A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Kids can learn logical, analytical thinking and will get plenty of practice reading in this smart series of interactive courtroom battles. The narrative plays out via thousands of short blocks of text that players must read critically, not only to understand the story but also to discover whether people are lying or their statements contain useful information. They'll apply this information by pressing witnesses when they think there may be an inconsistency in testimony and use it again when they point out what those contradictions are. By doing this, players craft arguments that help prove their case. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy gets kids reading and pushes them toward critical thought.
Have confidence in yourself and your abilities. Crime results in punishment. Pay attention to details, and trust your friends.
Positive Role Models
Phoenix uses wits rather than brawn to outsmart opposing lawyers and draw facts from witnesses. He's interested in seeing justice done, wanting the innocent exonerated and the guilty punished.
Ease of Play
Cases can be challenging if you don't pay close attention to text dialogue. Trial sequences restart when you make too many mistakes, which can be frustrating.
Violence & Scariness
Players investigate violent crimes, including murders. Cartoonish images of dead bodies, bloodied weapons, and pools of blood.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some female characters dress provocatively, occasionally exposing deep cleavage. Some sexual innuendo in dialogue.
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Products & Purchases
Stars a popular character who has several games, franchise crossovers, and paraphernalia available both online and in retail stores.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters occasionally smoke.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy is a downloadable text-driven legal drama for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo 3DS, and Windows PCs. This collection combines three older games into one. It stars a young, clever lawyer who relies on his smarts rather his fists and truly wants to see justice served. Cases frequently deal with murder and show depictions of dead bodies and bloodied murder weapons, but it's all presented in bright cartoon colors. As a result, the violence isn't nearly as grisly or dark as most TV and movie courtroom dramas. The game encourages kids to read thoroughly and critically, lest they risk making mistakes and being forced to restart trials, which can be frustrating. Some characters occasionally smoke. Some female characters dress revealingly, and there's a bit of sexual innuendo.
Is It Any Good?
Aside from spruced-up graphics, there's nothing too surprising to be found in this collection of text-driven games, the oldest of which dates back to 2005 (or 2001 in the series' native Japan). The characters and storytelling still have that distinctive Japanese flavor that most Western players either quickly or never warm to, and legal cases play out the same way they always have. That limits this game's appeal to older players who've already worked through them and those who grow easily frustrated with the trial-and-error nature of these games' courtroom conversations.
But it could prove a delight for older tweens and teens who were too young to have played the original Phoenix Wright games when they first arrived. The courtroom battles remain dramatic and interesting, and methods that Phoenix comes up with to prove his cases remain as clever and satisfying as they ever were -- as long as you don't mind indulging the shenanigans he often gets away with, such as surprise witnesses and unexpected physical evidence. Still, there's no denying that the series remains an island of intellect in a sea of games that continue to rely primarily on combat and violence to solve protagonists' problems. Plus, the chance to get three games for the price of one is enticing.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.