5…4…3…2…1…Boom! A loud noise startles Junpei awake, and his eyes snap open. He wakes to find a completely unfamiliar room. Still groggy, he falls to the metal floor and finds that his whole body hurts and that he has large bump on his head. “Where…am I…?” Looking around the room, he sees a large iron door. On it, written in red paint, is the number “5.” Trying to open it, he finds it is locked.
These are the first scenes a player sees in the first game featured in Under the Radar Games. The name: 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors, also known for short as 999, can be found on the Nintendo DS game system. Released in North America on November 16, 2010, this action game follows the main protagonist Junpei as he and eight other people play a game created by their kidnapper, who uses the Alias “Zero.” They are to play the “Nonary Game,” a game that must be solved in nine hours. To make things harder, the nine people are split up forcefully into groups and enter doors with large, red numbers painted on them, with the promise that their escape lies behind a door with the number “9” on it. The players also notice they all have a watch on their wrist, each numbered one through nine. Placed inside their bodies are bombs that will kill them if they break the rules and the watch is the detonator to know if they do or not.
999 plays as a adventure and puzzle game. Each room presents a new puzzle to the player in which he or she must focus on what he or she can see and do to solve the room. Throughout the puzzles and the game, emphasis is placed on the characters, their motives, and the mystery of their situation. During dialogue with the other eight people, the player’s decisions affect how the game progresses, which could entail certain people being killed or someone’s personality drastically changing. Everything adds up and the player can end up with one of the multiple endings to 999.
This game will break your mind. Going for each of the endings and being able to go back and solving rooms you did not go into before will provide hours of entertainment and in some cases, a really good laugh. For those who still are not convinced to should try out 999, here is what some other gamers have said:
“You won’t put it down. Seriously, immediately after achieving your first ending you’ll dive back in for a second, then a third, and won’t stop until you’ve seen them all. Expect to lose sleep.” –IGN.com
“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” –Escapist Magazine
“999 is perfectly balanced with comedy, a compelling storyline, a great soundtrack, and deep characters that will stay in your heart for a long time. If you are looking for a fun puzzle game that is truly a gem, this title is for you. This game should be one of the games of the year.” – Amazon.com
“Duuuuuuuude, try out this game!” – Chase Tyree
Thanks for reading. Stay tuned for the next segment of Under the Radar Games!