User Score
8.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 108 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 82 out of 108
  2. Negative: 15 out of 108
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  1. Jun 28, 2016
    9
    After playing the other 2 games in the series, I had high expectations, this game in itself is so much more than what i still expected, The narrative is immersive, the graphics and story are compelling, the soundtrack really adds to the ambiance of the game, ad it is best played with the lights out. The SAW franchise could learn abit or two from this game. A much needed salute and aAfter playing the other 2 games in the series, I had high expectations, this game in itself is so much more than what i still expected, The narrative is immersive, the graphics and story are compelling, the soundtrack really adds to the ambiance of the game, ad it is best played with the lights out. The SAW franchise could learn abit or two from this game. A much needed salute and a beautiful farewell to one of the most accoladed games to hit the 3ds Expand
  2. Jun 30, 2016
    10
    Zero Time Dilemma is amazing! it has one of the best stories ever and the puzzles are challenging and brilliant, characters and voice acting are really well done, if you appreciate great stories and puzzle solving, do yourself a favor and get this game, but make sure to play 999 and VLR to help you enjoy the game even more! 10/10 perfect masterpiece!
  3. Jun 28, 2016
    9
    This game just came out today--less than 8 hours ago. How are there even reviews up for Vita and 3DS version?!?!? I will give my take before the "BEST GAME IN THE WORLD **after 2 hours***" comments pop up.
    On the 3DS everything is mostly fine. No 3D, which is a bummer. However, the game still works well and looks nice-- honestly cannot tell the difference between 30fps and 60fps, so
    This game just came out today--less than 8 hours ago. How are there even reviews up for Vita and 3DS version?!?!? I will give my take before the "BEST GAME IN THE WORLD **after 2 hours***" comments pop up.
    On the 3DS everything is mostly fine. No 3D, which is a bummer. However, the game still works well and looks nice-- honestly cannot tell the difference between 30fps and 60fps, so complainers in this realm can go back to their cradle. So far it has been fun, similar to the other two in the series--more so like Virtures Last Reward. Reviews bashing the bad lip syncing are overreacting, I noticed at first then forgot about it--one reason is because I am reading the subtitles. The menu is a tad confusing--the flow charts--at first, but then they become understandble. Of course, I have NOT finished the game and cannot make grand claims, but what I have played has been what I have expected--a quality visual novel akin to the two previous games. Enjoy.
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  4. Jun 28, 2016
    10
    Once you start playing a game of this quality, it becomes difficult to enjoy any other game. This is one of the most immersive games I have ever played.
  5. Jul 4, 2016
    10
    The game is an absolute masterpiece. Once you start, will never put it back. Story is very engaging and creative. The game has some minor issues due to low budget *like some scenes are awkward..etc* but this is nothing compare to the whole experience. Puzzles are fun and creative. Maybe they are challenging for new comers.

    Now the magic question, should you play the previous two games
    The game is an absolute masterpiece. Once you start, will never put it back. Story is very engaging and creative. The game has some minor issues due to low budget *like some scenes are awkward..etc* but this is nothing compare to the whole experience. Puzzles are fun and creative. Maybe they are challenging for new comers.

    Now the magic question, should you play the previous two games or no? Yes and no. No, in the sense that you don't need to fully understand the story in order for you to understand this one. And yes because you will miss so many 'aha' moments. And you won't know the full details of what's going on!

    So I will highly recommend you pick up the first two games before this one. Both games are still available. The first for DS and the second for 3DS. I don't think they will be available for very long though. So I would pick the two games right now.

    A bit of warning though, you will lose sleep, you will skip your meals, you won't even see your friends during your playtime to the game. It is impossible to STOP playing once when you start. There is so many twists and cliffhangers. You want to find answers to the amazing story!

