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on 1 July 2015
This game reminds me of what might happen if you took a traditional text adventure, that you got on old computers like the C64, and combined it with a game you can interact with, like a point and click adventure.

It gives you an interesting premise, which hinges on the mystery of why you have been taken to this place with 8 other people. You'll learn about "digital roots" and other characters will drop gigantic truth bombs on you - some of which are based on urban myths, so not all of it is 100% based on reality - but the one regarding the fiction writer and Titanic is!

The game is quite short if you solve the puzzles quickly (which vary in difficulty - most are quite easy if you've played lots of puzzle games - others are trickier and just require you to be very thorough) and the characters will help you with clues the more you examine things, if you need it.

Despite the game's short length, there's still a lot to see, since the point of the game is that there are several endings. They are triggered by your choices and who you choose to team up with during the game, like any other visual novel. I have only got 3 so far, the game seems to imply there are 6. Don't worry, once you've beaten it, you can fast-forward the text until you arrive at the important choices (although you do have to complete each puzzle section, even if you have done it before, but if you know what to do, it doesn't take very long).

Overall I would recommend trying this game if you like puzzle games, and if you are OK with a LOT of reading. I know people who say "When am I going to play the game?!?!" when they play games like this, if you are one of those, perhaps exercise caution. It is more visual novel than puzzle - comparable to Ace Attorney in terms of the reading level, perhaps more, since it's written in the third person. If you don't mind that, then you're in for some mindblowing conspiracy theory puzzle shenanigans!
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on 22 September 2016
I love the concept of gaming but because I am quite busy, I find myself quick to abandon a game if it becomes too challenging. (By the time I have the time to play again I've usually forgotten exactly what I was doing). 999 has many different puzzles but before you play each one there is a lot of story development. It has 6 different endings and luckily you're able to hold a button on to skip text on-screen when you replay to get the other endings. Some of the endings aren't that great, in fact when I reached the "knife" ending I felt a bit disappointed with the game since I heard such great reviews, but when I discovered the "special" endings then the game became a LOT more interesting. Some of the puzzles are a bit easy, in that you're just clicking around a room trying to find items, other puzzles are very good. I don't think someone who is very good at puzzles will find this game that good, but if you're alright at puzzles, aren't an expert gamer and like reading then you'll really enjoy this game. It gets a little dark near the ends imo but it's not a horror game at all so I wouldn't worry about it being scary. I hope the sequels are just as good, but overall this was a very enjoyable play and I'm glad I managed to finish a game for the first time in a while.
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on 4 June 2014
This has some similarities to the Fighting Fantasy type books which were popular in the 1980's.
It's a point and click adventure with puzzles, but an interactive and quite detailed story in which you play the part of one of nine people kidnapped and left on a ship - then given nine hours to escape. Almost like the film Saw, in a way.
So far so good. The dialogue is long, but well formed. The puzzles are reasonably simple, and the characters give helpful hints which lead you to solutions if you're stuck. It seems short (in gameplay terms), but on first completing it you find there are in fact several possible endings, and you can replay with the knowledge you now have gained.
This is a nice touch, but although on replay you can skip dialogue you've seen before, you still have to redo the puzzles - even the very first one which is identical on each run through - for that, I've dropped a star, but don't let that put you off, it's a great game, and something a little different.
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on 15 November 2015
You have to play this game. For me it was a random game that I chose when I was in a rush to get a new game but I am so glad I got this.
This game is magnificent, at first it seems like a normal puzzle game and then you just get swept up in a huge wave of storytelling and questioning. The characters are great and each have their own unique personality, they are all pretty likeable and it is pretty hard to pick a favorite, the characters interactions with one another are hilarious and it seems like they've been friends for years sometimes.
Each twist and turn gives you questions, some of which carry on to the second game (which is just as brilliant) but it won't ever feel like a chore to find the answers and when everything sort of comes together you will be so shocked but so intrigued, I couldn't get this game's story out of my head for weeks until I realised there was another game, it's a somewhat of a hidden gem which is coming into the light. I can't say there's too much I didn't like about this game, the storytelling was amazing and so was the buildup and twists, great game. The puzzles aren't over complicated either which is a plus.
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on 25 March 2018
Really love the concept of this game and have been interested in this for a while. I haven't had the chance to buy it and play it. Now that I have, it is amazing as expected, it makes your brain work hard at first since you are not used to the type of teasers. It has a intriguing story which gets you excited for the next game.
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on 31 December 2012
I'd been looking for a game like this on the DS for a long, long time. When I booted it up for the first time and started to play I was really made up; it was everything I was looking for: exploration, puzzles, interaction, atmosphere...
I'd heard from previous reviews that there was a lot of dialogue but that didn't put me off. Playing for the first time, you accept that loads of dialogue is par for the course. However, my beef is in the 'saving' aspect of the game. After I was killed for the first time I assumed that I'd have the ability to go back to where I'd last saved i.e before the last door I'd chosen. When this didn't happen I thought I'd done something wrong saving-wise; but I don't think so? I seem to have to play the whole thing from the beginning again with the copious amount of accompanying dialogue. If I'm missing something please tell me as I would sincerely like to finish the game but, as it is, it'll be a very, very long time before I pick it up again because I CAN'T KEEP REPEATING IT ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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on 14 August 2014
999 Is great, its a must own for any 3ds or ds owner that has any interest in visual novels, puzzle games, point and click, or any one that has a passing interest in games that are story driven. To do everything in the game it taken 23 hours, with the main play through taking 6 ish hours. The puzzles are better than your average point and click as there isnt any that are add a paper clip to a rubber band and get a sling shot level stupid as they are more realistic. The game allows multiple playthroughs and for you to skip text that you have read. I never experienced the save bug, I just save outside of the escape sections, and even then it wasn't often as there is no real need if you are leaving the game in your system as it save at the end of each playthrough.
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on 10 May 2014
Not into long reviews so I'll keep this short.

