I went to an event in New York City yesterday to officially launch the new LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 video game. The festivities took place at The Harold Pratt House, an amazing old mansion on Park Avenue that looked like it belonged in Harry’s world. I had to be sorted by that dusty old hat before heading up the marble staircase to the second floor library and it turns out, I’m Gryffindor material. A little kid attending the event with his parents was sorted right after me and placed in Slytherin. I’m pretty sure the parents exchanged a nervous glance when they heard the hat’s decision.
Once in the library, I spent about an hour playing the game with one of the head developers from Traveller’s Tales and am pleased to report that LEGO Harry Potter is a blast! Like the previous LEGO games–Star Wars, Indiana Jones, etc–the game recreates the world of Harry Potter in a LEGO-like look and feel that is based on the first four books and films. Unlike the other LEGO games, Harry Potter focuses more on exploring the famous world rather than just running through it. Players will be able to play as more than 100 characters, each of which will have slightly different abilities or talents that are reflective of their characters in the books and films. There are tons of missions and tasks that progress the game along including classes on broom-flying, potions and other typical classes for wizards.
LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 will be released for DS, Wii, Xbox 360, PS3, PSP and PC in June. The game will be rated Everyone 10+ but kids as young as six will be able to play it. I’ll have much more info on this game in my full review after the game arrives so stay tuned.