Zero Time Dilemma is the third entry in the acclaimed Zero Escape series. The mysterious Zero traps 9 participants within an underground shelter, dividing them equally between 3 wards that are connected to an elevator shaft in the middle. The only way out passing through a locked X-Door to access the elevator.
Six passwords are required to unlock the door, and each password is revealed only after a participant dies. Zeros Decision Game will offer teams the opportunity to kill other participants through a variety of means to obtain the necessary passwords so they may escape December 31, 2028. Nevada desert.
Nine people have been living and performing experiments for the past five days in the Dcom facility. On the sixth day, they discover they are trapped in confinement rooms, an unfamiliar black bracelet strapped to their left wrists. A mysterious figure in a mask appears before them, demanding that they play the Decision Game.
The lives of you, me, and the human race hang in the balance. Transported to a shelter underground, they are divided into 3 teams and left in separate wards. Which team will manage to stay alive? The fate of all mankind rests on their decision!.
Despite its flaws, Zero Time Dilemma is one of the more compelling titles released this year. You will find few other games like it, both in quality and plain weirdness.
A tremendous - if slightly unwelcoming - conclusion to one of the smartest stories in videogames. [Sept 2016, p.77]
It’s sad to see the Zero Escape series come to an end, but Kotaro Uchikoshi and his team have created a special trilogy of games that won’t soon be forgotten. Zero Time Dilemma, despite its flaws, concludes this series in a dramatic and memorable fashion.
The story is disorganized, but if you bear with it, you will be rewarded with non-linearity that puts every Telltale’s game to shame. [10/2016, p.46]
Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma will not be to everyone’s tastes; that much is obvious. An eclectic mix of puzzle solving and non-linear visual novel narrative, Zero Time Dilemma’s inconsistent conundrum quality and distinctly no-frills presentation aren’t enough to seriously detract from the impressive calibre of its numerous idiosyncrasies.
The story can go any way imaginable—from everyone coming away completely unscathed to literally causing the apocalypse—more so than maybe anything else I’ve ever played.
While it isn’t the best story in the genre, and it isn’t the best story-driven game out there, it is interesting enough to keep players engaged for the time it takes to finish.