Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations

Common Sense Media says

Compelling courtroom drama promotes reading.





What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable

Occasional pools of blood or a blood stain will be seen in flashbacks of witnesses' testimony or in photos of the crime scene. Crimes like murder are discussed in court, including exploring characters' motives for committing them. No violence is actually enacted by the player.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that because the game takes place in a courtroom and deals with crime as its subject matter, players will be exposed to mature topics including death (by electrocution), theft, assault, poisoning, and jail. Due to the game's anime cartoon style, none of these are rendered especially graphically. Fairly advanced reading and reasoning skills are essential to fully grasp the nuances of the game's dialog and to pick up on important clues to solve the case.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

PHOENIX WRIGHT ACE ATTORNEY: TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS is the third game in Capcom's popular courtroom simulation series starring defense lawyer Phoenix Wright. In Trials and Tribulations, Phoenix has five new cases to solve as he attempts to prove the innocence of his falsely accused clients. In the investigation phase, Phoenix and his team gather evidence and background information by speaking to witnesses and searching the crime scene for clues (achieved by tapping objects of interest with the stylus). In the trial stage you listen to witnesses' testimony and can press for more information, cross-examine, or present evidence in order to strengthen your case.

Extremely well-suited to the Nintendo DS, the Phoenix Wright series eschews traditional video game action sequences in favor of a completely menu-driven system in which players use the DS stylus to engage characters in conversation, investigate crime scenes, collect and present evidence, and finally present a case before the judge.

Is it any good?


This game isn't the best entry point into the Phoenix Wright series, since it makes a lot of references to events and characters that have appeared in past games. If you're already familiar with the series, however, Trials and Tribulations delivers more of the same investigative problem-solving and dramatic courtroom scenes that you've grown to love.

Trials and Tribulations is as compelling as any TV courtroom drama, provided you don't mind scrolling through the endless dialog boxes that make up the game's narrative -- or starting over again at the beginning of the trial if you make too many mistakes along the way, such as presenting the wrong evidence or asking the wrong question. Players can get even further into the spirit by shouting "Objection!" or "Hold it!" into the DS microphone at the appropriate moment (instead of just tapping the appropriate dialog box with the stylus). In short, Trials and Tribulations lives up to the Phoenix Wright moniker by delivering another satisfying courtroom adventure that emphasizes reading and problem-solving.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether they enjoy games driven completely by dialog and clicking through menus or whether they would have preferred some action elements as well. In what ways does the game introduce conflict without resorting to combat? If you could be a lawyer, would you choose the prosecution or the defense?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DS
Available online?Not available online
Release date:October 23, 2007
ESRB rating:T for Mild Blood, Mild Violence (Nintendo DS)

This review of Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations was written by

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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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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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, okay 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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Teen, 16 years old Written bySpectral_Timerunner April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

Hold It!

Have you played this game? Then open a new window to the Internet and buy the first one from eBay RIGHT NOW! The Ace Attorney series is a work of genius, and this game is the culmination of every other before it. Players will indeed be lost without having played the first two. But, Phoenix's epic, funny, touching journey makes for excellent gaming, and the satisfaction one gets from presenting a particularly powerful point is undercut by great music and sound. I cannot recommend it enough.
Written byAnonymous December 3, 2011

Make sure to have a MATURE pre-teen play this

Well, I'm gonna review the wiiware version even though this is the DS version. Ok, so there isn't much to worry about language wise, a few hells and dam**t's. Then, also, pretty much all of the woman in the game are like what you would find in a japanese T-rated game. All of them are supper skinny, and most of them have very low-cut shirts. Also, there are some who use their prettiness against other players. There is blood. I would trust a pre-teen girl to play this, but because of the... um... not so modest woman in the game, I suggest waiting for the a 14th birthday for a guy.
Kid, 12 years old October 1, 2009


This game is a great for ppl who want 2 become a lawyer and there is perivous series 2
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models


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