User Score
8.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 142 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 9 out of 142

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  1. Jan 19, 2011
    3
    The game starts out well with interesting puzzles and a decent story but this quickly goes downhill. The puzzles are well thought out but are too few with the last being a disappointing sudoku. As well , while you're trying to solve the puzzles you are constantly being interrupted for another piece of story which can be very game breaking. The story along with the concept of being trapped in a Saw or Cube type of scenario is exciting at first but quickly becomes bland. This isn't helped by the fact you must repeat the game at least twice to get the true ending (which is highly unlikely if you truly want to play all the puzzles). Presenting the player with a large Titanic-sized ship setting, and then not allowing any exploration is frustrating to say the least. You are locked into a very linear storyline, only able to make a handful of actual player decisions. This all adds up to being a decent visual novel that you have to read at least twice and with little to no game play. Expand
  2. Aug 23, 2012
    0
    This game is awful. Let me preface that right off the bat. This is not a game.

    What this is, is a visual novel. For those unfamiliar with the term, visual novels are quite literally, novels with visual elements, which can include pictures, videos, and the occasional interactive element. They are a mainstay of Japanese "gaming" and hold a special place in the hearts of lonely individuals
    with poor person skills and social anxiety disorders. What visual novels aren't, are fun.

    The typical 'VN' as they are called, involves hours of text and left mouse clicks. You do not play a VN, merely slog through mind numbing monologues and so called character interaction. This proves to be a fatal flaw in gaming design, because games are supposed to be interactive and ENJOYABLE. There is nothing enjoyable about reading hours of text, staring and two dimensional cell shaded characters. The VN 'problem' stems from the Japanese culture itself. In Japanese gaming, the 'player' is relegated to the role of passive observer. You the player are never allowed to make real choices in a VN, and that same mix of culture and poor design crash head on in 999, rending it a bloody horrid, abortion of game design.

    At it's heart, 999 is supposed to be a puzzle-solving adventure game where nine individuals are thrown together by sinister circumstances and are forced to come face to face with their pasts and the deadly traps set before them by an unknown antagonist; promising to be an exciting and enthralling tale of treachery, intrigue, and murder. Unfortunately you're forced to wade through miles of feces before you can get to eat your cake, and no you don't get to shower before it either.

    Here's the problem. It's a point and click adventure game that locks you into limited, individual set piece rooms to explore. You will not get to explore anything but what have been chosen for you to enter. Nor will you get to even choose which rooms to enter. Sure, you might be presented with a choice of enter door number 1 or door number 2, but you will never be allowed to visit door number 2 should you choose door number 1. Sadly, this heavily restricts a game that could have had a great potential as you will never find multi-room puzzles, puzzles that span the length of the game, or be able to enjoy exploring the environment around you. You are locked in a linear rail ride from one predetermined set piece to another with no chance to affect any subtle changes to the plot or events that can transpire.

    The game uses the archaic programming method common in VNs where specific plot events trigger specific plot lines via the few text 'choices' you are given. This means that the only effect you will ever have on the game's progression, is picking one text option over another. Everything you do in solving the puzzles is instantly rendered meaningless, as the plot is always locked into one of 6 predetermined outcomes. For a game based on intrigue, treachery, survival, and psychological horror, this proves to be a great detriment for the game, as a single "bad choice" will result in outcomes you can see coming from a mile away, simply because you the player are not allowed the option of picking up an item. That's right. This is a terrible game, because it won't let you pick up a plot critical item. Forcing you replay the game over and over hunting down "right choices". In a genre where every good player knows to loot the very last insignificant nail off a wall, the game binds your hands and prevents you from ever being able to interact with items that simply picking them up would alter the course of the game because it does not allow you to explore, and that is why it is not a good game. Hell, it's not even a game.
    Expand
  3. Apr 27, 2011
    2
    I'll start this off by saying Layton and phoenix wright are a tiring formula for me. All the text does not make for a fun game. I'm a graduate student working as a phd and the fact that I found it tricky turned me off. New ways of playing are nice but really like pulling teeth for me. I don't like games with 50% gameplay 50% cut scenes. This felt like one long cut scene. Over rated at best and not my genre. Repetitive text based scenes got flashbacks to zork. Collapse
  4. Feb 16, 2013
    2
    The story is, like 99% of videogame stories, tripe. And for a game that is 95% story, that renders the game bad. Some of the puzzles are interesting, but they are so limited and so far between each other, I cannot recommend this game. I recommend reading Grospoliner's review here on Metacritic, especially the part about what kind of people really love this type of Japanese visual novel, and watching some Youtube gameplay videos before purchasing. Expand
  5. Jan 12, 2014
    2
    This game is 90% dialogue, and I wouldn't mind except that the dialogue is really terrible. The story is not terrible, thankfully. And yes, in case you're wondering, those are two separate things: the story is being told and the dialogue is what's used to tell it. If Charles Dickens tells a boring story, you're not bored reading it because Charles Dickens can write. But the people who made 999 most definitely are not on par with Charles Dickens: they cannot write.

    Okay, I'm done bashing the writing. Here's why I hate this game: it EXPECTS you to replay it. And that's fine if you can skip all the dialogue you've heard and the puzzles you've solved on the second play through. But instead, you can make the dialogue pass by quickly (but not instantly) and you have to redo all the puzzles. I put the game down the moment it told me to re-solve a puzzle. Who in the world would make a design decision like that??? Not Charles Dickens, that's who.
    Expand
  6. Aug 5, 2013
    3
    The story shows potential but is constantly ruined by moronic dialogue, poor character design and unrealistic behavior. The game is rated as mature yet the dialogue and overall deduction skills of all characters are childlike at best.

    There is very little actual gameplay but somehow it still gets interrupted by random story elements at the most random times. Also the 9 hour time limit
    is there just for cooler title purposes characters love wasting time and you as a player aren't pressured in any way.

    But if you like being 500 steps ahead of the main character's tiny chicken brain and like yelling "Just shut up already" at the screen, I wholeheartedly recommend this game. And by game I mean visual novel.
    Expand
  7. Apr 27, 2011
    0
    I'll start this off by saying Layton and phoenix wright are a tiring formula for me. All the text does not make for a fun game. I'm a graduate student working as a phd and the fact that I found it tricky turned me off. New ways of playing are nice but really like pulling teeth for me. I don't like games with 50% gameplay 50% cut scenes. This felt like one long cut scene. Over rated at best and not my genre. Repetitive text based scenes got flashbacks to zork. Collapse
Metascore
82

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. Oct 21, 2011
    80
    999 is stunning. It sports a captivating plot driven by a fantastic cast of characters, a satisfying mix of puzzles and interesting mathematical, scientific and philosophical quandaries to ponder.
  2. May 13, 2011
    60
    999 is a gutsy, mature story that blends horror, science, and character-driven drama in intriguing, thoughtful ways. It's also backed by some sparse but solid gameplay, melding traditional puzzle types with a cohesive math-based theme that nicely suits its subject matter. Unfortunately, what could have been a taut psychological thriller all too often becomes a plodding, pace-killing narrative full of bloated, poorly-integrated dialogue.
  3. A fantastic experience from start to finish. It is a game that truly expands what narrative video games can be capable of, and does so with a engrossing story that draws players in until the very end, all six of them.