Lego games are big business, a whole host of big franchises have turned their characters into those amazing little blocks. I suppose it was only a matter of time really until we saw Harry Potter get turned into a Lego game. It is a good thing too as Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 is one of the most enjoyable Lego games to date.
Everything you would expect to see is in the game, a multitude of characters to play with, a heap of Lego and Harry Potter objects to collect and good old Lego cut scenes. The game has a few key aspects: The Leakey Cauldron, Hogwarts, lessons and story levels.
The Leakey Cauldron is the place to go when you start up a game, from here you can return to the main part of the game or explore Diagon Alley where you can buy new spells, get new characters to play with and explore Gringotts for some bonus levels unlocked with Gold Bricks. It is a friendly place filled with various objects to blow up with your spells and other characters to throw around at your whim. The main part of the game comes when you go through a doorway which takes you back to where you left off in Hogwarts.
Hogwarts has been replicated magnificently in Lego, there are an astounding number of different things to do while you walk around the Castle and its grounds. You can save students that are in a danger or are being bullied, you can turn torches on, bookish characters can complete simple Simon-says games to earn more gems and there are even portraits to wave your wand at. Headless Nick is also there, you follow his ghostly trail as he takes you to lessons or the location of a new story level.
Lessons are simple things, one of the teachers demonstrates how to use a new spell and then you must solve a simple challenge to unlock it. It is a simple and effective way of showing you how to do things and solve puzzles outside of the classroom.
Story levels crop up at various points in the game and will take you away from the usual parts of Hogwarts that you see, as the first four books are covered in the game you obviously get to see a whole load of crazy events. They can vary from rescuing Harry in the forest using Fang to playing a lifesize game of chess hunting down Voldemort . You also get the chance for some broom flying across the course of your adventure.
In all, Lego Harry Potter is a thoroughly enjoyable and somewhat magical game packed with plenty of humour. Even if you aren’t a fan of Harry Potter this is well worth checking out.