LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 ($4.99) by Warner Bros. is the followup to the original LEGO Harry Potter iOS game that covered years one through four of Harry’s time at Hogwarts.
This version, which plays similarly to the first game, begins with Harry on the playground with Dudley, when the deadly dementors attack, and progresses through the rest of the Harry Potter series from there.
If you haven’t played the first Harry Potter LEGO game, don’t worry, the controls are easy to grasp and any Harry Potter fan will be able to pick up the storyline.
A joystick on the left side of the screen controls your movement, while on the right side, there are a set of buttons that control jumping, casting, LEGO building, and character switching. Because this is a 3-D game, movement can sometimes be tricky, especially when crossing bridges and bodies of water.
Your LEGO character is equipped with several spells from the popular movie series, including Expecto Patronum, Reducto, Wingardium Leviosa, Lumos, and more. Each spell has a different effect on the environment. For example, Reducto will often be used to destroy lego objects, resulting in lego pieces to pick up and collect, while Expecto Patronum is reserved for defeating dementors.
Casting spells is done by selecting the spell on the upper left of the screen and then tapping on the screen to cast, while aiming at the object you want to cast on with the movement stick. It sounds complicated, and it can be a bit touchy, but overall, it’s easy to do.
Objects that can be manipulated with magic will have a blue aura when targeted with a spell, and while the game will give you hints about what to cast, it’s up to you to figure out which spell to use and when to use it.
There are often small puzzles to solve and LEGO structures to build, which is done by holding down the LEGO button when prompted. You will also need to pick up items to complete tasks like concocting potions, and there are a wide variety of other puzzles and activities to complete.
As in the other LEGO Harry Potter game, you can play as Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, and several other characters including Arthur Weasley, Fred and George Weasley, and Dudley Dursley.
The game also utilizes several objects from the Harry Potter universe, including the Spectraspecs to see hidden objects and the Invisibility Cloak to sneak around unseen. Characters like Ron and Hermione are able to summon pets, which can then dig up treasures.
You will engage in fun wizard duels that pit you against other wizards. In these duels, choose a spell and then cast by tapping on either side of the screen. This will damage your opponent, so long as he or she does not block the attack. You can be damaged as well, but are able to block attacks by tapping on the bottom of the screen at the appropriate time.
This is a fun game that’s suitable for a wide range of ages. The puzzles are not too hard and will not prevent children from playing the game, but they’re also not so simple that the game will be boring for adults. My main complaints with the game were the occasional difficulty with the controls and the inconvenient camera angles when inside buildings, since the camera follows your character automatically.
If you look at the App Store reviews of this game, you’ll see that many fans of the former LEGO Harry Potter game are unsatisfied with the controls. It is indeed quite different from the original, and if you don’t care for d-pad gameplay, I’d suggest waiting for an update. If you don’t mind the d-pad, though, this is a highly entertaining game that’s perfect for any Harry Potter fan.