Graphics
Nicely drawn sprites and backgrounds, image could be a little cleaner in terms of edges but there's a lot of character here to love.

Story
Mind blowing and one of the best in recent memory. This is the reason to buy the game.

Sound
Very good, sets the tone well.

Gameplay
It's mostly reading text and at key points you get to make a choice that determined which of 6 endings you receive. There are also puzzle rooms where you must escape. Fun to do and a little tricky!

In short, you should buy this. It's cheap (or should be) and a very good story. Do be warned, there is blood and some disturbing scenes involving blood and violence. Nothing sexual but worth mentioning.
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on 29 June 2012
Couldn,t wait to get this game after reading some of the reviews. The day it arrived i put it straight into my DS and was griped i couldn,t put it down.The title 9 HOURS 9 PERSONS 9 DOORS gives it away 9 people are trapped in a sinking ship and have 9 hours to find the 9 doors to escape the puzzles are good and not too hard that you have to look for a walkthrough, the story line is good, but i would say its not for children, there is a lot of text but its like reading a good book. There are 6 endings and although i have just done the first ending i have started again and have taken another root which has given me different puzzles, if you are a more mature ds owner and like games like Hotel dusk and profeser layton this game is for you, its a must have
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on 29 November 2012
I bought this game because of the sequel, funnily enough (Virtue's Last Reward, now out on 3DS and Vita), and realised, through a forum, that I would enjoy that game much better if I bought this one. I am extremely glad I did, as it is one of the best games on the DS I have ever played.

You are Junpei, a college student who has been kidnapped, along with eight others (the nine persons), and is forced to take part in something called the 'Nonary Game', where you have nine hours to get off a ship before it explodes, and to do that, you have to go through nine different doors (I guess the clue is in the title) If you break the rules, you risk death due to the un-removable bracelet attached to your arm.

There are two segments to this game - the 'Novel' Mode and the 'Puzzle' mode. The Novel mode, as it suggests, it there to further the story. A lot of time will be spent clicking through a lot of text, but you don't mind because of how well it is written.
The writing in this game is some of the best I have ever seen in a gaming medium. It really gets you into Junpei's head, and allows you to feel what he feels, and conveys the utter terror all the partcipants must be feeling. Occasionally you will have to make various choices from dialog options, and what you choose can have a real effect on the outcome of the game.

The Puzzle mode is also quite satisfying. You might come across a door that requires a swipe card to unlock, for example - to find this you will have to collect what can seem like quite a disparate bunch of objects together and work out what they can be used for. You will sometimes have to combine items together once you find them, in order to advance in the puzzle as well. I found the vast majority of puzzles to be very satisfying, and I was able to solve them without looking at a guide, and even the one I had trouble with was not unfair design, just my own failing (I handed the DS over to my wife and she had it sorted in 2 minutes).

With six different endings to get, this game offers a lot of replayabiity value as well, and it is fun trying the different combination of doors, and making different choices, to see how everything then plays out.

There are a couple of niggles - the speed of the text in the game is very slow, and, on the first run-through, there is no way to speed it up. Thankfully, on subsequent run-throughs you can just push the right button in the D-Pad and you can fast forward through text you have already seen. It will not let you do this for new text, though.

Also, you do have to go through the game from the beginning every time - there are no options to immediately revisit critical choices and just start from there. That is mildly frustrating, but chances are that on the third or fourth playthrough you'll be able to fast-forward most of the text and solve the puzzles in 5 minutes, so it doesn't take too long to get back to those critical points.

Finally, one warning: This game is very mature, and features blood and swearing. It is rated 17+ in the States for a reason, and I do not recommend this game for children.

Also, this is very much a visual novel, which (with exceptions such as Phoenix Wright) we don't see very much of over here in the West. If sitting through reams of text does not appeal to you, it may be better to look elsewhere.

In conclusion, if you are an adult who enjoys excellent storytelling and giving your brain a workout, I thoroughly recommend this game. The go and buy the sequel :)
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