Published on July 3rd, 2018 | by voxx0
Zero Escape: The Nonary Games
Both developed by Spike Chunsoft, this two-part collection of life and death games are based on or have some connection to the number nine. Both are visual novel style adventure and escape room games, involving nine people tasks with finding and escaping from the number nine door with many mind-bending and psychological based puzzles. This collection includes ‘9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors’ and ‘Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward’.
9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors
The first of the Nonary Games started on the Nintendo DS in 2009, and has a strong involvement with the number nine. You play as Junpei Tenmyouji, who wakes up in a slowly flooding room, an unknown bracelet with the number five on it, and a deperate need to the puzzles to escape. Eight other characters accompany Junpei, all with number-based nicknames – Ace, Snake, Santa, Clover, June, Seven, Lotus, and a mysterious 9th person are all forced to play Zero’s game.
This game is broken down into two main parts: Story mode, which is the visual novel style part of the game where the story is told to the player, and escape room game play, in which you solve number-based puzzles while interacting with other characters. The puzzles are all complex and take some thinking to complete, but all the clues surround you.
9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors contains many different psychological, philosophical and scientific themes and does well in explaining these in a way you can understand. It also deals with more serious topics, such as death and human experimentation.
Zero Escape: Virtues Last Reward
“Why do people betray each other?”
The second came in the Zero Escape series, developed in 2012 for the 3DS and PS Vita, is set after the events of 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors, and is more complex with more enjoyable characters, and some returning faces. This game is better than the first as it sinks further into the themes of the series, while still remaining fun to play.
This time you play as Sigma, who wakes up in an elevator next to a mysterious girl names Phi, who seems to know him. Like the first game, you are trapped with eight others – Phi, Alice, Clover, Tenmyouji, Quark, Dio, Luna and K – who are once again forced to participate in a Nonerary game. Each character has their own unique personalities, but no one overpowers the others and even though there are nine characters, each is still given time to develop.
The game is split into two main parts. One is the storytelling pat of the game, but instead of using sketches for the characters, CGI was used to make them more lifelike. The second part of the game is, again, the escape room gameplay, that forces you to solve puzzles to advance. The puzzles in this one are just as insane and challenging, but still enjoyable to complete, and full of funny commentary from the others.
As well as the previous game, this game deals with many scientific, psychological theories, such as Schrödinger’s Cat, and the Prisoner’s Dilemma, which are present in the puzzles you have solve.
Both games are amazing brain teasers that hold a unique story using interesting terminology and making sure you understand it before continuing. All the characters are good and make the story more enjoyable, despite how many of them there are. I recommend these and Zero Time Dilemma to anyone who enjoys brain teasers.
- By Ryan Nutbrown