LEGO Harry Potter joins the fun and exciting series of games with a new story for you to become part of, with new adventures and mini games. Released by Warner Brothers Interactive in 2010 a world was created allowing players to join and play as the characters we have grown to know and love throughout the years. The game was produced by Travellers Tales established in 2005, then acquired by Warner Brothers in 2007.
The aim is to progress through the levels and years of the game as well as to collect wizard hats, picture cards and red Lego blocks throughout each level. There are four years in total each containing a numerous amount of levels to complete.
The four years take the player through the life and experiences of Harry Potter, his friends and his enemies. The story is based on the books and films, but those who are familiar with these will notice the differences and changes. Year one takes you through the beginnings of becoming a wizard, the process of buying your essentials for school and meeting new characters. The following three years allow you to learn new spells, which in turn enables you to progress further in the game.
When you first start the game you are only able to play levels which have been unlocked with specific characters, by this I mean the story has to be followed in order to open the next level/year. However, you are able to replay a level in which you have unlocked at any point in the game by entering the room of requirements. Doing this enables you to find more wizard hats, red bricks, picture cards and coins. Not everything is found during the first run, through as spells from later years need to be learnt first (If an object is blue you are able to interact, if it is red you cannot), giving the game replay value.
Throughout each level picture cards and Golden hats can be found, either by performing specific tasks, participating in quests or by using spells. Picture Cards allow you to unlock characters; some of which are needed for specific tasks, e.g. Hagrid for his strength ability and Harry Potter for Parsletongue. Collecting the golden wizard hats unlocks different statues for each 10 you gain (these can be viewed in the room of requirements as a show of your achievements). As well as this, collecting all the golden hats gets you that one step closer to getting 100% completion.
Collecting coins means you are able to unlock characters and red brick spells (gained from finding red bricks) from the shop in the Room of Requirement; each are found throughout each level. There are 15 red bricks to be found throughout the game, these bricks unlock spells that can be performed on in game characters or give boosts to your money.
In free play mode (replaying a level) you are able to select which characters you would like to play from the ones you have unlocked throughout the game. You are unable to choose each one you would like on the list instead they are randomly selected for you, though you can continue to randomly choose until you are happy with the pick before starting the level.
Throughout the story interacting with certain objects or performing some spells will require you to perform small puzzles to complete the task. These puzzles are simple to complete and do not take much brainpower to do them. This adds to the amusement of the game keeping the players attention and concentration. Mini games include; matching pairs (Match three symbols), pressing correct buttons at specific times, placing shapes in the correct place (, etc.
To keep the story line flowing there are various cut scenes for you to watch, I felt that these kept the flow of the game going, and for those not familiar with the story line a small insight into what was happening.
As with all the LEGO games the controls are basic and easy to grasp even for those unskilled players. The directional buttons and analogue stick move the character around, ‘X’ selects objects for you to interact with, ‘ ‘ uses a normal spell to attack enemies. When using a more complex spell a sequence of buttons are pressed to get the desired spell. These controls felt natural and responsive adding to the ease of game play.
I really enjoyed playing the game I felt that LEGO Harry Potter combined the attractiveness of both the LEGO and Harry Potter worlds together to provide a game suitable for all generations and play styles. Being able to take on the role of the characters that today’s generations have grown up with allows for us to be part of that which many have fantasised about throughout the course of the books and films. For me this was my favourite of the LEGO saga so far and I look forward to the release of the second instalment of the game (LEGO Harry Potter Years 5 to 7).
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.