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Children's Video Game Review:

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince for Nintendo DS

Video Game Review: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Children's Video Game for Nintendo DS

By Electronic Arts

Our Recommended Age: Ages 6-up

Released: July 2009

Our Rating: C



about our reviews:
All reviews at Edutaining Kids are independent and impartial. Our children's video game reviews are designed to help parents and caregivers find the right games for their kids. Evaluations and ratings are based on educational and entertainment value, age appropriate content, and innovativeness.

Harry Potter video game for DS Half Blood Prince review

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 Half-Blood Prince.

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.

Pros:

  • Mildly challenges young gamers.
  • Strong hint system.

Cons:

  • Games seem disjointed from the story.
  • Lack of depth and challenge.

 

Our Rating:

C


more information:

For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince for the DS

Reviewed: July 2009

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Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince for DS

 

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