Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
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  1. Nov 17, 2010
    I don't know when was the last time I was so fascinated by a game, especially one as story-heavy as this.
  2. 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.
  3. Mar 11, 2011
    Another masterpiece of the Nintendo DS, another title of undoubted quality and a welcome addition to the already excellent library of the platform.
  4. Jan 25, 2011
    Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors is a mature and rewarding visual novel experience with an unforgettable story that features some truly excellent writing.
  5. Jan 1, 2011
    If you're the type of person who skips cutscenes or nods off during long bits of exposition between explosions then steer clear of 999. If you want to try something new, though, I would suggest giving the game a look. Aksys has taken a huge risk in bringing something like this to America, and it may just be the necessary ice-breaker to bring a whole new genre to our shores.
  6. Dec 16, 2010
    My mind, I hope, is nearly finished unraveling. After three straight days, nights and early, early mornings spent playing through the entirety of 999 and accessing each and every alternate ending, the enrapturing spell this game has cast on me is finally beginning to let me think straight again.
  7. Dec 2, 2010
    Despite its repetitive replay structure, 999 is a thrilling, thoughtful, and fascinating visual novel that represents some of the best the genre has to offer.
  8. 90
    This isn't a game for young kids. It's rated Mature for a reason. It's filled with adult situations and references. So grow up and grab a copy.
  9. Nintendo Power
    Nov 27, 2010
    While I didn't enjoy the repetition, I loved every new minute of 999's slick puzzles and riveting story. [Holiday 2010, p.89]
  10. Jan 20, 2011
    A meaty - often literally - thriller, well told. With no UK release currently on the cards we point all adventure nuts towards their nearest import site.
  11. Dec 19, 2010
    A chilling story and satisfying puzzles work hand in hand to make Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors a deeply absorbing adventure.
  12. Mar 15, 2011
    Closer to a novel than to gaming itself, it's suited more to an eastern oriented public. Narration is superb, characters simply unforgettable. On the other hand, if you don't like text heavy experiences, this is not the game for you.
  13. Nov 21, 2010
    It succeeds as a game thanks to an impressive thriller plot, a deceptively deep choice array, excellent pacing, and actual logical puzzles.
  14. Oct 21, 2011
    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.
  15. games(TM)
    Feb 20, 2011
    Well worth importing for anyone ready to experience the highest point the visual novel genre has experienced in decades. [Issue#106, p.115]
  16. Feb 10, 2011
    If you're willing to forgive its foibles this is a fresh and exciting narrative driven experience like no other.
  17. Jan 12, 2011
    If you're willing to put in the effort of replaying 999 to examine its many paths, you'll be rewarded with a multilayered, oftentimes horrifying, story and some satisfyingly creative puzzles.
  18. Jan 10, 2011
    The final sequence of events is likely to eke some tears out of even the most cynical gamer.
  19. Jan 10, 2011
    It might be a pain to get hold of but this engrossing visual novel has more mystery and tension in its simple text screens than a hundred CGI cut scenes.
  20. Jan 18, 2011
    The game 999 most reminded me of was the similarly dark – and bafflingly underrated – Lux-Pain, which was equally inconsistent and suffered from a significantly weaker translation, but arguably blended shocks and laughs a little more skilfully than this does.
  21. May 13, 2011
    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.
  22. Edge Magazine
    Jan 24, 2011
    There's a solid adventure title here, but it's spread thin over a densely written airport thriller. [Feb 2011, p.102]
  23. Jan 6, 2011
    999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors is a good experience, and in parts it can be quite clever-I particularly enjoyed that the game made the existence of its multiple endings an explicit part of its plot. Unfortunately, the weak prose doesn't justify the time investment, and the puzzles don't hold up through the mandatory replays.

Awards & Rankings

#3 Most Discussed DS Game of 2010
#4 Most Shared DS Game of 2010
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 284 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 17 out of 284
  1. Dec 7, 2010
    Very fun, very well done story, neat trick to the real ending. this is a game that should not be missed be fans of puzzle games, phoenixVery fun, very well done story, neat trick to the real ending. this is a game that should not be missed be fans of puzzle games, phoenix wright, or great story telling. Warning it is rated Mature for a reason Full Review »
  2. Aug 23, 2012
    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
    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.
    Full Review »
  3. Jan 19, 2011
    The game starts out well with interesting puzzles and a decent story but this quickly goes downhill. The puzzles are well thought out but areThe 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. Full Review »