Ghost Trick Phantom Detective review

Gamers are used to dying when playing through most games but Ghost Trick is different as you start off already dead. It’s an interesting concept as you play through the game as the blue spirit of a guy called Sissel as you possess objects, try to save people’s lives and also find out who killed you and why. Using the stylus or the d-pad you switch into ‘ghost’ mode to move from object to object and then press the ‘trick’ button and interact with them to move about the scene and distract people.

For example you can open doors and make instruments play on their own accord to distract an assassin to give the victim a chance to escape. You’ll also need to manipulate objects so you can get from A to B. It really is a lot of fun as you need to work out the order in which to do things and also time your interactions well to get further into the game.

It would be possible for the game to get a bit too dark what with watching people die and then you going back in time by 4 minutes to stop the unfortunate events from happening again. It’s good then that the graphics and dialogue have a lighter tone and make the game more like an interactive cartoon.

It’s certainly a concept I’ve never seen before – you can even talk directly with people and animals by jumping into their cores to find out more information. Puzzles also have a bit of a ‘trial and error’ feel about them as you try to do things in the right order. For example you may only have one chance at making a donut fall in the right direction from a bowl. Get it wrong and you’ll have to go back to the last checkpoint and work out how to do it properly. Some people may not like this but I didn’t find it too grating replaying these short sections again.

My only gripe is that there’s not much variety to the game. New abilities and actions only seem to appear towards the end of the game and it would have been nice to feel more progression in the middle sections. Still, Ghost Trick is one of the most original puzzle games on the DS and is a lot of fun to play so it gets an almost perfect 9 out of 10.

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