Ghost Trick Review (iOS) -- That'll Do the Trick

Paranormal shenanigans and strange storytelling help Capcom's iOS port excel.

When Ghost Trick came out last year for Nintendo DS, it introduced a great, quirky little mystery that stepped aside from the norm, mainly because the main character was the person whose death was being investigated. What followed were plenty of touch-screen shenanigans, along with interesting gameplay elements and an art style belovingly conjured by Phoenix Wright creator Shu Takumi.  But at $30, not many people were willing to take such a leap of faith on the game.  Perhaps they will for $10, now that Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective has landed on iPad and iPhone.

The story remains the same, for the most part.  You're Sissel, a funky little detective type who finds himself killed by an assassin's bullet.  Rather than moving on to the afterlife, though, you're guided by a fellow celestial spirit to help out others and perhaps even get a few answers in regards to your death.  To do this, you'll have to keep a close eye on the female detective who witnessed your murder, and keep her out of harm's way as she's tracked by a hitman and other dangerous types.

Now, of course, you're dead, so you can smack someone around with another physical body.  But using Ghost Tricks, you can manipulate objects that are within the reach of your soul.  Simply switch over to the "ghost world" (with the press of a button), find the nearest object, and then use "Trick" to bring them to life.  These can be distractionary measures (like a guitar strumming or a tune), or something more effective when it comes to stopping a gunman from moving in for the kill.

But perhaps Sissel's most important ability is time rewind.  For a few precious moments throughout the game, you're able to rewind events going back four minutes, giving you a limited amount of time to move between objects and change the future, such as keeping that female detective from having a fateful meeting with a hitman's bullet.  Moving between objects is tricky at first, but learning to manipulate them and expand your reach with your soul is part of the fun.  Plus, if you don't get it right on the first run, you're welcome to try again.