    Rating the whole series.
    Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors - 10/10.
    Virtue's Last Reward - 10/10
    Zero Time Dilemma - 10/10
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  6. Jul 1, 2016
    10
    Do you like a well written story? Do you like scientific theories applied to crazy scenarios, do you want to experience one of the best trilogies in videogames? Do yourself a favor and play 999, VLR and ZTD, it will blow your mind...
  7. Mar 22, 2020
    0
    Every decade, one might experience the rare phenomena that a game in a franchise comes out that is so disgustingly bad that it kills the franchise and ruins the memories of the previous games. I could type out all the flaws with this garbage game, but it would be a waste of time. All you need to know is that Zero Time Dilemma is one of the worst games ever made in the history of gaming.Every decade, one might experience the rare phenomena that a game in a franchise comes out that is so disgustingly bad that it kills the franchise and ruins the memories of the previous games. I could type out all the flaws with this garbage game, but it would be a waste of time. All you need to know is that Zero Time Dilemma is one of the worst games ever made in the history of gaming. Just play the first two game and pretend this game doesn't exist, that is the best way to enjoy this franchise if you are interested. Expand
  8. Jul 24, 2016
    7
    Enjoyable, but not quite the ending to the series we were hoping for. Unfortunately, it proves in the end to be another trilogy where the writer's came up with really cool ideas without actually figuring out how to flesh them out and connect them properly. A bit of a disappointment considering how well put together these games are otherwise.

    It was still fun, definitely a "must play" if
    Enjoyable, but not quite the ending to the series we were hoping for. Unfortunately, it proves in the end to be another trilogy where the writer's came up with really cool ideas without actually figuring out how to flesh them out and connect them properly. A bit of a disappointment considering how well put together these games are otherwise.

    It was still fun, definitely a "must play" if you played and enjoyed the other two. But it's a definite pass for anyone not already a fan of the series. It just won't make much sense and you need to already have accepted several of the inherent rules of the game's universe to really grasp what's going on, which Virtue's Last Reward sets up much more effectively.
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  9. Jul 17, 2016
    8
    As the ending to one of my favorite visual novel series of all time, it had alot to live up too. In the end, while it was not the best of the series, it wraps up the overall story fairly well. From a story perspective, and frankly the entire reason you're here playing this game, the game succeeds but not to the level that VLR and the original 999 had. I would definitely say it had theAs the ending to one of my favorite visual novel series of all time, it had alot to live up too. In the end, while it was not the best of the series, it wraps up the overall story fairly well. From a story perspective, and frankly the entire reason you're here playing this game, the game succeeds but not to the level that VLR and the original 999 had. I would definitely say it had the weakest narrative of the 3 but it was still gripping nonetheless. Without spoiling anything, there were a few plot holes here and there that kinda surprised me in how obvious they stood out and some of the new characters, even some of the returning characters from past games, just didn't hold my attention like previous games. It's hard to say why without spoiling anything but I'm very disappointed with how little some of these characters developed and how there were alot of unexplained questions for quite a few of them.
    From a gameplay stand point, this was the game where they ditched the pre rendered 2D cutscenes for an entirely 3D experience and I wish they had stuck with the old style. Clunky animations and, especially on the 3DS, there were a ton of graphical slow downs and frame rate issues, even when there wasn't anything really going on. I feel like it was a bad decision to change the way the game looked. However the puzzles were good. I never felt like I was stuck on any particular puzzle and they were definitely clever enough to keep me on my toes. The game did a very good job on those.
    In the end, I feel like this is definitely worth playing for any Zero Escape series fans out there and shouldn't be missed by them. Newcomers to the series needs to play the first two games first or you will lose alot of context and character development in the end. And after playing this series now on both the 3DS and the Vita, my personal preference is to play this series on the Vita. The graphical upgrade, especially for this entry into the series, can't be understated and anything the 3DS brings with better touch screen controls is not worth the slow down and graphical issues I had with this entry. Definitely a good but not as great end to one of the best series in gaming to date.
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  10. Mar 24, 2018
    7
    A good game, although less genius than the previous two. With 999, I was impressed with the complexity of the game's layout and premise, but a bit burned by the game's ending. Virtue's Last Reward was slightly less complicated, but it indulged itself far too much in the multiple paths and endings, which proved more tedious than exciting. That games ending itself was also a let-down, givenA good game, although less genius than the previous two. With 999, I was impressed with the complexity of the game's layout and premise, but a bit burned by the game's ending. Virtue's Last Reward was slightly less complicated, but it indulged itself far too much in the multiple paths and endings, which proved more tedious than exciting. That games ending itself was also a let-down, given that it led to an inexplicable cliffhanger. Finally, with this game, we get the most satisfying ending of them all, but at a cost. First, the cliffhanger ending of the previous entry is hardly mentioned. Second, the "good ending" that we get at the end comes at the expense of the whole moral discussion that was had previously, regarding the ethics of dimension shifting. Third, the game has the same faults as the previous one wherein it has way too many branching paths to remain interesting for the duration of a playthrough. Finally, the game's premise itself ("The Decision Game") is such a letdown compared to the games played in 999 and Virtue's Last Reward. The simple binary choices you make are far less complicated than the mathematical branching paths of 999 or the drama of allying/betraying in Virtue's Last Reward. Disappointing, to say the least.

