Review: 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors (DS)
Also Known As: Kyokugen Dasshutsu (Extreme Escape in English, later re-branded to Zero Escape)Release Date: 11/16/2010
Publisher: Arksys Games (US), Spike (Japan)
Value: $17.50 (used – pricecharting.com), $19.74 (new – Amazon.com)
Similar Games: Sweet Home (Faimcom), Clock Tower series (SNES-PS2), S.O.S. (SNES), Corpse Party (PSP)
9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors (999) is one of those games you’ve always been told to play, but many haven’t pulled the trigger. Upon the release of the sequel, Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward, that premiered late 2012 this title has been re-branded as the predecessor and seen a bit more love. That still doesn’t change the fact that few have experienced this hybrid between classic point-and-click adventure puzzles and Choose Your Own Adventure storytelling. It’s a very Japanese concept that may not capture many, but those willing to put in the time and effort will find an intriguing mature form of an interactive book. Yes, you read that right, 999 is basically an interactive work of fiction.
This is probably the biggest hurdle to getting into 999, after that just sit back and enjoy the ride. You play as Junpei, a young man who awakens on a ship that is sinking and must assist 8 other people to get through a total of 9 doors in 9 hours (see the title significance) in the “Nonary Game” set up by a gas masked kidnapper known only as Zero. Along the way you will see death, betrayal, and plenty of twists concluding in one of six endings – 5 bad, one good. Bring a pen and paper, you’ll need it, and an FAQ upon completing a few endings, it’s a complicated ride to the perfect end. After the tens of hours to get through the entire adventure, the unfolded plot impressed a novel reader like myself quite a bit. If you have 20-30 mins a day for portable gaming, this is a new take on two classic genres of storytelling, and worth it for those that find that kind of thing intriguing.
Score: 4/5 (see our review policy for what each score means)
Due to the title’s late release only a few years ago, there is currently no historical significance to date. It was reviewed due to its classic style and was purchased by the reviewer.