99Moves is the third game in the 99 saga. Much like its predecessors, 99Bullets and 99Seconds, 99Moves is built around a strict gameplay mechanic, and players must adhere to those rules. 99Moves is best described as an action arcade game in which the player can only make 99 moves on their journey to the goal. Why can you make only 99 moves?
In 99Moves you play as V-99 and you’re about to run out of energy while cruising through the galaxy. Luckily, you stumble upon a zone called Shaders which provides a new source of energy. While it gives you the opportunity to survive, you only have 99 energy pulses to move through this zone.
99Moves is made up of 12 levels, each with a clear objective of reaching the end goal. Of course, you can only move 99 times which can make things tricky. There are two types of levels in 99Moves. The first sees you navigating a maze-like structure where you must avoid walls, tight spaces, and enemies. The second is an endurance level where the objective is to survive in a small room where obstacles constantly haunt your every move. While the goal waits for you in the maze levels, it will spawn after surviving a specific amount of time in the endurance levels. Touching obstacles or enemies in any level will damage V-99. After getting hit, you’ll get a brief moment of invincibility to help you readjust. If you get hit a second time you’ll trigger the Game Over screen. Collecting a V-99 item will restore V-99 back to normal.
In a nutshell, what you read above is the entirety of 99Moves. The game itself can be pretty challenging, mainly due to its 99 moves restriction. However, multiple tries and trial and error will help you figure out which routes you should take, and which ones you should avoid. In saying that, there is no one correct path through any level, but you’ll find yourself following the same path over and over to survive.
Aside from beating each level, you can venture back inside to try for a high score. Gaining points in 99Moves is achieved by travelling dangerously close to obstacles, or by collecting the V-99 item. To my knowledge there is no real reason to top the leaderboard, but it could result in some competition around friends or family.
Graphically, 99Moves is quite basic with art that is composed mostly of geometric shapes. The graphics themselves don’t hinder the overall arcade experience though and actually harken back to the retro era. While the graphics may be a little underwhelming, I did enjoy the game’s soundtrack, and more specifically, the fantastic track from Level 11. For some reason, that track reminds of the Mega Man X series with its upbeat, futuristic vibe.
99Moves is a simple, but fun and challenging arcade-style game, however, there is about an hour of gameplay here so expect the experience to be over as soon as it begins. It can be purchased on the Nintendo eShop for $1.99 (or 200 DSiWare points) and might be worth a look for those that like arcade-style experiences, or if you’ve enjoyed the other 99-saga games.
7/10 – Good
Obtained a Review Copy