In 2017, 18 children were abducted and forced to play the Nonary game for their lives. Almost ten years later, nine other people were abducted and played the same game. Some people would think Zero would be done with these games, but they thought wrong. On December 25, 2028, Sigma, a simple college student, was taken from his car and woke up in an elevator with a girl named Phi. After they observe their surroundings, a rabbit appears on a screen in the elevator. “Hello! I am Zero the III! Welcome to the Nonary Game: Ambidex Edition!”
This week’s Under the Radar Games continues from last week’s game with its sequel, “Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward.” Released in October 2012 in the United States, this game continues on in the universe of “9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors.” This time, instead of Junpei being the main protagonist, the player sees the world through the eyes of a new person, a college student named Sigma. Forced into a facility with eight other people, he is forced to play the Nonary Game: Ambidex Edition, which is the same as the last Nonary Games, but with a twist. Along with solving rooms to escape, there are rounds of the Ambidex Game. To escape from the facility, players must achieve a score of nine points through the watch on their wrist. Each player starts off with three. The Nonary Game players are then locked in separate rooms and from there, they have two choices, Ally or Betray. If both players choose Ally, both will gain 2 points. If both choose Betray, neither player will gain point, and if one chooses Ally and the other Betray, the one who betrayed will gain 3 points and the unlucky one that allied will lose 2 points. If a player’s points drop to 0, he dies.
“Virtue’s Last Reward” is a great game not only for its story, but also for the puzzles that the rooms present. The puzzles make players think about what they can do and what is available to them. After solving a room, players get a certain sense of accomplishment, especially if they get the secondary escape code that unlocks an extra reading that goes behind the scenes of the game’s story. Along with the special readings, the main story of the game will make a player’s mind explode. There are 24 endings to this game, four times more than “999.” The game even provides a flowchart that allows players to jump to different points in the game to make another decision instead of making players restart every time they get to an ending.
“Virtue’s Last Reward” is a fantastic game, even to critics. IGN gave the game a 9.5 out of 10, 1UP gave it an A-, and Game Informer gave it an 8.75/10. Along with those ratings, “Virtue’s Last Reward” also won Handheld Game of the Year by GameSpot, Best Story of 2012 by RPGFan, and was nominated for 2012 Game of the Year by Kotaku.
For more information about the game, head on over to http://virtueslastreward.com