The man behind Capcom's oddly addictive Ace Attorney games has a new DS title up his sleeve that has you possessing objects to manipulate and trick your way through plot-heavy puzzles.
Ghost Trick Phantom Detective kicks off with the main character dying. Moments later, fortunately for him and the player, he returns as a ghost with no memory of how or why he was murdered. The rest of the game is about trying to use his new-found ghost powers to track down the murderer and his identity.
While playing around with the game last week, I was able to try out two of Sissel's powers. The most used one was his ability to tap on glowing objects and possess them. In the game, spirits can only travel by jumping between nearby objects, so a bulk of the objects you move between are essentially just passive hosts. But there are also plenty of objects that you can possess and manipulate. That's what puts the trick in Ghost Trick.
In the section I played, a woman was being chased by a nearsighted assassin with a shotgun. To save her life I first possessed different objects to distract him, allowing her to flee. Later, I ended up taking the assassin out by taking control of some construction equipment.
The other game mechanic I was able to test out allowed me to rewind time by four minutes, using the short jump back in time to correct a gameplay mistake I made.
The notion of manipulating the world around you, rather than the living characters, is not a totally unique gameplay concept, but I love the way Ghost Trick explores it. You've also got to live the fanciful art style of the game.
Look for Ghost Trick to hit the DS this winter.