Video Game Review: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors

The trailer above is for The Nonary games, an updated collection of the this game and its sequel. It does not contain the third game.

Details: I played the DS version, which did not have voice acting or any of the modern changes that were included in the updated versions. It takes about ten hours to get through this game according to howlongtobeat.com More information can be found at https://www.spike-chunsoft.com/games/zero-escape-nonary-games/

Score: 5.2/10

The thing about visual novels is that the entire value of the game relies on how interesting the story is. There is little gameplay so a lousy story will equal a lousy game. Unfortunately, the story here is not presented in a good way and takes pleasure in wasting players’ time. The lack of voice acting also didn’t help.

The story takes place aboard a ship similar to the Titanic. Nine people have been kidnapped and trapped on this ship. They are given nine hours to figure out their way through a series of puzzles and escape the ship or die.

The worst thing about this story is that you cannot get the true ending without at least two playthroughs. If you are not using a guide, it will likely require more. This would be fine except that there is no way to skip puzzles that you’ve already gone through, so you have to waste your time redoing old puzzles and trying new things in hopes of triggering new events. Fans of visual novels likely enjoy these branching pathways. I found these false endings repetitive and a waste of my time. Ultimately, I just gave up on playing to the true ending and just looked it up.

Compounding my boredom was the gameplay, which mainly consisted of a series of puzzles. Puzzles usually trap the player in a room where they have to click through different parts of the room and click on specific objects in hopes that they will unlock something else. The puzzles were okay, just annoying in that all I wanted was some more story developments and these annoying puzzles were in the way.

Visually, the game is also lack luster. It’s mostly static artwork. No animations or movement here.

Overall, I found this game to be a waste of time. I slogged through it anyways because I hoped there was some amazing revelation at the end, but the price of that revelation was not worth it. This game was simply not that fun. If it had some voice acting, that would have likely made this experience far more enjoyable, but there was none of that in this version. The bottom line is that this story was not told well and requiring multiple playthroughs for poorly told story just wore me out.

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