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. 65
    Less avant-garde than "Indigo Prophecy," far less self-important than "Myst V," Trace Memory is the very definition of a safe, comfortable, middle-of-the-road experience.
  2. AceGamez
    The graphics are top notch, the score is captivating and the sound effects are realistic but subtle enough not to irritate.
  3. One of the best adventure games currently available.
  4. As an adventure game on-the-go for younger gamers, Trace Memory offers a solid challenge and a very good presentation and use of the touchscreen.
  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 puzzles (if that’s what you want to call them) are either ridiculously easy or they are completely devoid of logic and impossibly hard.
  7. 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.
  8. An interesting portable Myst-style graphic adventure with good graphics and fun controls but a slow pace and a lot of reading.
  9. 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.
  10. An enjoyable point and click adventure that has a few quirks that stop it from being a great game. With a short length and linear style to it, the game really is over too quickly.
  11. Edge Magazine
    Trace Memory is a sound and striking dissection and rebuilding of the adventure game, one that wraps itself well around the specs and strengths of the DS, but one that isn’t the sum of its parts. But it is a worthy and touching whole, nonetheless. [Aug 2005, p.96]
  12. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    Slow to start and quick to finish, Trace holds your attention by the thinnest of strings: a deire to fill the blank pages of the story. [Oct 2005, p.122]
  13. 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.
  14. If you need you thirst for adventuring quenched, Another Code is an essential purchase, but novices need to bear in mind that this style of game is very much an acquired taste, and experts should be mindful that compared to the adventuring greats it's not exactly in the same league.
  15. 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.
  16. 60
    The perfect rental, lasting only a few short hours and, like most adventure games, doesn’t have much value beyond that.
  17. Game Informer
    Struggle through, though, and you'll be rewarded with a few moments of pure puzzle transcendence. [Nov 2005, p.182]
  18. Trace Memory is basically "MYST" for kids, offering a short trip through puzzle-ville with occasional stops at the lame story station.
  19. 50
    The fact that they deliberately ensured that you can't pick up items until you need them is just a lame attempt to lengthen what is already a short game.
  20. 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.
  21. If only Another Code was double its length... It’s enjoyable and unputdownable until finish.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. It won’t start a second coming. What it does is showcase what the DS is capable of for this genre, and does it very well indeed. It’s also a very fun, if short-lived, experience and a very satisfying one. Just don’t be disappointed when you finish it in less than six hours.
  25. 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]
  26. games(TM)
    This is the first time, apart from games such as Zoo Keeper and Meteos, that the DS’s capabilities have been used to good effect and - in some areas - expanded on to the point that we can see many developers in the future ‘borrowing’ ideas for their own games. [Aug 2005, p.100]
  27. At its best moments, a uniquely involving experience. These moments are all too fleeting in a game that has a very short lifespan, and while there's a nice little story and some flashes of brilliance in the design, it's all over far too soon.
  28. 50
    As a "my first graphic adventure," it works pretty well, with some unique puzzles and some interesting characters to get involved with. Veterans of the genre, however, will come away wanting more.
  29. Not a game without its problems: its short length, its stilted dialogue, its murky 3D graphics, its ridiculous name (seriously, what will the sequel be called?!); and yet there is an ineffable quality to the game that transcends these shortcomings.
  30. The game doesn’t even come close to the better adventure games on PC, but it is still an enjoyable title to play through if you’ve exhausted all your other DS games.
  31. 60
    Even with the awkward and sometimes irritating dialogue, it's a good read from beginning to end, and it's a game that will fill the gap as a lengthy bedtime story.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. 60
    This isn't the type of game that anyone should play on the bus, standing in line, or at a sporting event. It requires your full attention, so warm some milk, grab some cookies, and hop into bed, as any distraction will make it incredibly difficult to enjoy.
  35. If you’re interested in trying something new, with a great plot and deep rewards, then this is a good pickup. If you’d rather have a more mainstream experience, with more obvious intense moments, then this won’t be a good purchase.
  36. Even though it's short, and the backtracking can be tedious, I would still recommend this game. I wouldn’t recommend paying full price for it, however.
  37. netjak
    It's easy to see that the DS was made for adventures like this, but I'm sad to say that unless they get better, we're going to see the point-and-click genre die out again. Trace Memory gives old-school gamers something to be excited about-- but only for a little while.
  38. The only thing it has going for it is a well-written plot. The game isn’t overly fun to play, and can get annoying at times.
  39. 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.
  40. Nintendo Power
    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]
  41. 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.
  42. 70
    Entertaining, fun and well worth playing, but is over far too quickly to consider a definite purchase.
  43. 60
    With it's gentle pace, well-penned storyline and (just occasionally) some of the neatest puzzles we've seen this side of "Grim Fandango", PALGN wants to love CING's game. But it's all a little too obscure in parts, and over too quickly to encourage a real obsession.
  44. Pelaaja (Finland)
    Another Code is an interesting pocket sized old school adventure. The adventure and its puzzles are also quite traditional in the unexciting sense. Luckily, the game and all its puzzles cleverly take advantage of DS’s dual screen and touch abilities. [August 2005, p.74]
  45. Pelit (Finland)
    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]
  46. Play Magazine
    It's pretty short and linear, and as far as I can tell, you can't die. [Oct 2005]
  47. You can’t help but feel that this is the type of game perfectly suited to the DS; inventive, addictive and something quite refreshing – a genre injected with a new lease of life on a new platform. It won’t take you long to complete Another Code, but the nature of the game mechanic will ensure you will enjoy doing so.
  48. Puzzles are wonderfully innovative, utilising the touch-screen and microphone. Solving such tricky conundrums is satisfying but there is little replay appeal.
  49. If you’re not the biggest adventure fan in the world (like myself) then the various puzzles will often have you slamming the DS shut in frustration, but for some strange and unapparent reason I kept coming back for more.
  50. 70
    Though you are bound to find yourself marveling at the innovative use of the DS hardware and the creativity of the puzzles, the core adventure is simply way too short -- six hours at best.
  51. Trace Memory is an adequate title in its genre that manages to have a decent plot with likable characters, but its presentation is notably bare, as is its gameplay -- save for a handful of interesting DS-related puzzles.

Awards & Rankings

#16 Most Discussed DS Game of 2005
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 44 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 44
  2. Negative: 2 out of 44
  1. Sep 28, 2015
    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
    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
    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 »