Another Code: Recollection review: A welcome return to one of Nintendo's finest point-and-click puzzle mysteries

Another Code was one of the most highly rated games on the Nintendo DS, usually hovering with an average score of about 95%. Finally, after all these years, it's made a fully remastered return on the Switch with new puzzles, tricks, and surprise bonus content previously unreleased in North America.
Another Code: Recollection. Screenshot courtesy Nintendo
Another Code: Recollection. Screenshot courtesy Nintendo /

Game: Another Code: Recollection
Developer: Ark System Works
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo Switch (reviewed on)
Release Date: January 19, 2024

When I first found out a recreation of Another Code was coming out for the Nintendo Switch I went through a LOT of emotions. The first game was a remarkably clever point-and-click puzzle mystery that utilized the plethora of features of the DS to solve puzzles, unlike anything I've ever seen in a game. And while I was excited to see it come back so a different generation of gamers could experience the story, the fact of the matter is that the DS does a lot of things that the Switch Ninten-don't. Let me explain.

In the DS version of the game, several puzzles required you to be aware of what your DS was capable of to solve it. You had to think about things like they were real and not just on-screen puzzles. Tilt your system to get something to fall out of a piece of furniture, blow on the microphone to snuff out a candle, and things like that.

Another Code: Recollection. Screenshot courtesy Nintendo /

One of my personal favorites involved a stamp. I had to get a stamp to press on a sheet of paper so I could get my next clue. The only problem was that while I could see the stamp, and see the paper, I couldn't get the stamp to connect to the sheet. I sat there for a WHILE frustrated at the fact that I could do nothing but back out of the puzzle.

I would look at the stamp on the top screen, squinting, looking for some hidden detail that I missed. I would look at the sheet of paper on the bottom of the screen and, with my stylus, tap and scratch all over the touch screen desperate to find a contact spot I was missing. Eventually, I got frustrated and wanted to walk away for a minute so I folded the DS closed. That's when I heard the noise that comes with solving a puzzle.

You had to make the stamp on the top screen press against the screen on the bottom screen. If you thought about them as physical objects as opposed to video game assets it was the simplest thing.

But the Switch didn't have two screens or a microphone, how would this work? Turns out, in Another Code: Recollection, the game was rebuilt almost from the ground up with all new puzzles and features. The stamp problem simply does not exist and most of the puzzles are solved with the joystick and buttons.

Another Code: Recollection. Screenshot courtesy Nintendo /

It's a bit of a let down, even more so because unlike with the original game, the remaster tells you what buttons to hit. Instead of figuring out you need to tilt both joysticks down to move two things on both sides of the screen, you literally have text on the screen telling you to pull down on both joysticks to activate the switches. The sense of discovery as you try to figure things out has been scrapped.

Luckily the story is still really cool and worth doing just for the interesting spin off of familiar science fiction tropes like ghosts and mind control and the like. Plus, the remaster is pretty at times.

The voice acting is a double edged sword. There are many cut scenes in which all characters are fully voiced and, more often than not, the voice actors are very talented. The issue is outside of the cutscenes. They still wanted the characters to have voices but now they just let out a grunt at the beginning of every line of dialogue. Many games do this but when you have your playing on your TV at home and you're investigating several objects in the room with a girl letting out different grunts and moans every time you select something, you're gonna get some looks from the people you live with.

Another Code: Recollection. Screenshot courtesy Nintendo /

One thing that got me excited for the remaster, however, was the inclusion of Another Code: R the sequel to the game that previously never made it to American soil. I had never played this follow up that takes place two years after the first thing. And now that I have? I honestly wish I wouldn't have.

Another Code: R is an absolute slog. When I realized most of it was going to take place in a wooded campground instead of a Scooby Doo mansion my first thought was "How are they going to work in puzzles?" Turns out they just don't add any. I mean, there are things the game seems to THINK are puzzles but they're along the lines of "interact with the handle on the floor to open the 'hidden' trap door."

And the story moves so damn slowly. I kept giving my wife updates every 10 minutes and it looks something like this:

"Okay so now I guess I have to go check in at the guest center. It took her this whole time to get off the bus.

The guy who runs the guest center is on break but the ranger is telling me about the park's recycling program. That's nice.

I'm heading back to the guest center now, I'm pretty sure his break will be over.

Talked to the guest center guy and I filled out some paperwork. He gave me directions to the camp site.

I found the camp site but they're out of charcoal so...they're sending me to the guest center.

I got the charcoal but now I'm chasing a homeless child. Tha's exciting."

Eric Halliday

As a reminder, these messages were, at minimum, 10 minutes apart. These events covers a bit more than the first full hour of my game. It's THAT slow. And that's with the new feature turned on that literally always points you in the direction you need to go (I wanted to tear through the story).

All in all, I think Another Code: Recollection is a really cool story and, in my head canon, is an absolute Nintendo classic. But as it's simplified to the point of it being a visual novel, despite my love for the original, I don't think I can look someone in the eyes and say it's worth 60 bucks.

Another Code: Recollection (Nintendo Switch) Score: 6.5/10

Another Code: Recollection collects the original Another Code with its sequel Another Code: R which never saw a North American release. While the original DS title was an absolute classic with clever puzzles that require unique usage of the DS's features, the simplified and dumbed-down Switch rerelease turns the puzzle game into a basic visual novel. While the first game's story is unique, the sequel is painfully slow to get through. Despite my love for the original, this is a very hard game to recommend, especially given its $60 price point.

A copy of this game was provided to App Trigger for the purpose of this review. All scores are ranked out of 10, with .5 increments. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.