Review by Phaetonsblade

"A truly absorbing game, brilliant on the DS"

Another Code is a game that is perfect for the DS. It has to be said. It's taken the (boring) PC genre of point-and-click adventure and put it onto a handheld that has a point-and-click interface, and other things that make it brilliant for this style of game. But I'll come back to those later.

Story:
The game is about a thirteen-year-old girl called Ashley Mizuki Robins. Just days before her fourteenth birthday, she's receives a present from her father who she thought died when she was three. She then gets on a boat with her Aunt Jessica, to go to Blood Edward Island; where her father is said to be hiding. From there, Ashley has to find her father, and find out why he abandoned her, and what happened to her mother.

The story is captivating, although I may not have described it fully, I didn't want to give anything major away. I can say that the game really makes you think like Ashley, and you begin to feel all her emotions.

Gameplay:
This is the heart and soul of the game. The developers, Cing, made full use of all the DS's features.

The touch screen is used to display a bird's-eye-view of the room, and placing the stylus anywhere on the screen makes Ashley run in that direction. The top screen is used to show a more detailed view of the rooms. And as you move around, the view changes to show things of interest nearby. If you tap the magnifying glass icon in the top right corner, the screen shows on the touch screen too, and you can double tap on things to see information about them.

The puzzles use the features well too. There are, of course, the standard, blow away the dust, or type in a code puzzles. But there are also puzzles that involve doing other things with the DS, which you may not have thought of. A moment that really pulls you into the game is right at the start, when you are asked to scan your fingerprint by touching the screen. It isn't really anything special, feature-wise; but it's a nice touch.

Graphics:
One of the few DS games in 3D! Even though the system can handle it, there are few DS games in "proper" 3D, this is one of them. The graphics work brilliantly. The touch screen's graphics are all 3D, and look very nice, especially because of the perspective, which works perfectly, and looks just how a world would look.

The top screen displays a 2D image. These are all beautiful, and look like paintings. The conversations all happen on this screen too, with pictures of the characters appearing in front of the background.

The cutscenes are all beautiful too, and usually have Anime pictures on both screens, showing the reactions of both people in a conversation. These are a lot better looking than the conversations, and look stunning. A good example of the two screens working well for this is the start of the game; you see Ashley sleeping on the bottom screen, while her dreams flash by on the top.

Sound:
The game has the best score I've heard on the DS so far, with classical music playing in clear quality for the most part. There's not much to say about music, but it does suit the game well.

The sound effects are also crisp and clear, although there aren't very many in a game like this.

Replay Value:
You'll want to play this game again, simply because it's so short. This is where the game loses a point. On my first playthrough, I got a total of 5:03, and some people have completed it in less than three hours. You want to play more of the game, and not just another playthrough. It shows that Nintendo are sticking to their, “Games should be shorter.” remark.

Conclusion:
Another Code is a brilliant game, but it's just too short. If you are a fan of this genre, then I strongly advise you to buy it. If not, rent it. You'll complete it in a couple of days, at most.

9/10


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 07/12/05


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