Capsule Review: Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective

A visual novel puzzle game with a player character who dies under mysterious circumstances at the very beginning. As a ghost, you’ve lost your memories but gained the ability to possess and manipulate objects - and also to rewind time and observe the death of the recently deceased. Your main goal is to solve the mystery of who you are and why you died, and you get caught up in a web of intrigue along the way.

There’s a lot of talking, between which the gameplay consists of puzzle segments where you use your ability to manipulate objects to cause chains of events and accomplish specific goals - often, preventing a death via your time rewind. The mechanics are unique but a bit unpolished and lead to some frustrating moments, often due to the puzzles requiring very specific timing and therefore making the player wait until things line up just so. The tone walks a fine line similar to the Ace Attorney games - things get fairly dark, but there’s humor and quirky characters and it’s hard to take the Rube Goldberg nature of the puzzles all that seriously. The animation is gorgeous, the soundtrack is excellent, and the story is mostly good (though I have some objections to the ending).

I Stopped Playing When: I finished the game.

Docprof's Rating:

Three Stars: Good. I liked the game enough to finish it (or just play it a bunch, for games that don't end). I recommend it to most genre fans.

You can get it or learn more here.