You put in your new game, hearing Ghost Trick is a puzzle-adventure game, you get excited to play only to find out you, aka the main protagonist, is dead. What a way to start a game…dead already. Fortunately, that is the premise of this game as you control “Sissel”, who is one of the few special people who have powers called “Ghost Tricks” to solve your murder. Along the way of helping yourself, you meet other characters who unfortunately die (but like the good ghost you are you revive them) and their stories have an odd connection to your story.
Gameplay: For those who have played Phoenix Wright, also developed by Capcom, then some familiarization will be in this game. From basic speech that has context clues, to the idea of “thinking aloud” to help the players, Ghost Trick is not only player-friendly but a mind challenge as well. Each chapter has one or two puzzles to them: Get to a new area or Go back in time (4 minutes to be exact) and change someone’s fate/prevent death. Ok, both play out generally the same except fate changes have more difficulty than real-time missions. Your ghost powers are your gameplay so to move across a area, you go into ghost mode and you find items that have cores (you can’t possess real people only objects) and you travel through each core. You have a limited reach so you must figure out your way to get to areas, and this includes using your powers “Ghost tricks” Ghost Tricks vary in every time; be it you possess a ball that rolls, a ladder that extends, or a lamp so you can swivel to the otherside. The difference between real-time puzzles and 4 minute deaths, is the 4 minute deaths you are timed and some puzzles require you to use Ghost Tricks at times the character is moving. The main aspect of traveling from place to place is done by “memorizing” phone-lines (think like Phoenix Wright just leaving areas to go to new ones, but only unlocked once somebody gave you directions or told you).
Story: The story is the main aspect of the game. After every chapter more questions arise the more you answer. Each character has a story and like all good stories they meet at one point in time, which caused the chain of events you are in now, that you forgot and wish to uncover.
Music: The music is mediocre at best, with the same track constantly playing…it’s a game you can skip hearing bland music and random noise-bits.
Graphics: Pretty smooth animation for a DS game (Inspector Canabela and his Michael Jackson tribute moves) and the art work is nice. You’ve seen better though.
Replayability: Not very high because I assume you would recognize most of the puzzles after replaying them. If you want to go for another round go ahead.
This is a game everyone can enjoy be it from its puzzles or amazing story. The only problem is the game is a little short but maybe that’s because you get so entranced by the story.
Michael Troina writes features and reviews Nintendo games for Analog Addiciton. When he’s not writing or playing games or sports, he’s out at his job at the Daily Bugle taking pictures as the web-slinger we all have come to love…either that or he’s getting sandwich saving one world at a time. Find him anywhere with this flavors.me/michaeltroina