Accio savings. LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 is on sale for $0.99 USD, a very nice drop from its usual price of $4.99 USD.
LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
After a November that saw a slew of licensed games that were more lackluster than blockbuster, one game managed to exceed our expectations. Our Game of the Month, LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4, is a full DS/PSP port with a dozen hours of gameplay for just five bucks.
Now, we should state that this game is not for everyone– specifically, those with a lower-end device. LEGO Harry Potter only works on the magic of iPod Touch 3rd gen and above, not including those in the 8GB model, and iPhones 3GS and above. But if you’re lucky enough to own a newer device, and have any interest at all in the world of boarding school wizards, LEGO Harry Potter is a Must Have download.
This game tracks Harry and the gang through the first four books/movies of the series. The game expands on some scenes and shrinks others, telling the story through a combination of action/platforming gameplay and wild LEGO cutscenes. The sheer amount of stuff to do in this game, from story missions to collecting unlockables, will entertain you longer than a Harry Potter movie marathon.
Our runner-up is Mushihimesama Bug Panic, another fantastic shooter from Cave. Mushihimesama, or “Insect Princess”, is a twin-stick shooter where you lob bug bombs instead of firing machine guns. A huge supply of levels and incredible, bullet-hell boss battles make this a top-notch shooter for the iPhone. But be warned: This one also requires a high-end device.
This month’s selection of two games that aren’t compatible with all iOS devices marks a possible turning point for iPhone gaming. If you’re looking for some great new games for your lower-end devices, try November’s other Must Have titles like Push Panic, KingdomConquest, Lil’ Pirates, Wackylands Boss, and Baseball Superstars 2011. But if you have a high-end device, you should definitely purchase LEGO Harry Potter and Mushihimesama Bug Panic.
Congratulations to Warner Brothers and Cave for making two incredible iPhone/ iPod Touch games!
LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 could have been rushed out as a cheap, awful mobile game in time for the new movie, and it still would have probably sold a million copies. What damage could a bad iPhone game do to two brands that are as strong as they’ve ever been? Imagine our surprise when we found that not only is LEGO Harry Potter a quality licensed title, it’s one of the best kids games on the iPhone.
LEGO Harry Potter is mostly a third-person adventure game, with a bit of shooting, platforming, and puzzle-solving mixed in. You move your character by tapping anywhere on the screen, and must complete simple quests to advance the storyline. You can also interact with objects in the environment by drawing spells on the touchscreen.
Spell-casting is central to any Harry Potter game, but you may not be prepared for the amount of stuff you have to collect, too. Since this game is part LEGOs, with every character and environment made out of building blocks and available for purchase in some Toys R Us set, endless collection makes a sort of sense.
You have studs, or coin-shaped LEGOs, to collect, along with hidden hats, playable characters, diorama scenes, and spells. Trust us– buy this game for your Harry Potter-obsessed child for Christmas, and they’ll still be playing it by the time spring rolls around.
All the optional collectibles are just decoration for a story mode that takes you through the first four Harry Potter books and movies in incredible detail. CG cutscenes mimic shot-for-shot some of the films’ most memorable moments, but with adorable LEGO actors playing each scene for laughs. These cutscenes, for us, were the highlights of the game.
The levels themselves, 44 in total, run the gambit from spell lessons at Hogwarts (which introduce new abilities), to boss battles against Harry’s nemeses. Minigames, including transformation jigsaw puzzles and potion brewing, are simple, but a nice change of pace from the constant adventuring. As you progress through the game’s story mode, you’ll also be able to revisit earlier levels in free play mode to find more hidden items and reach areas that you couldn’t earlier.
Harry Potter and the Marketing Synergy.
LEGO Harry Potter is extremely entertaining because it consistently changes up the environments, breathlessly advances the storyline, throws new challenges at you, and then rewards you with more unlockables. Several of the challenges can be very simple, especially when you’re always prompted to trace a figure on the screen for spells, but we think this makes the game perfect for younger kids.
This is much more than just a cheaply made cash-in of the two brands. LEGO Harry Potter is a full handheld console port, with great graphics and controls that take advantage of the mobile platform, for a bargain bin price. Unless you’re some grumpy muggle who can’t possibly be charmed by Harry Potter, buy this game.
Just a week before the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in theaters, Warrner Brothers and TT Games announced today that they’re releasing LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 for the iPhone and iPad. The game will let you play through the storylines of the first four Harry Potter books and movies, using a lighthearted sense of humor familiar to people who have played other recent LEGO games.
The LEGO series is known for its take on Batman, Indiana Jones, Star Wars, and Rock Band on other platforms, but this represents the first time it has come to iOS. That is, if you don’t count LEGO Batman: Gotham City Games, which, considering that it was one of the early games to hit the App Store and it was terrible, we certainly don’t.
Check out the screenshots from the iPad version below. LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 will hit the App Store “soon.”