Ghost Trick Review: A Supernatural Puzzle Solver Worth Reviving
Ghost Trick distinguishes itself as one of the most unique games I’ve recently come across. It harkens back to a golden era of gaming when handheld devices were as popular as mainstream consoles. During this time, Capcom was on a roll with their handheld-exclusive games, and Shu Takumi, the creator of “Ace Attorney,” successfully established a new IP with Ghost Trick.
The premise of Ghost Trick is simple. As the player, you assume the role of a supernatural entity (a ghost) capable of possessing objects in your environment. Your primary objective is to unravel the mystery of your murder. Intriguing, isn’t it?
The game starts on a high note, setting up the prologue immediately after the death of the main character, Sissel. It raises questions like, who is he? Why is he dead, and what’s the deal with his peculiar hairstyle? The game begins with a girl threatened by an apparent assassin, and our initial task is to save her. This is the brilliance of Ghost Trick – it immerses us directly into the heart of the game without delay.
Ghost Trick is not an expansive game, and it follows a linear path. While it tries to create an illusion of multiple paths and choices, the storyline primarily revolves around figuring out how to solve specific puzzles or navigate situations. This involves manipulating objects and hopping from one to another to achieve our main goal in each level of Ghost Trick.
Sissel is a captivating character, and the game is filled with an engaging cast. It uses clever humor and witty dialogue to keep us entertained, a feature not common in most visual novels. If you appreciate the humor in Ace Attorney, this game will appeal to you. The writing is ingenious, and Sissel encounters many fascinating characters throughout the main story, including a charming dog. These characters enhance key moments in the game with their exceptional performances, making Ghost Trick a unique experience.
As a ghost, Sissel can possess inanimate objects, some of which can perform a single action leading to environmental changes or event alterations. Sissel can also travel back in time and attempt to change event outcomes through his ghost tricks. His limitations are evident as the ability to jump between objects is restricted by their range, so you must forge a path using various means, each involving your ghost tricks on the objects.
I won’t spoil the story of Ghost Trick, but it evolves from a simple murder mystery into something entirely different, and it’s a narrative worth exploring at least once. The game keeps us guessing about upcoming events, and its suspense and mystery are so captivating that it’s hard to put the controller down. However, it’s not a lengthy game, and its linearity means that replay value is limited. The story follows a simple trajectory, and while puzzles sometimes offer multiple solutions, they are fun to decipher.
Most of Ghost Trick’s gameplay revolves around solving environmental puzzles, accompanied by plenty of text to read. It’s primarily a visual novel, so the abundance of text is expected, but the point-and-click aspect of the game is also well-executed, and the puzzles are genuinely ingenious. The copious amount of text isn’t a downside considering the writing is top-notch and the jokes land unless you have a dead sense of humor.
Regarding this remaster, it was a delightful surprise. Given that the game was initially released on a dual-screen handheld device like the Nintendo DS, the absence of it might have been a disadvantage, but it never feels that way. The visuals are entirely retouched, and it feels as if the game was originally designed for HD screens rather than low-resolution DS screens. The PS4 version of the game also runs at 60 FPS, ensuring good performance even though this game didn’t necessarily require it. Overall, the polished visuals, revamped UI, and quality-of-life improvements make Ghost Trick feel like a modern game rather than one that’s over a decade old. It’s somewhat akin to the Ace Attorney re-releases, with Capcom having thoroughly overhauled every aspect of the game.
Ghost Trick Game Information
- Price: $29.99
- Publisher: Capcom
- Developer: Capcom
- Platform: PS4 (Reviewed)
- Disclaimer: A review code was given by the publisher