Percentile Rank

Zero Time Dilemma is ranked in the 83rd percentile of games scored on OpenCritic.

Rating Summary

Based on 76 critic reviews
Strong Man

OpenCritic Rating

82

Top Critic Average

74%

Critics Recommend

Based on 76 critic reviews

Score Distribution

Unscored Reviews

TechnoBuffalo
Wait
Wait
Jun 27, 2016

The amount you enjoy Zero Time Dilemma rests solely on how much you enjoy watching cutscenes. Get over that, and it's awesome.

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Kotaku
Unscored
Unscored
Jun 27, 2016

No other game can f*** with your head quite this much

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USgamer
Unscored
Unscored
Jun 23, 2016

With a game that shrouds so many truths in mystery, it's definitely hard to lose interest in the plot—especially if you've been a fan of the series since 999 and never thought this final installment would even be a possibility.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Unscored
Unscored
Jul 26, 2016

It’s by no means the best Zero Escape game, but it’s a fitting end to the trilogy’s story arc and – animation aside – it’s an excellent way to spend a few evenings.

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PC Invasion
Unscored
Unscored
Jun 29, 2016

If you have any intention of playing the other two games then I’d strongly suggest you do so before playing this, considering that four of the characters return from those titles and subtle spoilers abound in the opening hour. If not, then I’m not convinced the full overarching plot will make total sense, but you might be able to get on board. I’d have to finish it to say for sure, though.

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VGChartz
Unscored
Unscored
Jul 20, 2016

Zero Time stands as the weakest of the trilogy, but still a satisfactory visual novel in its own right.

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Scored Reviews

We Got This Covered
Jun 23, 2016

Zero Time Dilemma wraps up the long-running Zero Escape series in style. Presentation issues aside, it's the masterpiece we've been waiting for, and the one that the fans deserve.

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PS3Blog.net
100%
PS3Blog.net
the_nmac
100%
Jun 24, 2016

Zero Time Dilemma is a masterpiece and a must play game for Vita owners. I would love to see more from the series, but think this might be swansong on it, but we shall see. As stated earlier this game is awesome, and you should be playing it. People will be talking about this game for years to come. If this Zero Time Dilemma review hasn’t made it extremely clear, you should rush out to buy this game.

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ComiConverse
May 6, 2017

A cinematic, rollercoaster ride of high drama with twists and turns at every step. Structural flaws and a story perhaps not on-par with previous outings aren't enough to stop Zero Time Dilemma from being an excellent interactive experience.

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ZTGD
9.5 / 10.0
ZTGD

Top Critic

9.5 / 10.0
Jun 23, 2016

Zero Time Dilemma is a triumph in storytelling and world building with some of the most complex and yet satisfying narrative ever to grace a videogame. Whether this is the final entry to the Zero Escape series or not, the developers can rest easy knowing that they’ve managed to craft one of the finest visual novel series of all time.

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TechRaptor
9.5 / 10.0
9.5 / 10.0
Jul 11, 2016

Zero Time Dilemma is a more than fitting end to a series already known for its gripping narrative and compelling characters. Director/writer Kotaro Uchikoshi has outdone himself here and delivered, most assuredly, his magnum opus. This is narrative risk-taking and some of the best storytelling available in the medium that manages to overcome its presentational flaws to offer a must-play experience.

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Destructoid
9.5 / 10.0
9.5 / 10.0
Jun 23, 2016

Zero Time Dilemma is nothing short of a flawed masterpiece.

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DualShockers
9.5 / 10.0
9.5 / 10.0
Jun 27, 2016

Zero Time Dilemma is an excellent follow-up and sequel/prequel, making great strides in widening the appeal of the game by overhauling the story progression with its inventive and effective “fragments systems,” while avoiding the pitfall of alienating the loyal fanbase that supported Dilemma‘s development. Despite its tricky position as an in between of two other well established titles, it neatly fills in the gaps and serves as a great lead in for Virtue’s Last Reward, which ended on a cliffhanger. Fans who have long-awaited the return of the series will not be disappointed in this swan’s song.

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Chalgyr's Game Room
9.3 / 10.0
9.3 / 10.0
Jun 28, 2016

Aside from the uneven animations, my only other complaint comes from the memo feature. I found it far easier just to keep notes on a pad of paper than attempting to write with my fingertip. This is not the best use of touch controls between the memo and the sometimes finicky puzzle inputs, but it is hardly a deal breaker either. Because at the heart of everything here however, is the narrative. I really cannot say enough good things about how well-written the characters and the stories are. I never felt like there was too much exposition, and despite the tense scenarios moments of levity are found within as well. The characters feel fully fleshed out, the story captivated my interest in a way that only good books usually can.

