Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective Review

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective Review
The OMG Review
Our review format is not your usual fare and we’ve broken it down into 3 very simple ratings!

“Buy it!” means that the game deserves a place in your collection. Be it day 1 or a slightly delayed purchase, it’s hard to go wrong with this title. In numbers, this is around an 8/10 and above.

“Wait for it…” means that while the game is good, it probably isn’t worth it at its day 1 price point. We suggest you wait for a sale before jumping in. In numbers, this is around a 5 – 7/10.

“Ignore it!” means that the game is not something we’d recommend playing, whether it be now or in the near future. Maybe ever. Let’s not even go to the numbers for this one.

Sneak Peek
  • Release Date: June 30, 2023
  • Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch
  • Genre: Puzzle Adventure
  • Similar Games:
  • Price: starts at $29.99

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective is a unique puzzle game that I assume many will not know of if it weren’t for this 2023 remaster. First released in the Nintendo DS in 2010 in Japan and in 2011 in the West, this quirky title may have slipped under the radar of most gamers, including myself. I’ll admit that while I’ve heard of it, I haven’t played the original, so my partner definitely hyped up this one for me enough to make a review.

After playing it, I’d have to say that I’m glad that I discovered one of Capcom’s hidden gems. The gameplay may be familiar to players of the Ace Attorney games as the development and writing were spearheaded by Shu Takumi, the creator of the said franchise. Talk about a potent combination that really makes the game shine and is easily one title that fans of the genre should not miss out on.

In Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, you play as a ghost (it’s literally the title!), and you’ve only been dead for a few hours but you don’t know why you’re dead. With a help of a lamp (sort of), you learn that you have powers called “tricks” that allow you to possess other objects and manipulate them, as well as turn back time for four minutes. This allows you to change the present, affecting certain events such as saving the lives of people and pets, that get entangled in the mystery of your death.

That’s a pretty interesting and intriguing premise and is really one of the things that make Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective as great as it is. One other thing though, is that the remaster has done wonders for the game. Everything about it “pops” – from the character models to the items you can jump into, everything looks clean and with bright primary colors abound.

Comparing it to its DS counterpart, this is the area where this iteration of the game has improved the most and it feels like playing a cartoon at times. Not only will the story and gameplay absorb you, but it also really helps that Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective is quite the looker as well.

ghost trick phantom detective screenshot 1

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective isn’t a slouch in its gameplay either as it is highly unique. Jumping from one item to another lends itself well to modern sensibilities, making for a decent playthrough. However, its past as a DS game shows in this aspect as playing with a pen made more sense.

Despite its foundations as a puzzle game, the overall experience was quite unique and interesting as well. Figuring out which item to manipulate in order to reach the goal and seeing how everything plays out afterward is highly satisfying, and the varied puzzles are a joy to solve because they are imaginative.

However, there were times that this game felt more like a visual novel/puzzle hybrid, almost leaning heavily towards the former than the latter. It’s a good thing, then, that the story was captivating enough that the desire to see what happens next was enough reason to sit through the cutscenes, otherwise, Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective could have been a drag throughout its 12-hour runtime.

Adding to the overall experience is the audio, and while not as good as the other elements, it was serviceable. The tunes are interesting enough that the music never got tired repetitive or annoying, and each of the characters was made more interesting because of it.

That said, given how cartoon-like the visuals are in Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, some voicework would have elevated the game. The DS had its obvious limitations but given that this was remastered for newer consoles, it would have been much appreciated to have gone the extra mile and added this feature.

As expected from a remaster, Capcom has also treated fans of Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective with some extras that give this package more value that really drives it home. Apart from the stunning 4K remaster, we get a gallery featuring all of the amazing art, a music player of sorts, a more. Despite this, the font size is certainly a remnant of its DS past, so I wished that this would have been modernized too.

It’s also quite puzzling that the game doesn’t come with 16:9 compatibility, but it looks like a design choice more than anything at this point. Although, you can change the designs on the side borders, so that’s at least something else that players can tinker around with to personalize their experience.

What we liked:

  • Charming visual style and captivating storyline
  • Puzzles are engaging and satisfying to solve
  • Spot-on remaster of a classic title

What we didn’t like:

  • Audio is good but not memorable
  • Would have been nice to get some form of voice acting
  • No 16:9 compatibility

Verdict: Buy it!


Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective is a highly enjoyable experience that I’m glad Capcom deemed fit to release for modern audiences. It’s charming and unique, and the story is written well enough to keep you captivated throughout your playthrough.

This game is perfect for gamers who are looking for a break between long open-world games, and with so many of these grand and high-budget titles that have either been recently released or are coming soon, this Capcom classic is something that we would not recommend skipping.

*Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective was reviewed on a PC with a review code provided by the publisher.

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