5 Games To Play If You Like The Zero Escape Trilogy

There are a few reasons the Zero Escape series gets lauded as some of the best visual novel games. First, the series challenges players with clever escape room puzzles. Second, the trilogy weaves a compelling story with a cast of eccentric yet relatable characters. And finally, these games are disturbingly macabre and reasonably gory.

Those who just started the Zero Escape series can anticipate hours, even days' worth, of engaging gameplay. But what if you finished the trilogy? How can you scratch the itch that only solving complex life-or-death problems can scratch? Luckily, we've been there and found plenty of similar games that will hit that sweet spot.

5 The Room VR: A Dark Matter

If you're looking for a more immersive puzzle-solving experience, you'll love The Room VR: A Dark Matter. This title follows the story of a police inspector investigating missing person cases in Victorian-era England. However, you'll soon uncover a conspiracy involving dark and supernatural forces.

Still, the game's story plays second fiddle to complex, engrossing puzzles in exciting and mysterious locations. For instance, one of The Room VR's first puzzles involves scrounging a museum and unlocking the tomb of an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus! Luckily, as hard as these tasks may sound, the VR controls are accessible and straightforward. Moreover, these common-sense controls keep the gameplay from feeling cheap.

Now, you may ask, how scary is this game? After all, who wants to get involved with decoding an ancient message while constantly worrying about the next jump scare? Fortunately, while the game's atmosphere is unsettling and foreboding, the tone does not surpass the spooky threshold. So, you can sigh a breath of relief in this regard.

4 Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy

Suppose you're looking for a more palette-cleansing experience after the heart-wrenching experience of playing through Zero Escape. In that case, we recommend Capcom's Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy. This lighthearted series puts you in the shoes of Phoenix Wright, a rookie defense lawyer, as he investigates crime scenes and defends the lives of wrongly incarcerated people.

The Ace Attorney games combine a one-two punch of point-and-click detective mechanics and astute trial examinations. Furthermore, the cases in this series take wild turns and feature even wilder suspects. Therefore, any fans of a good whodunnit mystery will love these titles.

Another boon of this series is its sense of humor. The comical characters of Phoenix Wright's adventures are lovable (or love-to-hate) with laugh-out-loud dialogue to boot. And that's a welcome attribute in a series with so much murder.

3 Spirit Hunter: Death Mark

If the thrilling, macabre tone of Zero Escape's story was to your liking, the next game for you is Spirit Hunter: Death Mark. This game tells the story of a protagonist fighting off death from a body marking passed on by an unknown spirit. The protagonist must find and exterminate the spirit who gave him this "death mark" to remove it.

Death Mark's gameplay hits all the right marks (pun intended). Its puzzles are well designed and story-driven, requiring players to pay attention when embarking through each chapter. Furthermore, each ghost encounter has two different outcomes that affect the game's ending. These branching outcomes add to the game's replay value.

However, Death Mark is not a game for the faint of heart. While scarce, the game contains the occasional jump scare. Furthermore, its atmosphere, especially its audio effects, is downright menacing. Lastly, the game includes alarming plot points filled with violent imagery. Still, if you ever wanted to live out your Ghost Hunters fantasy, these creepy qualities are right up your alley!

2 The Danganronpa Series

It's not typical for a video game to make you want to revisit high school. However, Spike Chunsoft's standout visual novel series, Danganronpa, will give you a deadly high school experience you'll come back to again and again.

Each game in the series focuses on a different class of high school students forced to play a killing game by a dastardly teddy bear named Monokuma. No, we're not making this up. That is the plot. So, what are the rules? Get away with murdering a classmate, and you can graduate while your classmates get executed. But if your classmates deduce that you are the culprit, they live, and you face execution.

Danganronpa has everything you could ever want in a video game: a strong story, enticing characters, addictive gameplay, and murder! Furthermore, Danganronpa's signature campy style perfectly balances dark comedy with somber heartfelt moments.

Are you looking for some new escape room content? Then, check out Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, which features a Zero-Escape-inspired puzzle room in one of its chapters!

1 AI: The Somnium Files

Have you ever wondered what it's like to explore other people's dreams? Well, in AI: The Somnium Files, you can. This title chronicles the investigations of a detective, Kaname Date, as he pursues a serial killer lurking in a near-future Tokyo. The twist? These investigations take place in the witnesses' dream worlds.

The game is directed and written by Kotaro Uchikoshi, the same mind behind the Zero Escape Trilogy. So many of his familiar quirks, like complex philosophical and science fiction concepts, eccentric characters, and devastating plot twists, are here. Furthermore, AI: The Somnium Files also includes branching story paths like the Zero Escape games.

AI: The Somnium Files is simultaneously unique and familiar. On the one hand, you'll find yourself in cryptic puzzle environments similar to Zero Escape. But on the other hand, the game's emphasis on the relationship between time and space, plus the bizarre dream logic that bedrocks each puzzle, make AI: The Somnium Files an exceptional one-of-a-kind experience.

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