My 7 Year old is steadily working her way through the Harry Potter books, so this game has arrived at an opportune moment. Lego Harry Potter 5-7 years covers the last 3 books of the series and as my daughter is currently reading the 6th book she was able to explain some of the characters to me (I only ever read to book 4). We have a Star Wars Lego game for the Nintendo DS which is a firm favourite so my expectations for this game were high.
My daughter played it alone and with a friend. They took it in turns to complete and solve different problems, helping each other out along the way. You can play the game with 2 controllers each player taking the part of a different character. This feature works really well and stimulates lots of discussion. It also makes me realise how much better children are at these things than me.
It is a very long time since I spent any time playing video games. This weekend I had a cold and decided to sit for 3 hours and play Harrry Potter 5-7 Years snuggled up in my quilt. It was compelling and addictive and suitably challenging to keep me engaged. I could have used my daughters help at some points as I wandered aimlessly in the dark trying to find a tap. We discovered the following day that she had turned the brightness down and it wasn’t supposed to be a night-time game at all! I managed to complete the first level and played a little of the next level with my daughter the next day. I am suitably hooked.
The animations that tell the story in between each level are compelling and new characters appear as the game unfolds. Each character has a special skill such as rebuilding blue Lego structures or using an invisibility cloak.
What was my 7 year olds opinion?
It is excellent because some characters can do some things which other characters can’t do and you can perform different spells just by pressing the spell-wheel button.
She has even drawn an image of how the controls work for the XBox 360 version.
The game lived up to my high expectations, my daughter is coming home from school and asking if she can switch it on and I am looking forward to playing it with her and on my own. Good credit all round.
This review is based on the XBox 360 game, it is also available on other consoles.
A preview copy of the game was received for the purpose of the review. No payment was received for writing this review.
The good people at Netmums have been kind enough to let me and my 7 year old daughter review a Lego game. I say ‘kind’ because the original request went out to boys. Strange, I thought, I’ve always thought of Lego as a unisex toy. Having heard good things about Lego games, I thought it was worth asking if they would like a girl’s perspective and hey presto our wish was granted. My daughter has been eagerly awaiting the postman for weeks, especially as I promised she could invite 2 of her friends to test it with her.
The game that finally arrived was Ramses Return. It is described as a memory game suitable for children aged 7+. So far so good, Egypt is a fairly unisex topic and memory games are generally popular in our household.
Before playing the game you need to build the board and the die which adds another dimension to the toy. We had fun building it together and the instructions were clear and easy to follow. It comes with a funny little tool (the red thing in the picture) to lift the tiles from the die if you want to change it around . This is (as are many of the other pieces) very small. In our house this means that tidy away time would need to be supervised to ensure that no pieces went missing or were eaten by toddlers, babies or dogs.
The rules are easy to follow. The object of the game is to move around the board collecting crystals and treasure, some of which are hidden under domes. If the die lands on a colour, you have to check the domes to see if you can find a matching crystal, the domes then can be placed back on the board in any position, so you need to remember where each colour is. If the mummy passes through your space you lose a piece of treasure and go back to the start. The winner is the first to collect 3 different pieces of treasure. The treasure and crystals fit neatly onto the heads of the playing people, my daughter loved balancing the funny hats on their heads.
We have played the game twice so far, once just the 2 of us and again with 3 children plus my 2 year old and myself playing together. When it was just the 2 of us it took about 10 minutes to play. I liked this because often board games are quite long and it is difficult to find long enough stretches of time when the babies are not around for us to play. With 4 players it took considerably longer, one of the boys became bored before it finished and then they all gave up. The boy who gave up playing was younger than the recommended age so this may have been a factor, also because the board is so small with 4 players it is quite difficult to sit around it. We passed it from player to player instead.
The thing that I loved most about the game is that it promotes creativity by encouraging you to change the rules. We changed a number of rules such as when a player landed on your space you had to give them a crystal and if you choose an empty dome you had to go back 2 spaces. It was lovely to see the children negotiating the rule changes.
So was the game a hit with girls? I think that is a resounding yes.