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Another Code: Two Memories

It's a case of short but undoubtedly sweet in this point-and-click-style adventure

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In fact, it's this kind of obvious care and attention to the game's design that helps Another Code transcend it's unapologetically old school mechanics, becoming a low-key, yet constantly compelling delight. From the gorgeous hand drawn artwork and gloriously detailed 3D environments to the intimate and expertly paced storyline, the game maintains a light and uniquely engaging atmosphere throughout.

Unfortunately, Another Code makes a number of missteps that could seriously hamper your enjoyment of the game, depending on your general expectations from the genre. Firstly, in a complete departure to most games of its ilk, certain items can only be collected once you've found a use for them. Admittedly there's some sense to this - it helps keep a degree of realism to proceedings by avoiding the ludicrous bottomless-handbag-inventory cliché of old, while discouraging players from simply amassing every single item they can lay their hands on then doggedly beating a puzzle to death by methodically slinging everything at it until it's solved.


However, in practice, the mechanic occasionally threatens to bring proceedings to a complete standstill by forcing you to memorise absolutely everything that looks collectible then backtrack to swipe it once Ashley's found a problem to fit the solution. Wandering aimlessly around, trying to relocate an item that you might or mightn't have seen earlier, and which may or may not be useful anyway can quickly become tiresome - especially when the story grinds to a complete halt for hours while you flail around uselessly, attempting to solve one last puzzle between you and progress to the next chapter.

Another Code's other major downfall is its positively anaemic playtime. Bar one or two uncharacteristically obscure puzzles, you'll encounter very few instances likely to hold you up for too long, especially if you've been using "curious object" on "uncomfortable looking device" since back before Ron Gilbert had the bright idea of combining monkeys with pirates. It took us roughly six hours to complete all the various tasks necessary to unlock the "good" ending and, aside from a slightly remixed adventure when you play through a second time and, of course, the game's genuinely delightful atmosphere, there's little to encourage replay.

Despite these flaws, Another Code is such a charming and superbly presented title that it's hard not to recommend, albeit it with certain provisos in place. If you're a quality-deprived adventure game fan or simply looking for a refreshing, unique alternative to the current crop of me-too titles on other systems then you absolutely owe it to yourself to give Another Code a whirl. Just be aware that the game's brief playtime and innate genre flaws mean that you probably won't be playing for all that long and while you are, you aren't necessarily going to be having fun absolutely all of the time.

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The verdict

Nintendo DS
Point and Click