endings. If you pick the obvious choices, you get the easier puzzles and the weakest ending. It's when you play through the second and third times that you get the real good stuff. In fact, picking the right choices makes the game longer!
There are a lot of unexpected plot twists that keep it exciting. The only reason I didn't give 999 a 10 is because it's very difficult to find all the endings. Don't get me wrong now, I like a challenge, it's just disappointing to play the entire game again just to get an ending I've already gotten (The first few are easy, I'm looking for the 5th).
It should be noted that dialog can get repetitive at times after beating the game the first few rounds, however, if you've already seen a portion of text, you can fast forward and the game will automatically stop at the new stuff. so none of that button mashing to get through what you've already seen.
As far as the music goes, it's not always playing. It's used more for dramatic effect than for backround noise. Even so, this adds a submersive feel to the game. Good for playing in a dark room in the silence of night.
So I highly recommend 999 to anyone who likes puzzles, looks for a good story line, and who likes reading.
The free watch that came with 999 is pretty cool too. (It's just like the ones that the 9 persons wear). But sadly, the watch was only given out to people who pre-ordered the game online.
How does this get such high scores?...
posted by LemmyKoopa (MADISON, WI) Jan 2, 2011
Member since Jan 2011
10 out of 21 gamers (48%) found this review helpful
As a game, however - not so much. That’s because most of the “game” is simply reading the story. And it’s a good story. But I expected a game, not a book.
Between the hours of reading are some basic point and click puzzles where you click around rooms, collecting items that you may combine with other items and use in certain locations. The puzzles are ok, but not exactly Professor Layton standard. If you do come across something tricky, generally hints will get dropped if you click on things enough. Basically, click everywhere and you can work it out. The only time things get tricky is when you have to keep numbers or symbols in your head for some time; an in-game notepad function would have been helpful.
This game has multiple endings. If you want to see all the endings or don’t like the one you got, you’ve got to start again. 9-9-9 gives you some help in going through the game again: you can scroll through the text you’ve seen before very quickly. But you cannot skip such text entirely, and it can still take minutes to get through very long scenes. And if you encounter a puzzle you already solved on a previous playthrough, you must solve it all over again...
If you want to play something entirely unique on the DS and are up for reading a suspense novel, this game is for you. But I am not convinced that many gamers will find what they're looking for here, and while I enjoyed the story I did not love the game. My score of 4 indicates this game has some merit, but is best suited for a select group. If you don't think you fall in that group, skip it.
Good Game Worth playing.
posted by SilentPrince088 (HOUSTON, TX) Feb 20, 2011
Member since Feb 2011
1 out of 2 gamers (50%) found this review helpful
twists and turns
5 or 6 different endings
Irritating 'beep' when people talk
Worth playing if you are patient with cutscenes sometimes i was literally sitting there for 30 minutes tapping the screen waiting for the talking to stop and the true ending is no exception it is LOOOOONG
Have fun playing 9/10
Pandering and boring. A bad novel, not a game.
posted by protox (LAKEWOOD, CO) Jan 14, 2011
Member since Mar 2005
6 out of 20 gamers (30%) found this review helpful
After the first hour I did two puzzles. The game is over 90% reading. The story is overly descriptive and often describes in full detail exactly what you're staring at a picture of. It inserts sexual material, violence, and so many other things into the story without adding to the plot. The characters are all stereotypes of typical manga characters. The quality of graphics is very low and the characters are just simple typical manga type drawings. The game gives you items that are useless and puzzles that are somewhat broken with little to no clue how to solve them. One puzzle gave you a bunch of numbers and a safe. It didn't tell you what to do with the numbers or how to turn that into a combination so I just assumed I was supposed to add them and it turned out I was right... way too easy.
It only has one save though it has several endings. Compared to Professor Layton this is child's play as far as the puzzles are concerned. Compared to most Manga and comics I've read, this is a sad attempt at a story that steals elements from several books and movies like Saw and Battle Royal. I'm not sure what everyone loves about this game but I was bored. I still completed it so I could do a full review, but I was so bored. You'd be better off reading real novels than playing this game.
Decent Story, but Poor Writing is Distracting
posted by alstromerian (OAK PARK, MI) Jul 4, 2011
Member since Jul 2011
2 out of 7 gamers (29%) found this review helpful
The rave review for this title are primarily based on praise for the interesting and creative story (which makes sense, since this game is quite literally 90% story and 10% interactive puzzles). I agree that the story, as a whole, is good. However, the writing itself is so poor and repetitive that anything redeeming about the story is lost. One would think that a "mature" game would be written at an adult reading level.
It isn't merely that it moves slowly -- concepts are repeated over and over (presumably so that you catch the "important" stuff), and it feels as though this was written for a 12-year-old. Particularly obnoxious examples of this is full repetition of unnecessarily detailed instructions every time you click on a puzzle (e.g. entering a combination - a full paragraph of explanation), detailed discussion of basic arithmetic, repetitive and excruciatingly descriptive details that do not add to the story, a character's internal dialogue that paraphrases the conversation that you just read, etc.
