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Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective

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GF Rating
8.1

687 ratings

Critic & User Reviews

GF Rating
8

Very Good

Interesting Game

posted by Celeina (PONCHATOULA, LA) Jan 31, 2011

Member since Jan 2011

2 out of 2 gamers (100%) found this review helpful

If you like action and adventure games that include fighting and boss battles, this is not a game for you. But if you enjoy a game that challenges your ability to think and figure out solutions then you'll definitely enjoy this one. It's the type of game you have to have the right personality for. You begin as a ghost who has lost his memories and start out on an adventure to find out who you are and why you were killed. Along the way you'll meet many people and use your 'ghost powers' to change their fates. It's an interesting game with plenty of mystery. If you can't solve the problem within the time limit clues are sometimes provided for you. Sometimes what you need to do isn't very obvious and requires a lot of thought, but I found the more you experiment on that level the clearer your objective becomes. And you can retry as many times as you like. It can get a bit repetitive because all you really do is solve puzzles to change a person's fate, but the storyline really draws you in. It does get confusing at times, and sometimes things don't make sense but it's still worth playing. The Save feature doesn't really save your spot, even if you save you'll still be starting over from the beginning of the stage. And I kind of disliked most of the character designs and personalities. But besides those two things I found it to be a pretty good game.

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GF Rating
7

Good

Ghost Trick, Not Cheap Trick

posted by IllogicalJ (BROOKLYN, NY) Jan 20, 2011

Top Reviewer

Member since May 2005

8 out of 9 gamers (89%) found this review helpful

A simplistic reminder of the old Sierra timing-based single-screen puzzle adventure series "Goblins," "Ghost Trick" is elevated on account of its colorful characters, entertaining story, and consistent world-building. Finding himself dead, Sissel must now interact with inanimate objects in an effort to save the lives of those around him -- and figure out exactly what happened to himself.

The cleverness and charm of the game is that Sissel is able to interact with recently deceased souls, traveling four minutes back in time with them in order to prevent their deaths and rewrite the "present." The result boils down to a lot of trial-and-error deaths in which you try to manipulate Rube Golberg[1] environments in the hopes of averting fate. Along the way, you'll also solve a mystery by traveling through phone lines from location to location, piecing together the overall puzzle whilst saving individual lives.

Each of the eighteen chapters has its own unique scenario, which keeps you on your toes, though the basic puzzle solving always comes back to the same key tools, some of which can be a bit frustrating (timing-wise). Thankfully, the game keeps tossing dialogue at you, keeping you entertained even when you choose poorly and have to rewind time yet again. It also takes itself pretty lightly: characters refer on the meta-level to other mystery novels ("the locked room" case) and start to take their own deaths lightly (being crushed by a giant chicken display).

Turns out that your enjoyment isn't just a trick: it's genuine. The only thing that would elevate this game would be a split-path system that required investigation beyond the individual death-trap scenarios. But hey, we'll leave that to the sequel, right?

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[1] Note: had to misspell Rube's last name because GameFly won't, for some reason, publish the correct spelling.

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GF Rating
9

Excellent

This original game makes for good old fun

posted by LemmyKoopa (MADISON, WI) Apr 1, 2011

Top Reviewer

Member since Jan 2011

4 out of 5 gamers (80%) found this review helpful

This mysterious puzzler is so much better than genre buddy "Nine Persons...". By my calculations Ghost Trick is about five points better than that one. So taking the average score for 999, that would give Ghost Trick about a 13 out of 10. Woo!

The number one reason why this game is so much better is that it feels like a stinkin' game! 999 had so many walls of text; Ghost has some wordy spots as well, but it doesn't feel like a novel anywhere near as much and really keeps things moving, with puzzles interspersed much more evenly. As for the story itself, I think 999 starts more interesting as you are driven to save your own life, whereas in Ghost you're already dead from the start. But as Ghost moves along I think it gets much more interesting, and is far more satisfying in the end.

I found the puzzles in Ghost Trick to be very clever. Your options of where to go and what you can do are limited so you'd think the answers would have to be pretty straightforward, but in fact they manage to be hidden just well enough to add a good challenge. The game design is well done in giving you good direction without spelling out the solution, and in keeping you from having to replay too much should you fall short.

The art direction is excellent and animation really brings the caper to life even though your own character is dearly departed. The soundtrack is nothing super but does an adequate job of highlighting the suspenseful moments, and the sound effects are good. A large cast of eccentric characters (to put it mildly) really keeps things moving.

999 certainly does better in the replay department, with its multiple endings. There's little reason to replay Ghost Trick. But I'd rather get one satisfying ending than have to replay large chunks of a game to get a bunch of bittersweet ones. I came away from Ghost Trick feeling great! I would love to see another game like this.

If you enjoy a good mystery and are a fan of puzzles, this is the game for you.

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