Another Code: Recollection won’t be for everyone, but it’s a great mystery for young players

Nintendo’s latest remake is a polished gem from the DS days

Another Code Recollection

I didn’t realize how invested I was in the story of Another Code: Recollection until a cutscene ended and I instinctively said out loud, “I don’t know if I can trust that guy.”

Maybe it should be expected given Nintendo’s usual level of quality, but it’s still an impressive feat given the series is nearly twenty years old at this point. In its continued efforts to bring its older catalogue to the Switch, Nintendo has remastered two games from its DS and Wii days: Another Code: Two Memories (or Trace Memory in North America) and its sequel, Another Code: R – A Journey into Lost Memories. And I hadn’t played either of them—until now.

For those who played the original back in the day, let me just say, I now understand your pain. You see, the sequel was never released here in North America, leaving many mysteries unsolved. And Another Code has so… many… mysteries.

In the first hour, there are at least half a dozen different questions that are thrown at the player, and by the end of the second, another handful are added to the mix. It’s one of the game’s greatest strengths, constantly introducing new and interesting elements to the story. Yet, it never becomes overwhelming, slowly doling out information and managing to tie up threads before they overstay their welcome.

But you may be asking, “What is Another Code: Recollection?”

The closest comparison I can think of is Ace Attorney, only this has a much more dour tone. You play as a young girl who is travelling with her aunt to a mysterious island to meet her father for the first time. Over the course of the game, you’ll solve puzzles to discover clues that will help uncover the truth behind her parents’ history. Oh, and there’s a ghost boy helping you too.

Another Code ghost girl“Like Casper the ghost?” Yes, exactly like Casper. He’s a friendly ghost who hasn’t been able to communicate with anyone since he passed away. And he’s lost all of his memories, so you’ll be slowly unfolding chapters of his story as well.

If that all sounds like a lot, you needn’t worry. When playing the game, the experience plays out much like a novel. You’re introduced to the key characters, given a goal, then it’s up to you to reach it. The puzzles take a variety of forms. Sometimes you’ll be using the environment to notice patterns that will unlock hidden bookshelves, and in others, you’ll need to play a piece of music on a piano. They’re varied and never overstay their welcome, offering a pleasant experience, especially for players new to the adventure game genre.

There are some hiccups along the way though. For anyone who has played Ace Attorney or LucasArts-style games, you’ll know that sometimes you figure out the solution to a puzzle before the game lets you actually solve it. And other times, you’ll know what the game wants you to do, but it’s not clear how you’re supposed to actually do it. It’s tough to explain without getting into spoilers—just know that these games often require you to hop into your inventory a fair bit to double- and triple-check your items and their descriptions.

Another Code Recollection charactersWith that said, this is the most accessible adventure game I’ve ever played thanks to a couple of clever additions. Another Code: Recollection includes a multi-step hint tool that allows players to get progressively more direct hints. If you’re not sure what you should be looking for, the first clue should point you in the right direction. If you’re still lost, the second hint will probably tell you about an item that you have in your inventory. And if you’re still stuck after several hints, the game will eventually give you the answer. As a player who is mainly interested in the story over the puzzles in these types of games, this is very appreciated.

There’s another feature that I wish more games had: a navigation toggle. If you’re ever lost, Another Code lets you turn on a compass that appears as a ring around your character, directing you to your next objective. It’s never intrusive, and it can easily be turned off in the options menu—the same can be done with the hint system—making it a welcome inclusion that doesn’t ruin the fun of discovering the world for yourself.

It’s worth noting that this is definitely a game aimed at younger players. Both the puzzles and prose are very simple. Though the hint system is there if you need it, I had usually figured out the puzzle before I was even able to attempt the answer—and this is coming from someone who got stuck numerous times in Grim Fandango. This isn’t a bad thing, but it’s just a heads-up for experienced players or those who are looking for a challenge.

Another Code puzzleThough the dialogue and text similarly err on the straightforward side, the story holds plenty of surprises and unfolds at a nice pace. Before you know it, you’ll have finished the first game. And if you’re anything like me, the ending will have you immediately heading into chapter one of the second.

Even if it won’t be everyone’s cup of java, I’m glad Nintendo decided to re-release Another Code. Its story has plenty of twists and turns, the presentation (especially the Japanese voice acting) is commendable, and it doesn’t overstay its welcome. And for those players who have fond memories of the original game, this is finally the moment you’ve been waiting for.

Another Code: Recollection launches exclusively on Nintendo Switch on January 19th, 2024 for $79.97.

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Image credit: Nintendo

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