Further, the story is written with all of the sophistication of a high school creative writing assignment (which, I suppose, is suggested by the repetition). Not only is the sentence structure poor and distracting, there is close to no believable character development. As a person who cries at almost every movie, I had no empathy whatsoever for any of these characters. For a game that is primarily story-driven, this is damning. Story-driven games, one of my favorite genres, can be done well (see, e.g., Heavy Rain). This, however, is poorly executed.
As for the remaining 10%, it's fairly boring. To compare it to Myst is laughable. I'm fine with easy games, but when action is hours apart, it's a snooze. If the writing was better, it would have been tolerable. Alas, a good concept, marred in execution.
DEFINITELY a book more than a game
posted by orangehat (PORTLAND, OR) Apr 4, 2011
Member since Mar 2006
1 out of 4 gamers (25%) found this review helpful
The difficulty of the gameplay itself -- all collection missions and puzzles -- is variable but generally not difficult. Again, as others have said, the puzzles are not nearly so hard as most of those you'd play in the Professor Layton games. The game frustratingly holds your hand through a lot of the challenges. It's nice to know there's a hint handy but occasionally they're a little TOO handy. Since you spend so much time reading, it would be nice if you could play more without "help."
I think I'm obligated to give this a 9 regardless
posted by Aslain (FREMONT, NH) May 20, 2013
Member since May 2013
I've played a few Visual Novels in my day, and I'll admit it - I like them. Shame on me, I enjoy reading. Regardless, this game is that. However! There is a point-and-click aspect to this game as well. Bam. My favorite dying genre. This game is a gift from the gods. So to speak. A perfect genre for DS.
My only gripe with it is that you're kind of forced to fail a few times before you can get a happy ending. So be prepared to be depressed a few times before you really get to smile warmly. That and the art can be a bit funky at times, but whatever.
I loved it. You can bet your rear the sequel on 3DS is number one on my GameQ now.
posted by eluziv (HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL) Apr 29, 2013
Member since Jun 2011
posted by caotic_hero (GROESBECK, TX) Jan 23, 2013
Member since May 2012
Story Based Game
posted by Jezeus02 (EL PASO, TX) Jan 16, 2013
Member since Jan 2013
posted by Stormed (LAKE GROVE, NY) Nov 17, 2012
Member since Jun 2010
You can play the game through once, but that won't be enough. There are six different endings. To get to each you have to follow certain choice paths throughout the game. In particular the real ending is gated behind you experiencing one of the other endings. As others have stated, you can fast-forward past dialog you've already experienced during subsequent playthroughs. In the end, I think most players will want to experience all of the endings because of all the questions they'll likely have as news story arcs twist and turn around your mind.
posted by wmpendle (MORENO VALLEY, CA) Sep 29, 2012
Member since Jul 2012
I wasn't expecting a novel interrupting my game
posted by TheIntrepidNemo (AUSTIN, TX) Aug 22, 2012
Member since Nov 2011
1.) This isn't so much a video game as it is a novel trying to pass itself off as a video game.
2.) If it were a well written novel, there wouldn't be a number one or two.
That about sums it up. The puzzles, once you finish slogging through 20 to 30 minutes of un-skippable dialogue and writing, are actually pretty good. I'm not sure if the writing itself was this terrible originally, or if the translators just didn't have that much mastery over the English language. But I could find better prose in my toilet.
All in all, if you like room escape games, you can find better ones for free on the internet.
PLAY THROUGH AT LEAST ONCE
posted by dasilodavi (WATERTOWN, MA) Aug 6, 2012
Member since Jan 2006
The barrier to enjoying this game lays in its dense text and its inability to speed up or skip it. Ironically this is its strong suit; the "game" is story, with decent puzzle elements. The first few scenes are long, and thin on puzzles, and characters tend to say ridiculous junk. But seriously, play it through once. Once you can skip the long introduction you'll find that you want to see all the puzzles, find all the branching pathways, their subtle differences, and see all 6 mind-blowing endings.
It's a story game, well done if a bit long-winded. But you'll be glad you played it, especially if you can get through the first play-through.
Simply the best interactive novel to the DS!
posted by Catgir (CARTHAGE, MS) Jul 19, 2012
Member since Jul 2012
Unique gameplay, outstanding presentation.
posted by electr1c (JACKSONVILLE, FL) Jul 8, 2012
Member since May 2011
9 hours is too long to play!
posted by LadyMamaKat (EFFINGHAM, IL) Dec 16, 2011
Member since Dec 2011
cool game and fun story
posted by catheal (ATLANTA, GA) Nov 19, 2011
Member since Jul 2011
posted by bellingham (BELLINGHAM, WA) Nov 13, 2011
Member since Oct 2010
I was playing this game on vacation and stopped at a garage sale to get a book to read. I picked up "Cat's Cradle" which I had been wanting to read for a while.
I was absolutely mind-blown when I realized that the references to "Ice-9" in the game are from Cat's Cradle. It made reading the book and playing the game even more intense. Then, I got into a conversation with a doctor and he mentioned an interesting article about the number 9 out of the blue. I wasn't even talking about the game or the book!
Hope this game brings you just as much wonder and enrichment as it did me.