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IGN
9.2 / 10.0
9.2 / 10.0
Jun 29, 2016

My time with Zero Time Dilemma was one of great pleasure and anguish, mainly because I knew I was saying goodbye to one of my favorite series. This final chapter brings the beloved Zero Escape trilogy to a gratifying end, featuring beautiful character moments, elaborate puzzles, and a mind-bending plot. Not many games will keep me glued to the screen like Zero Time Dilemma did, and despite its minor graphical flaws, it will remain a gem in the 3DS and Vita libraries.

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IGN Italy
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Jul 13, 2016

Zero Time Dilemma is a small masterpiece of storytelling and a strong warning about human nature. A truly, unmissable game.

Review in Italian | Read full review

GamingTrend
90 / 100
90 / 100
Jun 23, 2016

Zero Time Dilemma takes some bold strides to tell the series’ final chapters, but even when it falters, it’s never slow to catch back up and deliver. Through well-designed escape rooms, brilliant writing and narrative decisions, and a more relatable cast than ever, Zero Time Dilemma puts the most deserving and exceptional final touches on this excellent trilogy.

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Game Rant
Jul 12, 2016

Spike Chunsoft does it again, combining intuitive, puzzle-based gameplay with one of video gaming's best narratives in the wonderful Zero Time Dilemma.

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ZTGD
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Aug 24, 2017

Zero Time Dilemma is a nice bow on top of the Zero Escape trilogy, and one that I think many will enjoy if they liked the previous games.

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EGM
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Jun 25, 2016

As the final chapter of the Zero Escape trilogy, Zero Time Dilemma is a dramatic journey through the strengths and weaknesses of the human spirit, one that longtime fans and newcomers can both enjoy and appreciate.

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Twinfinite
4.5 / 5.0
4.5 / 5.0
Jun 27, 2016

Thankfully, we do live in the brightest timeline – the one where this lovely gem of a game does exist.

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PlayStation LifeStyle
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Jun 28, 2016

Zero Time Dilemma is a masterpiece of storytelling.

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CGMagazine
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Jul 4, 2016

Zero Time Dilemma is a satisfying conclusion to the Zero Escape series, but I feel it’s missing a final challenge room to test my wits.

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GameSpew
9 / 10
9 / 10
Jun 23, 2016

Once you do open up the puzzle routes, Zero Time Dilemma becomes a well-blended avalanche of slick cinematics and brain-teasing escapes for the next 20 hours

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Digitally Downloaded
Digitally Downloaded

Top Critic

Jul 4, 2016

Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma is a game everyone absolutely must play. If you haven’t played the previous games in the series, drop everything and experience them. Even though the artistic direction is a misfire, ultimately you’re looking to a game like this for the narrative, and it absolutley delivers something intelligent and meaningful there.

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Game Revolution
Jul 6, 2016

And that’s that. Zero Time Dilemma is an amazing game of equivalent overall caliber to its predecessors, and its ridiculous, complicated take on scientific theories and horror thrillers is a must-witness. Despite being quite accommodating newcomers, I recommend the deep dive into the previous entries first, if anything, to be a buffer for the science-fiction you’ve yet to imbibe. Regardless, you’ll get great, well-rounded characters and a memorable trip into one of gaming’s greatest works of fiction even if you’ll scream, “Oh, come on,” as often as “Holy shitsnacks!” That’s me being at my most objective.

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GearNuke
9 / 10
9 / 10
Jul 2, 2016

As the third entry in the series, Zero Time Dilemma takes a lot of inspiration from the past games while lacking anything innovative to move the series forward. It is arguably a great game but it often feels less polished compared to its predecessors and the presentations suffers as a result.

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PS4Blog.net
9 / 10
PS4Blog.net
ThaRaven403
9 / 10
Aug 25, 2017

Chime has done it again with Zero Time Dilemma, giving us a game that is a must-have for fans of visual novels, and even more so for fans of the series.

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PSX Brasil
90 / 100
90 / 100
Aug 29, 2017

Zero Time Dilemma is an incredible game and a worthy conclusion for the Zero Escape series that finally arrives on the PlayStation 4. It's transition from the Vita to the PS4 was handled with a lot of care, being done in the best way possible.

