In many ways Ghost Trick feels more like an interactive story than a game, but it has just enough actual gameplay to keep you entertained between the plot developments. Capcom did a fantastic job of mixing puzzle-based gameplay with a real story in a way that feels fresh.
It’s not your standard point and click adventure game, but in many ways, it plays like one.
The best way to describe the gameplay in Ghost Trick is to call it a puzzle game, but that does not do it justice. You play as a ghost who has just recently passed away. You are able to posses inanimate objects in the world and manipulate them to change what is happening in the world of the living. This is accomplished through the use of “ghost tricks” hence the name of the game.
Ghost Trick wastes no time in introducing these concepts and at the very beginning you are told to posses a crossing bar. Once you move your spirit to it, you can cause it swing up, which has an effect on what is happening in the world of the living.
All throughout the game, you are possessing objects and manipulating them to save the lives of other characters and this gives the puzzle gameplay a real sense of purpose and weight. Instead of solving puzzles simply because the game tells you to, you are doing it to save lives, all with the ultimate goal of advancing the story to find out why you were killed in the first place.
When not flipping between the ghost world and the world of the living, you are watching the story play out. Much of the game is spent watching the story, and that’s a good thing. Ideally you will enjoy a game that is heavy on story to like Ghost Trick, but let’s be honest who does not enjoy a well-crafted story that plays out before their very eyes?
There is more to the gameplay which also incorporates time travel and moving through large spans of the world, but I don’t want to go into more detail as it will spoil it. Much of the enjoyment from this game comes from learning as you go.
Audio & Visuals
The graphics and sound in Ghost Trick are absolutely superb. The hand-drawn art style is perfectly suited to this type of game, and the view of the game shifts dramatically between the real world and the ghost world. The character design is sharp, and each of the new worlds and levels feels fresh and different from the last. Quite simply, Ghost Trick looks stunning.
The music is catchy, without being annoying. The sound effects are sparse in a good way. When something in the game makes a sound, it draws your focus immediately, and it helps keep the game’s dramatic overtones alive and kicking. It’s just another example of how much care went into creating Ghost Trick. No detail was left unperfected, sound included.
The game comes with the first two chapters free, and depending how adept you are at solving the puzzles, this should take you no more than a few hours to play through. Individual packs of levels can be purchased for $4.99 each, or as a package deal for $9.99. Depending on how much the story grabs you, the extra chapters are well worth the cost.
Even if you don’t elect to buy the additional chapters (it will be hard not to as the story is going to hook you in), there is still a good amount of enjoyment to be had just from the free portion of the game. It’s not the longest game on iOS by any means, and there is not much reason to come back to the game after you complete it but the quality is there, so it certainly gets a pass.
Seriously, I cannot recommend Ghost Trick enough. It is easily one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve ever had playing a game on iOS. The story is fantastic, and the gameplay is frantic enough to add to the suspense the story brings. It’s free on the App Store with in-app purchases for more chapters, so there really is no reason not to download this game. I promise, you will not regret it.