    And again, it remains difficult to recommend this "game" because it's not really a game at all. At what point did I have fun playing this? It's fun in the same way that reading a book or watching a movie is fun. The puzzles within the game are more of just a speed bump to having the story actually progress. Luckily, I found the puzzles to be more straight-forward than in the previous entry. So, if you're a fan of the series, it's a must-have, but I don't expect it to be creating any new fans.
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  11. Aug 1, 2016
    8
    A bunch of bootleg robotic versions of the main characters from the last two games come together to tell the final chapter of the time-and-space-bending saga where cause and effect are treated with about as much finesse as nanomachines.

    There are very few "eureka" moments except where it directly ties into the events of VLR. The puzzles are the weakest they've been in the series, with a
    A bunch of bootleg robotic versions of the main characters from the last two games come together to tell the final chapter of the time-and-space-bending saga where cause and effect are treated with about as much finesse as nanomachines.

    There are very few "eureka" moments except where it directly ties into the events of VLR. The puzzles are the weakest they've been in the series, with a couple exceptions, and the motives and actions of some of the characters in certain situations are bizarre. If you're coming in blind, you won't know what the hell's going on, but if you're already familiar with events, you'll have to sit through even MORE droning about multiverse theory. There are a couple absolutely bizarre deus ex machinae and two of the biggest twists are handled rather clumsily.

    That said, the true end is ultimately a satisfying and befitting conclusion to the story. Where most of the plot has already occurred over the first two games, the most important part is that it all ties together neatly, and even if it cheesed it a bit in the process, this game does that.
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  12. Aug 5, 2022
    8
    If you haven't played 999 and VLR yet, STOP. Go do that. Right now.

    Still with me? Okay. While in the end, I think this is my least favorite of the trilogy, that speaks more to how amazing the first two games are rather than anything being wrong with this one. It's still absolutely fantastic, and while I spotted several reveals coming, Uchikoshi still managed to make my brain melt
    If you haven't played 999 and VLR yet, STOP. Go do that. Right now.

    Still with me? Okay.

    While in the end, I think this is my least favorite of the trilogy, that speaks more to how amazing the first two games are rather than anything being wrong with this one. It's still absolutely fantastic, and while I spotted several reveals coming, Uchikoshi still managed to make my brain melt out of my ears in the end.

    YOU FOUND IT!
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  13. Oct 18, 2018
    4
    I was really disappointed by ZTD. The story wasn't nearly as interesting as 999 or VLR. Sure they tied everything together in the end here, but there was so much of the early game that was repetitive and boring. And while not wishing to spoil for others, there were several mysteries in the early game that get resolved quickly at the end that have no bearing on the story at all. ThoseI was really disappointed by ZTD. The story wasn't nearly as interesting as 999 or VLR. Sure they tied everything together in the end here, but there was so much of the early game that was repetitive and boring. And while not wishing to spoil for others, there were several mysteries in the early game that get resolved quickly at the end that have no bearing on the story at all. Those timelines/mysteries were just time-wasters. The interesting plot developments happen ONLY in the second half of the game, and before you can get to that you have to solve puzzles in rooms that don't teach you about the world, make the same decisions with different teams multiple times, and random elements appear throughout the base from previous games for no reason, other than to make mention of them.

    The voice acting is noticeably worse than VLR. The fully 3D cutscenes aren't animated or well executed. The dialogue in places becomes rote and predictable, where one of the three characters on your team HAS to object to a choice you made to provide the "contrary" opinion. It becomes so predictable and boring that it makes the characters and their choices seem lifeless and meaningless.

