Build Me Up, Butterbeer
Whether you're dealing with Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Batman or - as here - Harry Potter, theres always a certain charm to the Lego games. While each one can broadly be described as a re-skinning of the last, each offering the same assortment of brick-destroying, stud-collecting, puzzle-solving platform adventures, theyre all a pleasure to play.
Traveller's Tales' latest effort rounds out the adventures of The Boy Who Lived with all the humour and panache the series has become known for. Animated cut-scenes convey the story in cheeky, non-verbal style, while inbetween players switch among an assortment of characters, utilising their different spells and skills to progress through the events of the final three books (or last four films, if you prefer).
While it's simple and appealing enough for younger players to enjoy, older fans with a touch of OCD will find hunting down the plethora of unlockables - alternate costumes, spell-boosting Red Bricks, hidden characters and more - will keep them coming back, even if it is a "kids game". A free play mode, allowing you to go back to earlier levels with new characters and explore every nook and cranny only adds to the obsession.
Thats not to say this is without flaws. The biggest frustration is the occasional construction puzzle, where youll use magic to levitate free-floating blocks into a necessary arrangement. Youll find blocks just wont seem to position themselves quite where you want them to - although, true to form, kids will likely perform the feats as easily as breathing or getting fingerprints on the walls. A fixed camera can also annoy at times, when you can't quite see everything you want or need to.
Lego Harry Potter doesn't do anything to rock the boat compared to its predecessors but then again, it doesn't really need to. Overall, a great game for children, families and unapologetic Lego game aficionados.