Review in Portuguese | Read full review

Gaming Gamma
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Jun 29, 2016

At the end of the day, this is an absolutely fantastic game that’s only bogged down by its animations. However, at the same time, this is a wonderful example of where the technical problem they couldn’t get down doesn’t harm the enjoyment of the whole. What does harm the game’s overall enjoyment is just how lost one might be if they didn’t go through the previous games. Even so, while this potentially ends the franchise with a weird bang, it’s a bang nonetheless.

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GameSkinny
Jun 29, 2016

Fans of Zero Escape, you're in the right timeline: the one where the series gets the spectacular ending it deserves. Violent, tense, and thought-provoking, this is a game that will keep you up for days while you finish it, than days more while you process what you just saw. If you haven't picked it up yet, you owe it to yourself to do so now.

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Game Informer
8.8 / 10.0
8.8 / 10.0
Jun 23, 2016

Difficult puzzles and a bold, non-linear story structure will challenge your mind, and difficult moral decisions will test your heart

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Dragnix
86 / 100
86 / 100
Jun 29, 2016
Mind Break video thumbnail
PlayStation Universe
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Aug 31, 2017

After completing Zero Time Dilemma all I want to do is go back through all three games with the knowledge I've gained through the series, and see how far back everything is foreshadowed and set up. This isn't just an impressive game in its own right, but a fantastic trilogy that should be experienced by anyone looking for a good sci-fi puzzle thriller.

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Arcade Sushi
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Jun 28, 2016

Zero Time Dilemma is an adventure full of disturbing and compelling twists and turns with gameplay make it interesting and inviting, even if you haven’t followed the series from the very beginning.

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PlayStation LifeStyle
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Aug 18, 2017

This closing chapter isn't perfect, and some low-quality textures can be distracting on PlayStation 4, but it does manage to put a bow on one of gaming's greatest stories.

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Niche Gamer
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Jun 25, 2016

If you’re a fan of the Zero Escape games, I don’t need to convince you to buy it, since you probably were already going to do so anyway. If you’re a newcomer and want to get into the Zero Escape series, play the first two games before you even consider playing Zero Time Dilemma, as it offers a much more rewarding experience if you have.

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GBAtemp
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Jul 3, 2016

Although the ending might not be one that fans expected, Zero Time Dilemma is a great game, with a lot of shocking twists and turns within its story. And being able to even have a finale to the Zero Escape series proves that we’re all in the best possible timeline.

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Chalgyr's Game Room
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Aug 29, 2017

A series full of mysteries, murder, twists and intrigue comes to its conclusion in the third title from the "Zero Escape" series, Zero Time Dilemma. All the questions that have been left answered and the fates of the characters MAY come to a head in this final game of life and death, provided you can manage to muddle through the convoluted plot line(s), occasionally poor voice acting, and some of the annoying necessary steps for making it through some of the decisions in-game.

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Digital Chumps
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Sep 1, 2017

Generally speaking, Zero Time Dilemma is a great game and a must-play for those that escaped 999 and VLR. Like many third acts in trilogies across all kinds of media, it's not as strong as the first or second act, but it's still solid and I recommend it.

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GameCrate
8.3 / 10.0
8.3 / 10.0
Jul 7, 2016

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.

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Metro GameCentral
8 / 10
8 / 10
Jun 30, 2016

A successful conclusion to one of the most underrated storytelling franchises in gaming, even if some of the presentational changes are too ambitious for their own good.

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GamesRadar+
Jun 28, 2016

Professor Layton for people who watch Hannibal.

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Easy Allies
Jul 14, 2016
Zero Time Dilemma - Easy Allies Review - YouTube video thumbnail
Polygon
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Jun 29, 2016

Zero Time Dilemma is a fitting finale, even if the gameplay gets lost in the background

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God is a Geek
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Aug 21, 2017

Zero Time Dilemma is a great but flawed end to the Zero Escape trilogy with a very good PS4 port.

