Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors DS

User Score
8.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 209 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 11 out of 209
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  1. Nov 24, 2012
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The choices in this game are very limited and poorly structured. The game seems to assume that the player wants to be a "good guy". I think there should have been more options. For example, there is a part where the team finds a gun. They will say things like "it's obviously a trap" and "it's to get them to turn on one another". So the game forces you to leave the gun there. Well obviously now that people know it's there they can go back and pick it up (ultimately this does happen by the way and the gun is used against the player and the other good team mates), so it doesn't really make sense that the game absolutely FORCES the player to leave it behind against their will. If I were in that situation, I would have picked it up in fear that someone else may go back and get it. Of course, this is just one example but there are situations like this throughout almost the entire game. Another thing that I don't like is that there is no real line of logic that the player can apply to their choices in order to yield a good ending. In other words, if you get the good ending, you probably just got lucky. You have to choose between doors 4 and 5, then 3, 7, and 8, and finally 1, 2, or 6. After that point, your ending has already been determined through your course of action. In my first playthrough, I tried to play logically. I left people behind if necessary, and I did whatever I thought it would take to get the good ending. Obviously, that didn't work. So I figured, well maybe the game is trying to make me act selflessly, so I tried this. Still no luck. My next playthrough, I just picked some random ass combination of doors with no real logic as to which one I would choose. Still no luck. By this time, I had been playing the game for at least 15 hours. At least the game lets you skip what you've already done, but rather than just selecting "skip scene", you have to hold right on the d-pad to quickly scroll through text. Not a huge inconvenience, but it can still take a while, and it's a pain in a game like this that the player needs to go through multiple times in order to get everything. Anyway, back to my original point - So are you telling me that if I pick doors 4, 8, and 2 (this would yield a bad ending), that clearly I suck at the game and I should have to do the whole thing over? Yet if I pick doors 4, 7, and 1, clearly I'm awesome and I deserve a good ending? Each door is as much of a mystery as the others, and there is no real logic behind which one you should pick. In other words, the game doesn't reward players for thinking critically and carefully planning their course of action. You'll might as well just pick random combinations of doors until you happen to get lucky and get the good ending. Now I want to cover my hugest problem with the game's structure. In order to get the good ending, there is a very specific bad ending that you need to get, often referred to as the "safe ending". To get this ending, you need to go through doors 5, 8, and 6. But you also need to check a safe in room 5 before you leave the room, but AFTER unlocking the door. This is very cryptic. On one playthrough, I actually did this, because I was curious about the safe. However, I didn't know that after that I would have to go through door 8 and then 6. How was I supposed to know? Even if you DO check the safe after unlocking the door, you have to take two 1/3 chances consecutively after that by picking the correct doors. So once again, I would have to do the whole game over again. There is also a "coffin ending" (which I got). In the coffin ending, you have to make all of the choices that would normally yield the good ending, which is basically the same exact thing as the good ending but you don't know the password to the coffin in the coffin ending. So obviously, nobody wants or needs to see the coffin ending. However, if the player happened to get the safe ending, and then you got the good ending, it gives you credit for completing the coffin ending. This may confuse players and cause them to erase all of their save data in order to see what this ending was that they now couldn't get, not knowing that it was just a shortened version of the good ending. After all of this complaining, you might be wondering why I gave the game a 7 out of 10. It's simple - In spite of all of these problems, and the relatively easy puzzles throughout the game (By the way, the final puzzle in the game is an easy sodoku puzzle. That should put things in to perspective as far as the game's difficulty), the story still kept me entertained and wanting to see what would happen next. If the thought of a story involving curses, ESP, unsolved ancient mysteries, and a game of life and death appeals to you, then you should try this game out. But remember, don't bother taking the game seriously at all and trying to plan a detailed course of action, as the game's poor structure makes it too luck based. Perhaps it's better to view it as a story, not a game. Expand
  2. Mar 29, 2011
    6
    Be prepared to read. This is an interactive fiction story first, puzzle game second. I went into 9 Hours thinking the opposite and was sorta disappointed. The murder-mystery story however will actively carry you along and make you pine for each action-sensitive ending. Decent game, but only worth a rent, I'd say.
  3. Nov 12, 2012
    5
    With the release of Zero Escape for the Vita I thought I would finally put in my two cents about this game. I will not repeat what has already been said in the negative reviews - Ocean and Grospoliner hit the nail on the head. There is extremely little gameplay in this title and it absolutely should be marketed as a graphic novel rather than a game. You are reading 90% of the time andWith the release of Zero Escape for the Vita I thought I would finally put in my two cents about this game. I will not repeat what has already been said in the negative reviews - Ocean and Grospoliner hit the nail on the head. There is extremely little gameplay in this title and it absolutely should be marketed as a graphic novel rather than a game. You are reading 90% of the time and what little gameplay there is involved extremely basic point and click segments that last 5 - 10 minutes in between 20 mins of cutscenes. I am posting this review because there are presently stellar reviews of Zero Escape being posted all quoting how amazing the prequel (this game) is. Please do your homework and try before you buy this game or Zero Escape and watch a y0utube video first. Expand
  4. May 28, 2012
    6
    This game was interesting but in th end not that great.
  5. Nov 6, 2013
    7
