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Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 Review

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Harry Potter and the bricks of delight

★★★★

Long-time Lego developer Traveller’s Tales sticks doggedly with a successful formula in the latest Lego spin-off series, but its seductive brick-stacking, mystery-solving blueprint is a perfect backdrop for this cute take on the boy wizard’s life at Hogwarts.

Like the Star Wars, Batman and Indiana Jones games that went before it, the action in Harry Potter boils down to exactly the same thing: smash Lego sets into pieces, then build new structures to solve puzzles and reach new areas. But while recent Lego games based on more mature licenses have been hampered by boring button-bashing combat, the sedate world of Harry Potter gave the developed the opportunity to play around with magical spells and potions. This refocuses the experience on puzzle-solving and exploration, and makes for a deeper, more satisfying adventure.

Uniquely, unlike many games aimed at a juvenile audience, Lego Harry Potter is packed with challenges that don’t shy away from bamboozling youngsters, creating a rare experience that parents can enjoy just as much as their bewildered offspring. And with a clever split-screen mode where two gamers can play together, yet split up and go their own way at any point, Lego Harry Potter is the perfect game for a spot of intergenerational console action and a way for hoary old geeks to introduce kids to quality gaming.