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Nintendo Life
8 / 10
8 / 10
Aug 20, 2016

Zero Time Dilemma is an impressively polished, unsettling ride, but whether it's worth playing is entirely dependent on your previous experience with the series. If you've played and enjoyed the first two games in the trilogy you'll absolutely love Zero's last stand. You'll find the same twisting, twisted narrative, the same satisfyingly tricky puzzles, and plenty more of Uchikoshi's signature style, and watching the story's climax unfold after three games is a real rush. If you haven't played the first two games but you're interested in the series, this isn't the best place to start — to really enjoy it, you'll want to have both Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors (on DS and iOS) and Virtue's Last Reward (on 3DS and Vita) under your belt before jumping in here.However you arrive at Zero Time Dilemma, if you're into the series' mix of horror and Hegel you're in for a treat — and you may never look at a snail the same way again.

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FNintendo
8 / 10
8 / 10
Jul 13, 2016

Zero Time Dilemma is nothing short of a world class conclusion to the Zero Escape trilogy, thanks to its excellent narrative, its interesting and very developed cast of characters and a marvelous audio environment. While not all of the trilogy's loose ends are brought together and its visual environment could certainly improve, this is a game that is compulsory for all the series' followers as well as to virtually anyone else.

Review in Portuguese | Read full review

Hardcore Gamer
4 / 5.0
4 / 5.0
Jun 23, 2016

While it ends up feeling a bit like the weakest game in the series so far, even a weak Zero Escape game is still an absolute delight, and Zero Time Dilemma is no exception.

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GamingBolt
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Jun 24, 2016

Zero Time Dilemma is an immensely satisfying conclusion to what might be one of the best, best told stories in the history of the medium.

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DarkZero
8 / 10
8 / 10
Jul 11, 2016

Following in the footsteps of its brilliant predecessors, Zero Time Dilemma continues to bring a thrilling form of storytelling that can only be done with the interaction of the video game medium.

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Saudi Gamer
4 / 5
4 / 5
Jul 7, 2016

The game delivers an exciting story with its wonderful and interesting concepts in addition to its entertaining puzzles. This installment may attract more players than its predecessors as it relies on cut scenes more than reading texts. I prefer the previous games (999 and Virtue’s Last Reward) more, and I highly recommend to give the whole Zero Escape series a try.

Review in Arabic | Read full review

GearNuke
8 / 10
8 / 10
Aug 18, 2017

Zero Time Dilemma is a fairly decent port for the PS4. It features slightly revamped visuals but still suffers from the same awkward animation and a slow paced story that will take a while to properly set up.

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GameSpew
80%
80%
Sep 7, 2017

Every setback and every unexpected revelation will draw you further into Zero Time Dilemma's joyously convoluted world and make you all the more doggedly determined to uncover the truth.

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Cubed3
8 / 10
8 / 10
Sep 4, 2017

A brilliant, dark, twisted tale reminiscent of the phenomenal Steins;Gate, and one that will get players digging into every possible branching pathway to experience every facet of the story and finally understand the truth beneath this marvellous tale.

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Nintendo Insider
8 / 10
8 / 10
Jul 2, 2016

I wish that there were more games like Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma. As Telltale Games has achieved in recent years, Spike Chunsoft under Kotaro Uchikoshi's direction has pushed the boundaries of what we have now come to expect from storytelling in the games industry. Zero Time Dilemma is a success in that regards, becoming one of the most thrilling narrative experiences to grace the Nintendo 3DS library.

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Marooners' Rock
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Jun 24, 2016

Zero Time Dilemma carries some deep themes of morality, mortality, and identity, making for an intelligent, worthy story.

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Pause Resume
4 / 5
4 / 5
Jul 3, 2016

While there are minor issues with continuing the story and finding yourself a bit lost at times, Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma is a fantastic story-driven game, with characters you’ll quickly become attached to and a narrative that drags you through to its gritty conclusion. For Vita and 3DS owners, playing the previous titles is a must, but once you get here, Zero Time Dilemma won’t disappoint.

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RPG Fan
75%
75%
Jul 16, 2016

Zero Time Dilemma is the weakest entry in the series but still worth a gander to find out how it all ends/begins/continues.

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NintendoWorldReport
7.5 / 10.0
7.5 / 10.0
Jun 22, 2016

I'm glad that I got to see the series through to the end. Though it answered some of the questions I had while replaying the prior games, the execution of Zero Time Dilemma itself has some rough patches and relying on our message boards/GameFAQs/other places of ill repute is going to cause a lot of problems for those playing it day one. If you haven't played the two prequels, at least play Virtue's Last Reward first.

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GameWatcher
7.5 / 10.0
7.5 / 10.0
Jul 12, 2016

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.

