Parent's Guide: LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 (DS) - Age rating, mature content and difficulty

Parents Guide LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4 DS Age rating mature content and difficulty
31st July, 2010 By Ian Morris
Game Info // LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 Boxart
Publisher: Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Traveller's Tales
Players: 1
Subtitles: Full
Available On: DS
Genre: Platform (3D)
Overall
Everybody Plays Ability Level
Reading Required
Content Rating
OK
Violence and Gore: Cartoon, implied or minor
Bad Language: None
Sexual Content: None
Parent's Guide

What is Lego Harry Potter: Years 1 - 4?

A completely different adventure to the home console games, LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 on the DS takes the brick-building series in a markedly different direction. While the console games put the emphasis on co-op baddie bashing, the DS one takes a slightly slower pace, becoming an entirely single player experience with an emphasis on puzzle-solving and collectible hunting. Taking in the events of the first four Harry Potter films, from face offs with You Know Who to visits to Diagon Alley and potion lessons with Snape, there's plenty of stuff to keep young Potter fans interested.

How do you play Lego Harry Potter: Years 1 - 4?

Controlled using the touch screen alone (although you can use the +Control Pad to move your character if you'd prefer), younger players should have no trouble getting to grips with this. If you want to move your character, all you have to do is poke where you want them to go, and they'll move. Casting a spell is as simple as finding an object you can interact with (which are highlighted in green) and touching them, before using the Touch Screen to draw the shape for the spell you want to cast. With over 50 levels on offer, each of which are bite-sized, making it perfect for portable play, you'll be roaming the corridors of Hogwarts, visiting Hagrid's shed, and following a LEGO based version of the first four books, as you defeat enemies, cast spells, solve basic puzzles, collect studs, and hunt out each level's hidden collectibles. Much like the console LEGO games then, but with drastically simplified controls - even jumping's handled pretty much automatically. All you have to do is approach a ledge, and if the other side gets highlighted in blue, a quick poke will be all it takes to make your character jump across.

How easy is Lego Harry Potter: Years 1 - 4 to pick up and play?

Somewhat strangely, though, while it has some rather accessible controls, LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 also puts a lot more emphasis on reading. With no voice acting, and plenty of quests to complete, the objectives you're given are always conveyed with text alone, which means your child will need to be a pretty confident reader. While most quests are summed up in a few words at the bottom of the screen, there's still plenty of reading to be done.

Sample Sentences:

  • "Vernon has asked you to check the post. Perhaps there's a letter for you?"
  • "Touch objects with green outlines to interact with them."
  • "Unlock vault 697."
Mature Content

Taking the emphasis away from combat and onto exploration, LEGO Harry Potter is one of the most family friendly game out there. Containing no swearing, no gore, and next to no violence, as you simply cast spells on other LEGO characters, who promptly fall to pieces when hit, this is one of the most family friendly games out there.

Age Ratings

We Say
Violence and Gore:
Cartoon, implied or minor
Bad Language:
None
Sexual Content:
None
OK

Format Reviewed: Nintendo DS

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