That's just the beginning of the weirdness in Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, a delightful little puzzle game I just finished playing on my Nintendo DS. You play as a ghost capable of jumping short distances from one inanimate object to other, with the ability to activate some of them. For example, you can jump into a desk lamp and make it swivel, causing it to hit a ball, then jump into the ball as it rolls away to take you to other objects you can inhabit.
You are a new ghost and have no memory of who you are or what caused your death. So you hop from one location to the other (you can even travel via phone lines), searching for clues and interacting with other ghosts. It turns out to be a pretty deadly night with people getting killed left and right, so you talk to their ghosts and even travel back in time to just before their deaths and use your ghostly abilities to save them.
The game starts out easy with a lot of hand-holding, but eventually the puzzles become quite convoluted and challenging. There were several times when I thought I'd need a walkthrough, but I was able to do without one. You may get stuck at times, but you'll eventually stumble upon something you didn't realize you could use.
The writing is good and the conversations are quite funny, with no shortage of bizarre characters. The character animation is some of the best I've seen in any game, so fluid and full of personality. It is not only fun to watch, but it helps things stand out that you might have otherwise missed.
As wacky as the puzzles are, it's disappointing that you never get to build a Rube Goldberg machine. There is a Rube Goldberg device in the game, but you only get to interrupt it, not make it. The game is fairly lengthy and drags a bit in the middle act, delivering just a little bit of story after each puzzle set. The ending is absolutely crazy with twists and reveals, more convoluted than any puzzle the game threw at you. Good music rounds out the package.
I don't consider the game a must-play, but I think just about anyone would enjoy it. Give it a shot if you're looking for something odd and unique.
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