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Video Chums
7.1 / 10.0
7.1 / 10.0
Sep 5, 2017

Fans of escape rooms and puzzle-solving games that don't mind a more adult and dark tone will have a lot of fun with Zero Time Dilemma.

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GameCynic
7.1 / 10.0
7.1 / 10.0
Sep 4, 2017

If you can look past the awkward animation, poor dialog and condescending tone, Zero Time Dilemma offers a short but interesting mystery murder experience and set of puzzles, if only to fill the gap between other new decision-heavy (or Danganronpa) titles.

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Slant Magazine
Jul 14, 2016

Even when the narrative fails to drive the plot, the game’s well-designed room-escape puzzles pick up the slack.

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RPG Site
7 / 10
7 / 10
Jun 25, 2016

While some of its flaws may leave some areas feeling half-baked, Zero Time Dilemma will be something that won't be leaving our minds anytime soon.

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NEOsite
7 / 10.0
7 / 10.0
Oct 6, 2017

Zero Time Dilemma is an amazing ending for the superb trilogy… although the price should be cut in half.

Review in Polish | Read full review

Kill Screen
70 / 100
70 / 100
Jul 14, 2016

Despite having dozens of questions early on, by the end of the long twisted journey, I found everything to be resolved—or even left unresolved—in an extremely satisfying way.

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Digitally Downloaded
Oct 6, 2017

It lacks the charm and wit of Danganronpa, but Zero Time Dilemma, like its prequels, is still valuable, smart, and stimulating. Its presentation really badly hurts it, but once you push past that distaste, what you're left with is an intense, engaging and intelligent narrative with some thoughtful and well-designed puzzle rooms to sort through.

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PlayStation Universe
6.5 / 10.0
6.5 / 10.0
Jul 2, 2016

As a story, Zero Time Dilemma matches up to the ambition of its predecessors, with some missteps. As a game, it’s significantly less polished, with ideas and changes that nearly always step backward.

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GameSpot
6 / 10
6 / 10
Jul 1, 2016

Despite a slew of problems, Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma uses complex story techniques in a suspenseful tale about human nature.

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Guardian
Jul 29, 2016

Final chapter in intriguing narrative adventure series brings back favourite characters, but fails to go out with a bang

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Cubed3
6 / 10
6 / 10
Jan 12, 2017

Make no mistake about it, Zero Time Dilemma is a disappointment, but it's mainly because fans of the franchise are such devoted ones. Taken on its own merits, without looking back to how the series was, it is certainly not a bad game, and has some excellent qualities that leave it an overall good experience, and definitely not a bad one.

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Cubed3
6 / 10
Az Elias

Top Critic

6 / 10
Aug 15, 2016

Zero Time Dilemma is the weakest game in the trilogy, yet it's an unmissable piece of the puzzle that every Zero Escape fan needs to play. It isn't the satisfying conclusion hoped for, it has some uninteresting characters, and the pacing is off, but even with the unanswered questions, there is still a story here that warrants playing through, especially as it develops and wraps up the arcs of the familiar, better and more important characters in the overall narrative.

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Cubed3
5 / 10
Adam Riley

Top Critic

5 / 10
Aug 29, 2016

Sadly, despite an attempt to include in-depth story threads and bring in intriguing puzzles, Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma falls down on too many occasions. Be it the convoluted yarns that do not tie things together well enough, puzzles that fluctuate in difficulty and interest levels far too much, as well as a poorly thought out flowchart system that leads players into numerous dead ends, either requiring sheer guesswork and random replaying of certain scenarios, or caving in and using online guides.

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giant.moe
Jun 30, 2016

Zero Time Dilemma is a hugely flawed game that, despite moments of brilliance (such as the coin toss at the start of the game), fails to come together. A game that can hold my attention for twelve hours in a single day should review well, but sadly too many of those hours were spent silently cursing at the ludicrous nature of the story, and basically begging for it to all pay off and it never did. At least Virtue's Last Reward, which I previously criticised for leaving so much up in the air, was asking interesting questions. Zero Time Dilemma failed to do even that.

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Goomba Stomp
3.8 / 10.0
3.8 / 10.0
Aug 24, 2017

Zero Time Dilemma seems to be brimming with good ideas. Unfortunately, between the increasingly insane, shark jumping, plot revelations, and the never-ending dialogue strands, someone forgot to put a video game here. When the player does get to do something aside from making decisions, the game improves markedly but since the design of the game can make even these sections few and far between, it becomes harder and harder to forgive as the run time of the game continues to tick along.

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