Gaming & Technology

'Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7' is good simple fun

Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7 takes up the last four films in the series. There are lots of characters, and the gameplay is easy, with lots of fun problem-solving.
Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7 takes up the last four films in the series. There are lots of characters, and the gameplay is easy, with lots of fun problem-solving. Photo courtesy Games Press

I initially dismissed 2005's Lego Star Wars: The Video Game, the first of the game series based on the toy blocks, as a kids' title.

It wasn't until last year that I picked up Lego Pirates of the Caribbean and discovered just how great that game was — and how well-done the other Lego video games appeared to be.

That's what led me to Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7, the sequel to Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4. In it, the final four Harry Potter films have been divided into six stages.

Developer Traveller's Tales did a good job injecting this game with some of the magic of the books and films. It does a pretty good job of walking you through Harry's heroic adventures in the Muggle world and beyond.

It works really well if you're a Potter fan because you get to play out iconic moments from the films, such as Half-Blood Prince's raid on Gringotts or the Ministry of Magic battle from Order of the Phoenix.

Much like the other Lego titles, Harry Potter: Years 5-7 has a relatively open world. There is a huge cast of characters, each with a different skill set. Throughout the game Harry must locate a magical friend from the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in order to complete a task.

Speaking of Hogwarts, the Hogwarts castle, Grimmauld Place and Privet Drive in Little Whinging are among the many memorable set pieces.

The gameplay is much like other Lego titles, with plenty of funny cutscenes and easy gameplay. It's simple to pick up the control and begin. Even if you have never played a Lego game, the learning curve is minimal. There is quite a bit of puzzle solving, destroying and rebuilding blocks, and defeating characters by simply mashing one button.

This game was more enjoyable than Pirates of the Caribbean, but that's largely because, well, it's Harry Potter.

Regardless, it's worth checking out. At the end of the day, the Lego games are not the type you play for the graphics — these are games that provide a few challenges and a whole lot of fun. And it's the simplicity that makes them so enjoyable.

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