LEGO Harry Potter : Years 1-4  - Review

LEGO Harry Potter : Years 1-4
Rating: E-10+ - Everyone 10+

The great thing about the LEGO series of games is that LEGO blocks don't make blood. We think about things like, "what is violence", and where do fights, battles, and acts against cartoon victims cross into violence? Having reviewed many of the LEGO titles, we have been aware of the "softness" in them and do not put them in the violent category.

The game covers the first four books: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The promos for this game have been going on for a long time. It is so nice not to be disappointed. It is a great game - a splendid gift for the Hogwarts gang. There is a familiarity to the setup and game play that I found kids enjoy. It empowers them and lets them use their previously acquired expertise. The Leaky Caldron is the hub, studs are still the Coin Of The Realm, and from then it's "Go, Harry Potter, Go!"

There are potions and spells for every occasion. There will be favorites, one involving frogs, the other, changing Malfoy into a rat. Polyjuice potions found everywhere allow players to change into other characters with different skills. There is a problem with the spell/potion selector. I don't think the designers actually thought that kids would care enough to get ALL of the spells, and so the spell circle is terribly engineered. There is not enough room on the spell circle so they have to be stacked. You have to step through all the spells on the wheel before you can get to the one you want. They should have used the procedure from Ratchet and Clank with multiple disks. On the other hand, in deference to younger folk, casting spells has been simplified by using the square button - the spell discharged will be the most appropriate one for that situation.

The environments are chock full of items from the book which will delight readers. Bashing everything in sight, casting spells and mixing potions are the baseline activities - going to classes, playing flying broomsticks, sneaking into the different commons and fighting off Voldemort and his minions are only some of the endless things to do in Hogwarts.

Kid gamers are picking up some of the techniques of the more experienced gamers. They first rip through the game and thensettle back to pick up all extra stuff. My grandson, age 6 finished the first pass in three days - about 12 hours on his summer break. Picking up the extras will take a while, there are over 170 characters, thatís not counting spells and potions. As in the previous games, drop-in and drop-out easily allows dual play with split screen. The game appears on every computer, console and handheld.

There is so much that is good about it - it's a labor of love. If you hear a child summoning Wingardium Leviosa, you will know what game they have been playing.

Fun Factor: One of the best.
Female Factor: There is always Hermione to count on.
Player Friendly: Automatic saves, decent manual. A dictionary of all the spells would have been nice.

Reviewed by: Editor - Jul/10

  • LEGO Harry Potter : Years 1-4
  • © Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment
  • Platform(s): DS ALL Game Platforms
  • To Order: XBox360 $46.99