Ghost Trick review
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Ghost Trick review

Our Review by Campbell Bird on April 18th, 2024
Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: RETURN FROM THE DEAD
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This aging cult classic gets a shiny new remaster on iOS.

Developer: CAPCOM

Price: Free
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad Pro

Graphics/Sound Rating: starstarstarstarstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

Ghost Trick is a cult classic game for a few very good reasons. It's a one-off release by the creator of the Ace Attorney series that only released on Nintendo DS back in 2010, which was pretty late into that device's life cycle. Beloved as it may be, it's not a huge surprise to reveal that it didn't perform well sales-wise back then, but at least Capcom knows that the game captured enough hearts that it was worth remastering. This new release of Ghost Trick looks and plays great, and--although it has some of the same pain points of the original release--is well worth playing for its unique sense of style and charm.

Ghost game

Ghost Trick is a bit of a critical darling, so I won't spend too much time in this review belaboring how it works or what it's about. What's important to know for this remaster is that it takes advantage of being on upgraded hardware by looking extremely sharp and running at a smooth and stable frame rate.

As for the gameplay, using a finger in place of the stylus works exactly like you'd expect, and there's nothing so demanding design-wise that having higher fidelity touch is necessary. The only mild annoyance I came across while playing this version is that taps to advance dialog occasionally would register as a swipe input and pull up the game's dialog history instead.

Sample specter

The iOS version of Ghost Trick is a free-to-start title, which gives you a surprisingly lengthy chunk of game to play to decide if it is for you or not. You play through multiple puzzle sequences in their entirety and get enough story to get a sense of what the overall plot will end up being. Very few things past this paid point end up being all that surprising, but it is nice that Capcom has decided to really let players get a feel for the game before deciding whether to fork over a whopping $29.99 for the full experience.

Aside from the main story, Ghost Trick has a few special features like illustrations, notes, and music from the game you can browse/listen to, as well as a "Ghost Puzzle" minigame that is simply an animated jigsaw puzzle of several scenes from the game. These aren't terribly exciting add-ons in my opinion, but the core game is more than worth the asking price alone.

Old soul

The last thing to talk about now is probably just how Ghost Trick feels to play in 2024. The short version is: pretty good! It's definitely easy to peg it as an older title, but its look and gameplay are still so incredibly distinct and charismatic. In almost 15 years since its release, I don't think anything has measured up or even made the attempt to do things that Ghost Trick does.

My only caveat with the experience is that some of the game's puzzles are not all that fun to figure out. Deep into Ghost Trick as the challenges get more complex, there are times when the way to avert someone's fate with your ghost powers is--let's say--less than clear. This can lead to quite a bit of trial and error, with errors kicking you back to the beginning of a sequence. Luckily, there's a menu option in-game that lets you fast-forward through dialog to make these sections feel less tedious, but it can still grow tiresome to just experiment until you happen upon some obtuse solution to move the story forward.

The bottom line

Ghost Trick is a charming and unique puzzle adventure experience, and I'm not sure there's anything else out there quite like it. It's certainly not the smoothest play (especially these days), but this remaster definitely adds enough shine to make it worth picking up on iOS.

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