Apollo Justice Ace Attorney was originally released in 2007 by Capcom for the Nintendo DS in Japan. This week, it debuted on iOS, remastered to take advantage of the iPhone’s and iPad’s touchscreens.
Apollo Justice is the fourth game in the Ace Attorney series. In the earlier games, which are available as a single iOS app, you play as attorney Phoenix Wright, but in Apollo Justice, Wright has been disbarred and accused of murder. Your job as Apollo Justice is to defend Wright at his trial.
This is not your typical courtroom drama. The storyline and flamboyant characters are bit bizarre. Consider this Capcom description of Apollo Justice's nemesis for instance:
Facing Apollo across the courtroom is the highly talented and flamboyant prosecutor Klavier Gavin who, in addition to being a legal genius, is also lead singer with Gavinners, a highly successful rock band with a string of hits to their name.
As odd as the backstory is at times, it's a quirkiness that works, adding a level of humor and intrigue that held my interest.
The story of the murder plays out in and out of the courtroom as you tap through the dialogue among the characters. At numerous points during the trial, you have the opportunity to press witnesses for additional information. Along the way, evidence is also gathered that you can examine. When you discover a contradiction between the testimony and evidence, you present it to the judge who decides whether you have advanced your client's case.
This isn't a realistic courtroom simulation game and the story is better for it. Instead, the trial is the conceit for exploring a mystery. You're challenged to think and examine details in a sort of interactive mystery novel. It's a format that you can play through in a leisurely, self-paced way that I enjoyed.
I didn't play the original Apollo Justice on the Nintendo DS. This is my first encounter with the game and the Phoenix Wright series. Comparing the iOS version to screenshots of the original, Capcom has done a great job updating Apollo for iOS, which should make the game a no-brainer for fans of the original series. But even if you are new to the franchise as I was, Apollo is worth a try at just $0.99 for the first half of episode 1 if you enjoy mysteries and puzzle-solving.
The first half of episode 1 of Apollo Justice is available on the App Store for $0.99. That's more game for your dollar than it sounds like and plenty to determine if you want to play through the rest of episode 1 and episodes 2-4. The remainder of episode 1 is $1.99 and episodes 2-4 are $4.99 each, or you can buy everything for $14.99.