A few years ago, I looked at my game shelf for something to play. I had tons of games that I had not finished but I didn’t have any interest in playing any of them. I wanted something new, something that I have never played before. That’s when I sat down and went through Gamefly looking for a new game. I went through their list of games and discovered a game called 999, 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors. I had never heard of the game before but the description sounded pretty interesting. A bunch of seemingly random people trapped together in the middle of nowhere, being forced to play the game of death of a seemingly random maniac. My first thought was “wow this sounds like the Saw movies” which I happened to be a big fan of. I put the game in my Q and waiting for it to arrive. When 999 finally got to my house, I sat down with my Nintendo DS and started playing at around 8PM. After what I thought was 15 minutes had gone by, I looked at the clock and what did I see? 3AM. This game had sucked me into it’s world and refused to let me go.
From the second I turned on the game and had to figure out how to escape the first room, my mind was being blown by what I was playing. To me it was innovative, it was something new, something I had never experienced yet in a videogame. There are two parts to the game, the novel and the escape. With the novel, you read the story on one of the DS screens while the story plays out on the other. The escape is where you get into the actual gameplay. It plays like a point and click adventure where you have to use the stylus to maneuver around each room collecting clues all while solving puzzles to escape each room. The great part of the puzzles is that they were both incredibly challenging and clever at the same time. I would often get stuck but when you finally figure out how to solve the puzzle, it’s a rewarding feeling. The game combined fun puzzle solving with an amazing story. A winning combination if you ask me. I wanted to discover more of the story and I wanted to get to the next puzzle. I couldn't put it down.
As you progress throughout the game and get more of the story, the game might all of a sudden end. At first I was confused and thought “wow, that was pretty anticlimactic”, but then you get to replay the game again and it marks your original choices. This means that you can play through again and take alternate paths to continue the game. At first I thought I was simply just playing through the game multiple times just to get a different ending, but then you start to realize that something is happening. I want to talk about it but I can’t because it would give away too much. All I will say is that this game probably utilizes multiple endings in one of the most innovative ways I have ever seen in a videogame. I won’t spoil it because It’s an ending that I feel everyone should experience on their own but I honestly did not know Sudoku could be so depressing. I can’t remember the last time a twist in a videogame or a movie just completely made me numb at how incredible it was. I was experiencing emotions I had not felt in so long because it was an ending and a twist that I would have never seen coming in a million years.
There were many games I played the last generation that I absolutely adored but none of them impacted me as much as 999 did. I want to personally shake the hands of every single person who worked on this game and it's sequel Virtue's Last Reward. I want to thank them for giving me an experience i'll never forget. For reminding me why I am a gamer. For creating a wonderful world with a wonderful cast of characters that pulled me in and refused to let me go. For those reasons, I couldn't give my game of the last generation to anything else.