Retro games online – Lego and Warner Brothers joined forces to bring Harry Potter fans another game relating to the film series, but this time made from small plastic pieces.
Lego Harry Potter Years 1-4 covers all the action from the first four films, from Harry finding out he is a wizard to opening the Chamber of Secrets, and from discovering Harry has a godfather to coming face to face with He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named during the Triwizard Tournament. And all of this whilst made from Lego and having to go to classes to learn new spells.
At the beginning of the game you do not yet have a wand, so have to rely on Hagrid to help you when you first enter Diagon Alley to get school supplies and visit the bank. This is possible because, as with the other games in the Lego series, you have the ability to switch between characters depending on which skills you need for a given situation.
For example, Hermione’s book-worm nature comes in handy when having to open cupboards featuring symbols, and if you need to get through a small space then you would simply switch to Ron, who you can use to release Scabbers and retrieve hard to reach objects. It also means that if you get bored of playing by yourself, you can let a friend join in and play two-player co-op.
Learning New Spells Keeps Gameplay Exciting
With each new spell learned comes more to explore, but it also means that you have to remember which spell does what. In the top left corner of the screen all of the spells you can currently use are displayed, and they can be easily changed at the push of a button.
Colour co-ordination means that as long as you are paying attention you will always know which spell is which. Unfortunately it is easy to get over-enthusiastic in a battle situation and select the wrong icon, such as trying to fight of dementors with Lumos. But once you get the hang of it there is no challenge to big or giant spider to angry for your wand skills.
Collect Studs to Unlock New Characters
As well as completing the game and becoming heroes, there are other tasks to be completed during the course of the game. Random objects can be blown up to release studs, and if you collect enough of these per level you will win the title of True Wizard. There are also Golden Bricks to collect, which can be obtained by completing the level or completing side missions.
The much anticipated Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince opens to audiences this July with a continuation of the battles and trials for the Hogwart’s wizards.
As well as this you can collect the faces of other characters, which you can then buy in Diagon Alley, pick up pieces of the Hogwarts shield that represent each house, and rescue other students who may be in peril. All these things can be done in the free play mode unlocked once you have finished each level if you don’t manage them during the first play through.
Although this game is aimed at children, there is no reason why other adults wouldn’t find this game fun. With over 100 characters to unlock and play as, as well as potions to mix and broomsticks to fly on, this game is a brilliant addition to the Harry Potter brand.
Occasionally Confusing Puzzles Don’t detract From the Overall Game
The only slight problems are that sometimes if you stand in slightly the wrong place when trying to cast a spell it doesn’t register first time, and that some puzzles are confusing if you don’t see straight away what has to be done, but these are minor things that are easily outweighed by the quality of gameplay and the detail that has been put into the scenery.
Lego Batman Video Game Fun for Parents and Kids
Following fast on the heels of the big screen release of the Dark Knight in July 2008, the Lego Batman Game, released Sept 23, 2008 for multiple gaming platforms. The Lego Batman game can be played on a Windows PC, XBOX 360, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, or the Playstation.
This game is rated E for everyone (with a 10+ for cartoon violence, though children 6+ would have no problem with the controls).
Traveler’s Tales Lego Games
Traveler’s Tales made their mark when they released the first Lego franchise video game Lego Star Wars: the Video Game in 2005. Kids and parents alike loved the series that encompassed all six Star Wars feature films, where sets, characters and vehicles crumbled into Lego components as they are demolished.
Travelers’ Tales tried to follow up on this success by releasing Lego Indiana Jones in 2007, but the games fell short. Players couldn’t rely on the force, and the games were limited to how well Indie could wield his whip. The cute animations and personal idiosyncrasies were enhanced from the Star Wars game (female heroines cock a hip when standing, Indiana used his trademark roundhouse punch), but overall the game couldn’t hold attention of parents or kids.
Somehow the characters needed to achieve superhuman feats. The stories needed to be complex and interesting, and there needed to be a reason to return to each level in free play mode again and again.
Lego Batman Batarangs on Target
Batman is the superhero famous for having countless “wonderful toys”, so his video game avatar would need to have the same arsenal of tricks. The Batarang is a favorite tool for Lego Batman players knocking out multiple opponents with a single click. This is particularly fun in the Wii version of the game, as it allows players to use the Wii remote as a pointer to identify targets.
Heroes Batman, Batgirl, and Robin (as Robin or Nightwing) are able to switch suits, and with the wardrobe change, adopt various superpowers such as shattering glass, swimming underwater, withstanding high temperatures, flying, detonating bombs, and walking up metal walls with magnetic shoes (to name just a few).
Villains have super-strength, the ability to traverse toxic slime, and various other talents that are needed to solve puzzles and locate Easter eggs. Many of the Easter eggs require that the players return to the round in free play mode so they can take advantage of the talents provided by the cast members they unlock along the way.
Extra Rounds Play as Heroes and Villains
Another selling point of this game is that after unlocking a level as the Hero team, players can then unlock its counterpart as the Villainous team. While the extra game-play, and the ability to play through the scenes as both good guys and bad guys is appealing, there were some odd quirks to this scenario.
When Batman is called in to save the day, he is coming into the game after the actions and events undertaken by the Villains. In the game, players are basically asked to time-travel backwards in time to the events that led up to the appearance of the caped crusader. To a kid, this time travelling concept can be very confusing. Younger children often disconnect one level in the heroes’ game from the counterpart levels in the villains’ portions.
The resulting game includes 30 rounds of game play (versus the usual amount of 6 rounds per film for the Indiana Jones and Star Wars games.) Plus, collecting enough studs throughout each round to achieve “Superhero” or “Super-villain” status will unlock a bonus round where players race against the clock to collect extra studs to buy characters and unlock additional features.
Lego Games Great for Pairs of Players
In the Lego world, different characters have different specific skills. Female characters are the better jumpers, and can reach high ledges that others cannot. Batman has his suits and special tasks, while Robin has his own. The Joker uses his electric hand buzzer to jump-start engines and machinery. Poison Ivy makes plants grow that allow her to jump to hidden alcoves.
For this reason, the game is played by two characters at once. A single player can switch between the two characters – taking advantage of their skills as needed. Two players must work together. Cooperation and teamwork are emphasized, as well as problem-solving skills in the complex puzzles.