Video Game of the Week - Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4
Every parent knows Lego, the wonderfully adaptable construction toy that has encouraged generations of kids to build everything from houses to airplanes to giant robots.
However, like every successful toy manufacturer that wants to stay relevant, Lego has had to adjust and diversify, sometimes straying far from the original building block concept. Of course, in the digital age that invariably involves a screen of some kind and a transition to the all-important world of video games.
Perhaps surprisingly, Lego has made this transition extremely well, teaming up with film franchises and other consumer icons to produce a series of highly entertaining video games. There has been Lego Star Wars, Lego Indiana Jones, Lego Batman and even Lego Rock Band. Now comes the first in what promises to be Lego's most successful video game series to date – Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4.
As in previous Lego video games, Harry Potter transforms heroes and villains alike into typical Lego "blocky" characters and uses platforming techniques á la Mario to set up a series of ever-changing adventures and encounters that will keep you enthralled for hours.
Players will get the most out of Lego Harry Potter if they are already familiar with the Harry Potter books and films. If you're a fan, then you will be delighted by the inside jokes and will laugh out loud at the irreverent treatment of some of the oh-so-serious J.K. Rowling characters.
Although there is some light combat in Lego Harry Potter, the emphasis is on casting spells, solving puzzles and collecting the countless Lego bits that go flying everywhere. As you solve puzzles and increase your spell-casting skills, you move up to different levels, opening up additional challenges and collectibles. Adopting different characters in turn allows you to unlock new scenes and puzzles, presenting an almost limitless variety of gameplay options.
Lego Harry Potter may well be the best of all the highly-regarded Lego video games, providing hours of rich entertainment for everyone in the family.
Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 is rated "E10+" for Everyone 10 an older by the ESRB. Check out their video game ratings and content descriptors at ESRB.org
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive
Platforms: PC, PS2, PS3, Xbox 360, PSP, DS
RRP: From $29:99 to $49:99
Release Date: June 29, 2010
ESRB Rating: "E" for Everyone
Comment by Megan, posted 7/7/2010, 5:35 PM:
Both my son and I are really looking forward to getting our hands on this game! I love Harry Potter and he loves all of the Lego branded games, so it should be a good one for our family.