NB: Some of my earliest blogs no longer have their accompanying images but enjoy the copy!
If you’re a fan of point-and-click video games like Professor Layton and Phoenix Wright, there’s another game you should add to your collection. Another Code: Two Memories, is a brainchild of Cing, a no-longer existent company responsible for games such as Hotel Dusk: 215 and Last Window: The Secret of Cape West (otherwise known as the Kyle Hyde series). The game takes the best elements from all other these other gaming classics and brings us a short but sweet story of a girl, her missing father and a ghost.
As you might have guessed, ‘memory’ is central to Another Code’s main story. The game introduces us to thirteen-year-old Ashley Mizuki Robins who is sailing to Blood Edward Island, having received a letter from her father who she has presumed dead for eleven years. She is soon separated from her aunt and ends up in an old graveyard, where she meets a ghost. He has no memories, only that his name begins with ‘D’. The two search the abandoned mansion of the Edward family who used to own the island, each of them hoping to retrieve their memories; for Ashley, it is the night her mother died and for D, it is how he died.
The game reads like a lovechild of Hotel Dusk and Professor Layton. There are a number of puzzles, although they are much easier than anything Layton might throw at you, and lots of secret tunnels to the point where it’s just ridiculous. In what kind of house is the kitchen hidden behind several secret doorways? Still, it’s a charming game and it has two layers; the story of Ashley and her family and the Edwards family.
What lets the game down is its length, or lack of it. Even though it takes place across the span of one day, I finished it in 6 hours on a lazy Sunday. You can buy it cheap in the second hand section of your local GAME or Amazon for about £8 but it’s still not an ‘economical’ game. As well as that, two of the characters (I won’t say who) are spitting images of Kyle Hyde and his partner Brian Bradley, so it feels unoriginal in places. Another Code did come first, however, although my heart will always belong to the DS-dwelling badass that is Kyle Hyde.
So, is Another Code worth digging into your pocket for? Definitely. Will you get much gameplay out of it? No. However, it’s light-hearted, entertaining and an addictive story while it lasts. It’s perfect for the puzzle fan and is the ideal game if you’re on a plane or train for a couple of hours. It’s also one of the few games that actually makes use of the DS’ dual screen! Cing made some brilliantly-designed games and it is a shame that they are now defunct. Once you have played Another Code, I urge you to buy Hotel Dusk and Last Window while you’re at it. There really need to be more mystery games like these.