E3 2010

E3 2010: Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective Hands-On

| 17 Jun 2010 19:09

Yeah, you're dead - but so what? You have bigger problems to deal with.

Ghost Trick begins by presenting you with a unique problem: You're dead, killed by the Near Sighted Assassin. That might be tolerable if at least you knew why someone wanted you dead, but you can't even remember who you are, let alone who might want to kill you. You've got until sunrise to solve the mystery, but first you're going to have to figure out how to deal with the small problem of not being alive.

Ghost Trick for the DS is, in essence, a physics-based puzzle game. Your body is lying in a heap, but your spirit can possess inanimate objects and manipulate them in the real world. When in the Ghost World, you can see your soul, which is a glowing blue ball, and the objects that you can inhabit. To possess an object, all you have to do is use the stylus to drag your soul to the object you want to take over, but there's a small catch - you can only move so far. To reach your desired location, you'll have to navigate a chain of objects, moving from one to the other until you reach your goal.

You'll also have to interact with certain objects by using your Tricks. Perform a trick on a spare bed, for example, and it will unfold to extend your reach. I only got to play a short demo, which was just a basic tutorial, but it was easy to see how the puzzles could become more complex and intricate with the addition of more and more Trickable objects.

The puzzles of Ghost Trick are very appealing, but what really makes it special is its sense of humor. Yes, you're dead, but that's no reason to be grim, right? The games comes from the producers of Phoenix Wright and carries their trademark tongue-in-cheek style - the guy who killed you, for example, is the best assassin in the world, except for the fact that he can't see further than five feet in front him. The art is also quite slick and stylish, with smooth animations and a vibrant use of color.

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective looks to be a fun twist on puzzle solving. I'm looking forward to finding out who killed me.

Keep track of all our E3 2010 coverage here.

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