The game is similar to previous entries. The game switches between examination and investigation. Unlike previous entries, when presenting evidence, players will regularly be required to point out the contradiction on the piece of evidence specifically using the touchscreen. In investigation portions, the game introduces fingerprint dusting which using the touchscreen to rotate and dust a piece of evidence.
The game features the following main characters
The game is split into 4 episodes, each focusing on a certain case.
In Apollo's first trial, Apollo Justice, who is assisted by his boss Kristoph Gavin, must defend a now disbarred Phoenix Wright on the charge of murdering a man named Shadi Smith during a game of poker.
After Kristoph was arrested for Shadi's murder in the previous case, Apollo comes to work for Phoenix at the Wright Anything Agency. Soon he has to investigate three minor crimes that seemingly have no relation to each other, but are later revealed to be connected to a murder. When Apollo takes the case of the defendant, a gangster named Wocky Kitaki, he will be up against Klavier Gavin, the younger brother of his former boss, at the prosecution bench.
Apollo and Trucy Wright go see a concert by the Gavinners, a band owned by Klavier. But when a murder occurs there, Apollo must defend Machi Tobaye, a 14-year old pianist from the country of Borginia, for the crime.
The truths of the case that caused Phoenix to be disbarred and another one involving the murder of artist Drew Misham must be brought to light.
After its release in Japan, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney received a lot of praise, with Famitsu giving it a score of 9/9/9/9 (36/40). According to Media-Create, it also sold around 250,000 copies during its first week of retail. Six weeks after its release, it was announced by Capcom that 500,000 copies had been shipped, which accounted for 25% of the series' two million units worldwide.