PC Port Report: Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma

Zero hesitation

I’ll admit, it feels a bit like heresy playing Zero Time Dilemma on a PC, especially considering, well, 999. I won’t go into it any more than that for people who haven’t played through the first game. I bought the original on a whim (or I guess pre-ordered, since I have the watch), and absolutely fell in love with it. All the details, all the possibilities, all the…everything! It’s one of my favorite games ever.

If you would have told me it would get two sequels, and the last one was on the PC, I would never have believed you. Yet, here we are, and I’m happy as a clam.

At first, I was worried about a game designed for handheld screens being blown up for a computer monitor, but those fears were quickly put to rest. The game’s visuals look mostly smooth and crisp, especially the character models. While some items and environmental textures are a bit flat or simple, it doesn’t detract from the game itself. Also, as CJ mentioned in his review, Zero Time Dilemma‘s animations are rather crude and lacking, but that’s not an issue with this port itself.

The in-game user interface is substantial, but it’s rarely on-screen. Bringing up the menu results in some rather large icons, since they utilize the same proportions as the smaller screens. The UI in general is fine and thankfully supports mouse input. Hovering over a selection doesn’t give it a “highlighted” look, but clicking on it works just the same as taping on it using a touchscreen. Overall, the menus function as you would expect them to.

The biggest issue is the lack of PC button prompts. The keys are hidden throughout various menus and tutorial prompts, but it’s hard to get a collection of them all at once, so I made one. Here’s a list of prompts I’ve figured out/collected.

Controller to Keyboard Translation






Left Ctrl









Context-Related Controls

Menu – Up/Down


Menu – Change options left/right


Menu – Confirm


Menu – Back


Escape Room – Rotate left/right


Escape Room – Move Camera

Arrow Keys



Text Back Log








It’s a bit weird to use the WASD keys to navigate menus and the arrow keys for camera movement in the room-escape segments. Unfortunately, the keys cannot be re-bound. Just about everything can be brought up by using the mouse, also. If you are using the mouse to explore the escape rooms, just note that the camera will stop scrolling if the mouse hits the edge of the screen. I guess this emulates the 3DS stylus hitting the edge of the touchscreen, though I wish there was continuous scrolling at the edges. Early on, I thought the field of view was limited, but it turns out I just needed to re-center my mouse and keep scrolling.

The game runs beautifully, and I never saw anything below 60 frames per second. So again, if you notice choppy animation, it has nothing to do with the quality of the port. There were times that I thought the FPS had dropped, but looking at my counter, it never did. When launching Zero Time Dilemma, you can instead choose to start up the configuration tools. Here are the options presented to you:

As you can see, it’s your standard fare of basic PC options. Borderless is a great touch, and the game runs very well when alt-tabbing in and out. These setting cannot be changed while playing, so keep that in mind. In-game, the options screen is the basic gameplay options that I assume are the same across all platforms.

Overall, this is a solid port. It’s far from perfect, but definitely completely playable. Perhaps best of all, the developers have been browsing and commenting on the Steam forums in regards to things like the lack of keybinds, so there is hope for the future. Maybe not for Zero Time Dilemma, but possibly future Spike Chunsoft titles!

Oh, and if you buy the game on Steam before July 8, you can download the Mini-OST and Premium Booklet for free!

Patrick Hancock
During the day, he teaches high school kids about history. At night he kicks their butts in competitive games like Rocket League, Dota 2, Overwatch, and Counter-Strike. Disclosure: I've personally backed Double Fine Adventure, Wasteland 2, Dead State, SPORTSFRIENDS, Torment: Tides of Numera, STRAFE, and The Binding of Isaac: Four Souls. I have previously written for AbleGamers.com and continue to support them whenever possible (like HumbleBundle).