999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, the Japanese adventure game originally released on Nintendo DS in 2009, is now available on iOS in Japan for 1,000 yen ($9.91), publisher Spike Chunsoft announced yesterday.
The iOS version is the second entry in the company's "Smart Sound Novel" series of adventure game ports for mobile devices. Spike Chunsoft removed the puzzles for the iOS version because the studio wanted to put the focus on the game's story, the company said on its website; since 999 is a visual novel more than a game per se, the story is already the star of the game.
In addition, 999 on iOS presents conversations in comic-book-style speech bubbles instead of requiring players to turn "pages," and Spike Chunsoft redid the game's art for the high-resolution screens of iOS devices. Kotaro Uchikoshi, the director of 999, said on his blog that he recommends users purchase the version that's appropriate to their device (either iPhone or iPad), since the art will be optimized for the respective device.
"I think that [an] English version will also be released by autumn! Please wait," said Uchikoshi on Twitter. The original 999 launched in December 2009 on DS in Japan, but was not released until November 2010 in North America. Its sequel, Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward, launched last year on PlayStation Vita and Nintendo 3DS.