    I simultaneously love this game and hate this game. I hate it because I had to play it four times (with a guide for the final two times) in order to get the good ending. I hated the idea of needing to play the game multiple times in order to get the right ending until I got a better grasp of the theme of the game; then it made more sense. I wish that you could fast-forward through theI simultaneously love this game and hate this game. I hate it because I had to play it four times (with a guide for the final two times) in order to get the good ending. I hated the idea of needing to play the game multiple times in order to get the right ending until I got a better grasp of the theme of the game; then it made more sense. I wish that you could fast-forward through the puzzles just like you fast-forward through conversations. My last issue with the game is that most of the decisions that actually are important to the game (which doors to go through) have no hints as to what choice you should actually make. The decisions and conversations that you need to have feel arbitrary, as do the endings that you receive based upon your decisions. I fail to see how “choosing this door” means “My character will get stabbed later”. To have come up with the solution on your own seems nearly impossible. Other than that, the game is well-written, presents a great plot that gradually gets fleshed out (even though the meat of the plot is thrown at your just when you’ve hit the end of the game). I really enjoyed the complexity of the math involved, given that the characters were forced into certain situations just because of the doors that were available. I enjoyed getting to know each of the characters and trying to unravel what their connection is. Beyond that, the gameplay is pretty boring (you have to figure out what the game wants you to do, not what you think should be done), but some of the puzzles are fairly exciting and complex. Cheers to that. I give a 7 because of its audacity in coming up with such a complex idea, but I'm a bit appalled by the execution. Expand
  6. Dec 23, 2013
    7
    999 is, simply put, a visual novel. It's a lot more reading thank actual gameplay, so if you dive into this game expecting a string of puzzles with the bonus of a story, your disappointment should be less. While the core idea of the story is interesting, it simplified the fundamental psychology/theories the game is based upon to try and appeal to a larger audience, like adding water to999 is, simply put, a visual novel. It's a lot more reading thank actual gameplay, so if you dive into this game expecting a string of puzzles with the bonus of a story, your disappointment should be less. While the core idea of the story is interesting, it simplified the fundamental psychology/theories the game is based upon to try and appeal to a larger audience, like adding water to strong coffee. The puzzles themselves aren't really a challenge if you're familiar with the brain teaser genre, but they're enough to keep you occupied without losing too much interest if you're familiar with the Layton series, I would offer that the puzzles in this game are fewer and generally less challenging This game might not be for you if you're looking for in-depth exploration of your environment, fast-paced action, or a connection with the characters. As a native Japanese speaker the dialogue didn't bother me too much, though I do have to agree with other reviewers that, yes, some of the English is a touch unnatural, though it's made an honest effort compared to other translated titles. Overall it's an entertaining game with a slightly new spin on things, but if a lot of reading and few choices is something that turns you off from a title, you may want to look elsewhere. Expand
  7. Jul 16, 2015
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Just finished playing the 3rd time this game. I simply wanted you to know that all the hype and galactic reviews are a bit too high IMHO. The game starts in a very thrilling way and you (junpei) find yourself trapped in a sinking ship. You only have 9 hours to escape your doom and that's very interesting. Then it is revealed that you are participating in a game called "nonary game" for apparently no reason. However it's not the story i'm criticizing; that's quite good, despite some awkward moments. The main problem with 999 is the gameplay. First of all, you should know this is a visual novel, so you don't have to expect a deep gameplay, however you have to do some choices during your playthrough. And that's what this game gets ORRIBLY WRONG. Those choices don't have a logic. I'll use another similar game for example. "life is strange". In "LIS" you have to think hard before a choice. For example, if you see your friend bullied by a cop, you can either intervene, or take a photo. Your intervent makes your friend happy, and the cop angry, while if you don't intervene, your friend will get mad at you. But the point is you can use the proof you gained against the cop and you can have him suspended by his role. So there is a reason behind every choice you make. In 999 there isn't. You are prompted with 2 choices: door number 4 or 5?
    Before you ask, let me tell you there is NO reason you should take one door instead than taking the other.
    Both doors will guide you to the same room. To be fair, the choice of door 5 could be more clever if you think about it. There is a bracelet behind that door you could really use, however, even if you enter the 5th door, you won't be able to take the bracelet, because IDK! Instead the main evil in this game will take that, regardless of your choice. Another stupid moment is when you find a revolver loaded with 6 bullets.
    You don't want anybody to take it, because you trust nobody, and so? I would have given the gun to somebody and i would have kept bullets for me, in order to avoid tragedies. What does the protagonist do? Simply leave the gun fully loaded behind... I know i'm not the protagonist and probably i have overestimated him, but there are other 8 people, and the only one that has good ideas is evil.
    However the game story makes possible that you can save informations between playthroughs, this means that if you don't take the bracelet in the first playthrough, then you should be able to take it in your second, right? WRONG! You cannot! I can't explain this, but that's simply unfair. Especially if you consider that your best ending is achieved randomly and you cannot simply think a logic way to get the best finale.
    Overall, this is not a bad game at all, it's quite good, but it's not the masterpiece you were waiting for...

    ...unless you want to spend hours scrolling text and asking yourself why characters are incredibly clever at times an incredibly stupid other times, then it's absolutely a masterpiece!
    Expand
  8. Apr 3, 2011
    10
    Adventure games on Nintendo DS have already seen many great entries such as Phoenix Wright, Time Hollow or Hotel Dusk, but 999 is really something else: mixing visual novel narrative and adventure sections, it's probably the most captivating videogame of his genre I have ever played. The true ending is something that will leave you speechless, so don't abandon the game after having seenAdventure games on Nintendo DS have already seen many great entries such as Phoenix Wright, Time Hollow or Hotel Dusk, but 999 is really something else: mixing visual novel narrative and adventure sections, it's probably the most captivating videogame of his genre I have ever played. The true ending is something that will leave you speechless, so don't abandon the game after having seen one of its minor endings. Collapse

Awards & Rankings

#1 Most Discussed DS Game of 2010
#4 Most Shared DS Game of 2010
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.