Lego Harry Potter packs iPad wallop

Spoiler alert! Let’s be honest, you probably could care less about Lego Harry Potter 2 because you’re old enough to read. But if you have an iPad your kids are probably whining for it right now. I can’t imagine that it competes with the playstation version (which costs ten times as much) but for an iPad game it’s pretty damn good. Five stars.

My nephews love Legos Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Or they did for about three months until the next best thing came out. I know because Carol and I got them for them for two different Christmases and then spent the entire vacation watching them play on the downstairs TV while my sister and brother-in-law played Guitar Studio on the upstairs TV. Good thing we had our iPads.

The Lego incarnations of hit movies follow the movies faithfully except for one thing. All the characters, sets and props are made with legos. Not real Legos, digital Legos, but you should still get the gist. The characters look like Legos characters and everything has that weird Lego look with the little round lock caps sticking out like a bad case of hives. But these characters run, jump and shoot (or, in the case of Star Wars, twirl light swords). Or, in the case of Lego Harry Potter 2, cast spells with Lego wands.

We never got the Playstation Lego Harry Potter series for our nephews. My sister Aimee thinks Harry Potter is a Satanic influence, and so does my mother who lives with them. And even if Aimee didn’t think Harry Potter was satanic, my mother does and she would never stop reminding Aimee that her kids are playing a Satanic game.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Aimee and I were raised Baptist Preacher’s Kid (BPK) and part of being a BPK is being told that just about everything that doesn’t jump out of the Bible, carry the Jesus brand or that became cool after your parents stopped being cool and became BPAS is Satanic.

My parents graduated from the ultimate BPK school of the time, Bob Jones University. At their commencement Dr. Bob Jones, Sr., (the eldest of three) preached on the topic “Bobbed hair, bobbed personality.” (What an appropriate topic for a college commencement.) Mother had bobbed hair at the time. By the time she had her own kids she would have agreed with every word of a commencement speech entitled, “The Beatles; opening act for the Devil.”

So even though I don’t intend to play Lego Harry Potter 2 myself, I do plan to slip my iPad to the nephews when I visit next Christmas.

Oh, wait a minute. Considering how long it took them to destroy the air hogs we gave them for their birthdays, maybe I’ll keep my iPad to myself.

Lego Harry Potter 2 is a simulated action game where you wander around a 3D environment looking for coins, energy, weapons and bad guys. With Legos. The game simulates the action and plots of the last four Harry Potter movies. You start from home base in Hogwarts and work your way through each of the movies (stages) until, presumably, you defeat Voldermort. I assume this because I only had time to play through several levels of Order of the Phoenix in time to review.

In order to move between game areas you have to find Lego pieces and assemble them. This isn’t the complex, fine motor skill assembly with real Legos. Once you cast the spell, the game does all the work. So if you’re looking to build Lego bricks, buy the plastic variety.

In order to make your way through the game map you have to unlock Lego blocks with your spells and build them into drawbridges and vehicles. As you complete each stage you have to sit through a long legomated recap of the movie. Personally, I’d rather wait ten seconds for a screen load and to get on with the game.

As you progress through the levels you unlock additional characters and you can pass the game back and forth between them to call on their different skills and abilities. You also earn additional skills and spells. You also get to face down the full assortment of dementors, wizards and other bad guys using the spells you master as you pass through the game.

Practice your spell casting skills in Hogwarts before you tackle the real bad guys in the game. In this case it helps to have a real target, but this was the best I could do for a screen shot.

The game mechanics are among the best I’ve experienced for 3D simulation games, and I suspect children with smaller fingers will have more success. The joystick button was incredibly responsive and only one of the buttons tended to stick (a glitch I’m sure they’ll work out quickly). The help system is context sensitive and usually informative. Just make sure to practice in Hogwarts before you start the first stage.

Is this as good as Lego Harry Potter on a Wii or Playstation? I can’t imagine that it would be. But it beats the daylights out of the mobile game systems and it could help your kids pass the time when you’re visiting the dentist or lawyer and you desperately need them not to whine.

Jenny Manytoes rates Lego Harry Potter 2

Jenny Manytoes would make biscuits all over Lego Harry Potter 2. It’s fun, it works well and it’s great for kids whose parents aren’t paranoid about their souls.

The Jenny Manytoes Rating System

Jenny Manytoes, our polydactyl cat
  • When Jenny makes biscuits on a product she thinks she’s in heaven.
  • When Jenny purrs over a product she’s very happy.
  • When Jenny naps next to a product it’s okay with her.
  • When Jenny bunches her tail she can live with a product, but she has higher expectations.
  • When Jenny leaves it in the litter box….I don’t think I need to explain this one.

About Phillip T Stephens

Phillip T. Stephens disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle twenty years before he was born, creating a time travel paradox so confusing it remains unspoken between physicists and sci-fi writers to this day. Follow @stephens_pt
This entry was posted in 5 Stars - Biscuits, Entertainment, Games, Virtual simulation and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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