Just in time for the release of the movie, the tie-in game is revealed. But
is it magic or muggle material?
Harry Potter has attracted audiences in the millions from all
over the world. There’s just something about the young wizard and
the magical world of Hogwarts that enchants people of all ages. This
franchise is also huge enough to have many merchandise companies
slathering, and none more so than the gaming industry. Just in time
for the movie release, the corresponding Harry Potter and the
Half-Blood Prince video game is unleashed.
Players rejoin Harry and return to Hogwarts for his sixth year of
wizarding magic and dangerous misadventure. The storyline holds true
to the movie, where Harry and Professor Dumbledore scramble to find
the keys to Lord Voldemort’s undoing and the identity of the
The game is basically a point-and-click adventure quest with
heavy mini-game flavor.
Strangely, most of the gameplay is not focused on the events in
the story, but instead is a series of fetching quests in which
players retrieve items from all over Hogwarts. The story itself
unfolds in the cut-scenes, which are actually stills of the
characters with word bubbles indicating the story progress.
The real entertainment lies in the mini-games. There’s the Quidditch
challenge, for one, where Harry is no longer the seeker, but is the
captain and has a role in scoring. With Duels, the player will be
challenged with magical battles in one-on-one combat. In Potions,
the player will have to mix ingredients and stir them with the
stylus in order to bring out the magical properties. Other
mini-games include Gobstones, a marble game, Exploding Snap, a
memory card game, and Skittles, a pinball-like game. With all these
mini-games, the player can collect cards and other items to further
the main game quests.
The majority of the game is played on the touch-screen with some
stylus action, and the mechanics work smoothly. The game has a well
established hint system—players can always check what items are
needed next in their Remembral journal and check where it lies on
the map, plus there is an onscreen arrow directing the player to the
next item or person.
Rated E for everyone with a warning for fantasy violence, this game
is an easy adventure. Young gamers will enjoy the mild challenge,
but veteran gamers will lose interest swiftly. It might have been
different if the game had focused on more action-packed sections of
the movie to explore, but as it stands, fans of the Harry Potter
world will be a bit disappointed in this title. For curious gamers,
trying Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince first as a
rental would be the smart choice.
- Mildly challenges young gamers.
- Strong hint system.
- Games seem disjointed from the story.
- Lack of depth and challenge.
For more information, user reviews, or to buy:
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
for the DS
Reviewed: July 2009