Trace Memory DS

Metascore
70

Mixed or average reviews - based on 51 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 51
  2. Negative: 1 out of 51
Buy On
  1. Trace Memory is a cracker-jack adventure game developed and beautifully suited for the DS system. It's not at the level and complexity of the best adventure titles for the PC, but it's not reasonable to expect that from a handheld title. What it does bring to the table is an engaging, wonderfully done and integrated story with facilitating puzzles.
  2. One of the best adventure games currently available.
  3. It is the game’s endearing story and characters, coupled with an intriguing adventure that help to make Trace Memory succeed in being truly memorable, pardon the pun.
  4. Nintendo Power
    85
    Trace Memory does not take much time to play, but a second run through results in a few story nuances and a slightly different ending. [Nov 2005, p.109]
  5. If a strong narrative and clever puzzles sound right up your ally then Trace Memory is a thrilling experience you won’t soon forget.
  6. The graphics offer an enticing mix of cutesy Anime portraits and lovely 3D environments, while the gameplay is an original twist on a classic genre with gentle pacing masking fiendish puzzles. Who said point & click was dead? Another subtle smash on the divine DS. [GamesMaster]
  7. What it does offer, though, is a game that takes advantage of the full capabilities of the Nintendo wonder-machine. It couldn't exist on anything else in anything other than a truncated form.
  8. A game as succintly brilliant as Trace Memory guarantees that anyone looking for a graphic adventure game, or an emotional, engaging experience, will be more than content.
  9. AceGamez
    80
    The graphics are top notch, the score is captivating and the sound effects are realistic but subtle enough not to irritate.
  10. The story is what keeps you wanting to move forward while playing an adventure and Trace Memory had me hooked, even when I was madly frustrated at it for being too persnickity about certain solutions. It's the perfect game to play on the train, bus or trolley on the way too and from school or work and due to the pacing of the story, your eyes won't go buggy trying to keep an eye on the action.
  11. Puzzles are wonderfully innovative, utilising the touch-screen and microphone. Solving such tricky conundrums is satisfying but there is little replay appeal.
  12. if you're looking for a relaxed game with a good story and interesting puzzles, and you're a big fan of games like "Myst," Trace Memory will more than satisfy your craving for adventure.
  13. While some players may be disgruntled by the lack of action and lack of length, fans of the point and click adventure genre will be thrilled with this artistically-inclined entry from Nintendo.
  14. While obviously not for those seeking an arcade fix, Another Code is an absolute must for those who are always on the lookout for a decent adventure.
  15. If you're a quality-deprived adventure game fan or simply looking for a refreshing, unique alternative to the current crop of me-too titles on other systems then you absolutely owe it to yourself to give Another Code a whirl. Just be aware that the game's brief playtime and innate genre flaws mean that you probably won't be playing for all that long.
  16. An interesting portable Myst-style graphic adventure with good graphics and fun controls but a slow pace and a lot of reading.
  17. Pelit (Finland)
    77
    A very light, but brilliantly designed adventure game. For experienced gamers it is too short and easy, but casual gamers will no doubt enjoy it very much. [Sept. 05]
  18. The game takes 5 hours at most to complete, and it has very little replay value, unless you didn't get the best ending the first time around and you want to see it.
  19. It's involved, it's long, it's original, and it represents another milestone in console gaming history - the first time that anyone has truly made a PC-style adventure game work on a handheld.
  20. Game Informer
    75
    Struggle through, though, and you'll be rewarded with a few moments of pure puzzle transcendence. [Nov 2005, p.182]

Awards & Rankings

#16 Most Discussed DS Game of 2005
User Score
8.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 43 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 19
  2. Negative: 1 out of 19
  1. Sep 28, 2015
    6
    I actually wanted to like this game. But really? The User score is based on emotion. I played this game after adventures such as 999, VirtuesI actually wanted to like this game. But really? The User score is based on emotion. I played this game after adventures such as 999, Virtues Last Reward, Hotel Dusk, Ghost Trick and some Ace Attorney games. Compared to them, this is bland.

    The premise was what made me want to play the game despite the bad reviews. I played Theresia, and I liked that. Why not this? This was not like Theresia, or any other good adventure game.

    It starts off with little Ashley. She has a constant blush, and makes a cute pouting face. She's confused, hurt and mad. She's found out that her Auntie Jessica has lied to her all of her life. She was under the impression her father was dead, and Jessica reinforced that impression. But daddy was alive. She'd been sent a letter and a strange device very reminiscent of a DS console, telling her to come to an Island where he has been all of her life.
    She also remembers what happened when she was 3. Her mother was murdered right in front of her, and she doesn't know why, or whom by. She is of the belief that she very well may be alive too, despite knowing better.
    Jessica goes off to see where her brother is when nobody is there to meet them, and she doesn't come back. The captain of the boat can't stick around and is ready to sail off after giving little Ashley some candy. So, Ashley is stuck all alone on the Island, perusing it's history and it's secrets, whilst trying to piece together her past.

    Sounds alright, eh? However, between the answer to her personal turmoil and 5 hour adventure is a whole lot of backstory about the island and it's resident ghost boy. I found all of that uninspiring. Lots of talk about Trace, and memories, and blah blah blah. None of it had any depth. Any substance. I found myself getting bored and going 'whatever'.
    All of the intense set-up is generally thrown away. I won't spoil what happens in the mansion, but despite the grim backstory, the rest of the game is pretty light.

    There's a ton of puzzles. Some are fun, some are very annoying. They all utilize the DS's capabilities well in it's early life. The exploration is bland, however, and the game is very linear. Some items can't be picked up until they are needed, D is an annoying fool and... and... ugh.

    It's very boring and uninspiring after you get over the premise is what I'm trying to say. Nothing seems to happen for the majority of the game except for learning backstory that you couldn't possibly care less about. If it was an Island with a gloomy past, I might get that. But it wasn't.

    So, yeah, I was disappointed.
    Full Review »
  2. Jun 20, 2013
    5
    The plot is interesting, the art is good, and the characters are fairly good, if a little unmemorable. My main issue with this game is that itThe plot is interesting, the art is good, and the characters are fairly good, if a little unmemorable. My main issue with this game is that it seems to have had a lot more cut scenes and dialogue than actual game play, and, the game play can get VERY difficult, so, it's not a good game for players who aren't very good at puzzles. It felt much more like a novel or graphic novel than a game. Full Review »
  3. Apr 30, 2012
    4
    Plays more like a tech demo than an actual game. Utterly bland on almost every single account - avoid like a plague! Oh, and if you ever wantPlays more like a tech demo than an actual game. Utterly bland on almost every single account - avoid like a plague! Oh, and if you ever want to show off the DS features to your friends, there are still much better games out there (like WarioWare). Full Review »