What parents need to know
Another Code: Recollection is the compilation of two games that have been totally remade for the Switch:
- Another Code: Two Memories (originally released for the Nintendo DS in 2005, called “Trace Memory” in North America)
- Another Code R: Journey Into Lost Memories (originally released for the Nintendo Wii in 2009 exclusively in Japan and Europe at the time)
Both games have been compiled into one. If you’ve already done the first one on DS, you won’t be able to start with the second, you’ll have to redo the whole first adventure.
Instead of pointing to the touch screen like in Nintendo DS to move around and interact with the environment, players traditionally move with the stick of the controller and interact with the buttons.
While the game’s texts are present in multiple languages, the dialogues are only dubbed in Japanese or English.
The game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. It does not influence our opinion.
Level of experience required
Minimal presence of blood, little violence, references to alcohol and tobacco.
“Some scenes show violent acts that include cuts or indirect camera angles: a child who sees a character being shot; characters fighting to control a gun; a woman hit in the arm by a bullet; characters knocked unconscious by chloroform. One sequence shows a large splatter of blood on the floor. The game contains depictions and/or references to alcohol and tobacco: the player’s character interacts with cigarette butts to add them to their inventory or solve puzzles; Textual references such as “… lost in a bottle of alcohol…”; “When he hugs me, I smell the cigarette”; “The tablecloth is stained with wine.”
Lots of reading to investigate.
No reflex necessary. It’s a puzzle game with unlimited time.
The biggest difficulty is patience.
Review by our guest editor, Viktoria Kovecses:
A compelling story, satisfying puzzles, and stylish graphics. What more could one ask for? I have not played the original releases of these games from the early 2000s, however now I see what I have missed out on.
The story follows Ashley Robins, a 14 year old orphan who has just received a letter from her supposedly deceased father asking her to come to a remote island to meet with him. Although the story has a slow start at the beginning, once the necessary introductions are covered about Ashley, her family and the island in Chapter 1, more mysteries are introduced and the game becomes hard to put down. The game has a cosy feel to it, with no time limits and the ability to explore at your own pace. The story itself, while there are twists, turns and some darker subject matter (such as death and family trauma), never feels too heavy as there are also many heartwarming moments.
As you navigate this narrative focused game, you wander through beautiful environments with very visually appealing shading and lighting. It almost feels like walking through a painting. There are many areas to explore and various items to interact with that will either give additional background info to the world and plot, or be useful in the puzzles that you will inevitably face.
For the puzzles themselves, there is a good variety in the game, and, actually a lot of the time they felt similar to an escape room. The puzzles were clever and varied from having to find keys and match them to the right doors, to having to tilt the controller in order to solve a marble style maze as well as many others that I won’t spoil.
The complexity of the puzzles mostly ranged from medium to easy difficulty, with the intent of many becoming clear as you find all the items you need to complete the puzzle. If I got stuck it was often because I missed an item that I needed, however there were still some that were trickier and required additional thinking. Some puzzles also required a lot of back and forth between locations. Regardless of the difficulty, each puzzle was quite satisfying to solve.
Regarding the controls, the tutorials are helpful and the controls are easy to get the hang of. The tutorial in the beginning does not feel forced upon you and then afterwards there are always markers on the screen that give helpful hints if you forget how to use an item or if a new action is introduced. You can even enable navigation and puzzle hints if you really want to focus on the story and wizz through the game faster. I used the hints primarily when I was really stuck on a puzzle or where to go next, which happened a few times.
In addition to the hints, there are other settings for camera speed, reversing the camera controls and it is possible to set the volume of the voices, effects and background music separately which is always appreciated. One thing I would have liked to see is the ability to choose first vs third player mode or to be able to move the camera further back. Sometimes I found it hard to navigate as the view appeared too zoomed in, with Ashley taking up a lot of the screen space. The ability to run or walk at a faster pace would have been nice to have as well. However these are minor complaints and others may not find it an issue.
Overall the game is very well made and if you enjoy narrative based games with a relaxed pace and lots of puzzles then this game is for you!
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