    Overall a disappointing end to the trilogy.
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  14. May 28, 2017
    8
    I had some mixed feelings with Zero Time Dilemma. I absolutely loved Virtue's Last Reward, so I was really excited to play the sequel and, while this is still a pretty solid game, it's definetly not as good as VLR, at all.

    In one had, the story is still really good and interesting for the most part, with some really awesome moments, the puzzles that the game have are still really fun
    I had some mixed feelings with Zero Time Dilemma. I absolutely loved Virtue's Last Reward, so I was really excited to play the sequel and, while this is still a pretty solid game, it's definetly not as good as VLR, at all.

    In one had, the story is still really good and interesting for the most part, with some really awesome moments, the puzzles that the game have are still really fun and sometimes kind of hard and the game can be really adictive to play, watching what will happen or what ending you can get. However, the story is not as interesting as the previous games and a lot shorter than VLR for some reason, the pace of the game is not the best, because sometimes you will have to do many puzzle sections and watch almost no story, unlike VLR that had many puzzles and a lot of story in a really good pace and also the ending kinda sucked.

    The graphics are pretty decent for a 3DS game, with good models and ok enviroments, however, the animations are absolutely awful, some of the worst i have ever seen, and that makes som moments hard to be taken serously . The music is still fantastic, but most of it is recicled from the previous games and that's pretty dissapointing, the voice acting in japanese is pretty convincing and the sound effects go from aceptable to really bad.

    Overall, the game is still really fun to play and adictive, but is definetly not as good as i could have been.
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  15. Jul 29, 2021
    7
    An underwhelming end to the series however some characters and lore reveals are interesting. The puzzles are generally obtuse in comparison to the ones in previous entries, visuals aren't exactly stellar, and the end to the overarching story is a bit disappointing - you can very much tell that this game was rushed - however I still enjoyed my time with it, just not to the same extent asAn underwhelming end to the series however some characters and lore reveals are interesting. The puzzles are generally obtuse in comparison to the ones in previous entries, visuals aren't exactly stellar, and the end to the overarching story is a bit disappointing - you can very much tell that this game was rushed - however I still enjoyed my time with it, just not to the same extent as the previous games. Expand
  16. Apr 18, 2020
    5
    Where Virtue Last Reward excelled in character building and story telling, ZTD failed.
  17. Jun 23, 2020
    6
    The worst in the series, ZTD still has moments when it shines and charms you with its way of telling the story, but overall its rather disappointing. This time it went for full 3d and tried to be more cinematic in the cutscenes, it didn't work, probably a budget thing, but ZE was always a very static game anyway. The biggest problem is that there is just not enough clever ideas here andThe worst in the series, ZTD still has moments when it shines and charms you with its way of telling the story, but overall its rather disappointing. This time it went for full 3d and tried to be more cinematic in the cutscenes, it didn't work, probably a budget thing, but ZE was always a very static game anyway. The biggest problem is that there is just not enough clever ideas here and especially considering that this game ends the trilogy, it doesn't really have that punch to end it with a bang. But its cool that it was made at all because it wasn't obvious and fans probably should go for it anyway, it doesn't seem like there will be more ZE anytime soon. Expand
Metascore
81

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Jan 12, 2017
    60
    At the end of the day, it's hard to recommend to anyone but fans that want to know how the story ends, but they should keep their expectations in check in order to get to the good parts through the messy parts and still have a good time out of it. Indeed, it's tough, after two great games that ended in a cliff-hanger, to simply ignore the finale, despite its flaws.
  2. Dec 1, 2016
    80
    Rough edges be damned, however. Such flaws don't prevent Zero Time Dilemma from being utterly enthralling. It's rare that a game's story captivates us so thoroughly that we lose sleep just to see what will happen next. Few other works have subverted expectations, toyed with our emotions, or simply shocked us the way the Zero Escape Series has. Zero Time Dilemma is a fitting end to a story we won't soon forget.
  3. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Sep 14, 2016
    60
    The third and probably the craziest expansion to the Zero Escape series. Solving fun puzzles is just a pretext for the Japanese-style mad sci-fi story. [Issue#266]