Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney

Common Sense Media says

Best in text-driven, courtroom drama series on DS.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Some gambling -- a man is killed while playing poker.


Each case involves a murder. Murder victims are depicted in flashbacks and photos with the occasional blood stains.


Some mild innuendo like a sleazy doctor making fondling gestures at a 15-year-old girl. There's a running joke about panties.

Not applicable

This is the 4th title in the Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney series.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that like the earlier games in this series, this game will expose players to mature topics like murder (by shooting and poisoning), crime scenes, and the odd blood-stain in photographs. Nothing is overly graphic thanks to a cartoonish and tasteful art style. The game is text-driven and requires above average reading and comprehension skills to fully appreciate the game.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

Capcom has shaken things up with the fourth game in its Ace Attorney courtroom simulation series, which is set about seven years after Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations. Defense lawyer Phoenix has been stripped of his attorney status for reasons that aren't immediately clear, and players step into the shoes of 22-year-old rookie lawyer Apollo Justice.

The dialogue-heavy, menu-driven game spans four cases divided into the investigation phase -- where players interview witnesses, gather evidence, and search the crime scene -- and the courtroom phase where testimony is heard and evidence is presented.

Is it any good?


Designed from the ground up for the Nintendo DS (unlike the first three games which were ports of Japanese Game Boy Advance titles), APOLLO JUSTICE: ACE ATTORNEY boasts significantly better audio quality and crisper graphics. You can now explore crime scenes in 3D, rotate and zoom in on pieces of evidence, lift fingerprints and bootprints, and use Apollo's special powers of perception in court to tell if a person is lying through body language.

It's best to think of the Ace Attorney games as serialized novels, so if you haven't played the first three games, chances are you'll be rather lost amongst all the in-jokes and references to past characters and events. Nonetheless, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney is as polished, intriguing, and entertaining as its predecessors.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the similarities between this type of text-driven game and a book or TV show. Which medium does the best job of telling a story? The character of Apollo can tell when someone is lying -- have you ever been able to do that?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DS
Available online?Not available online
Release date:February 19, 2008
ESRB rating:T for Mild Blood, Suggestive Themes, Violent References (Nintendo DS)

This review of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney was written by

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About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 11 years old April 11, 2011
This is a perfect and fun game for bright kids, it does not have much educational value and requires kids to use what they already know, but it is a puzzle game and may inspire the children to become a lawyer or writer, the game is simpler than an actual court, phoenix wright is a good role model, but all the cases are of murder, and there are a few d**ms in it.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Educational value
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written bydr duck August 15, 2010

Smart game plays as a game, seems like a book

The game is violent at points but in the end the whole message is you never get away with crime. Some salty language.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written byPokeloverz April 9, 2010
The game is genius. Apart from your regular hand-to-hand combat games, you think your way through tough cases and help justice prevail every time for good or for bad. User-friendly commands are simple enough for a 6 year old to play too~ I sound like a walking advertisement don't I? Well, the game is that good so think about playing it okay?
What other families should know
Too much violence


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