When it comes to video games surrounding the Harry Potter series, we’ve generally had to put up with dull, not true to the story games. Harry Potter for Kinect is neither of these things.
Harry Potter fans have long clamored for a game that gives them the same feeling of magic that they got while reading the books and watching the films. The makers of Harry Potter for Kinect were able to acheive this.
Harry Potter for Kinect is not meant to be a game that follows the story of the books in any way, shape or form. The game, meant for real Harry Potter fans, is meant as a supplement to the prior knowledge of the series. It doesn’t give a detailed story. In fact, it moves very quickly. The game has between three and five levels for each of the seven books.
One of the best parts of Harry Potter for Kinect is that even though it only touches on certain parts of the story, it highlights the little things. For example, fans will enjoy doing things such as jamming their wands up the troll’s nose, burning Professor Quirrell’s face with their hands, and many more that we want you to experience for yourself.
Harry Potter for Kinect has a wide variety of levels. Some of the various activities you’ll find yourself doing in the different levels are brewing potions, learning new spells with various professors, dueling, potting mandrakes, playing quidditch, fighting Death Eaters, and so many more. One of our favorite levels comes in The Deathly Hallows. There is a level where you have to control the Gringotts cart as Griphook leads you down into the Lestranges’ vault. It’s a far different level than any of the others, and it is quite enjoyable.
For some reason, the difficulty of the levels doesn’t increase with the difficulty of the task being performed. For example, in The Chamber of Secrets, fighting the basilisk is not as daunting of a task as potting mandrakes. This is a little frustrating while playing the game.
An important element of Harry Potter for Kinect is that it is, of course, a Kinect game. This is far different from most of the other Harry Potter games that have ever hit the market, seeing as your body is the controller. As anyone would attest, this is only an issue when having no controller makes the game hard to play because the game isn’t responding as you think it should. For the most part, this is not an issue in this game. There were a few times that we had a hard time getting some spells to fire, but it wasn’t a big issue because it didn’t happen that often.
Another element of Harry Potter for Kinect being a Kinect game is that these games were designed to not only entertain, but also to make the players get up and move. The amount of physical activity varied from level to level. While some of the levels didn’t call for much more than simple arm movements, some of the levels called for an intense workout. Everybody we played with was definitely feeling tired at one time or another.
The majority of Harry Potter for Kinect, and all of the main story, is a solo-player game, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun playing it with friends. As stated in the previous paragraph, the game can be quite tiring at times and this is a great game to trade back and forth on. Kinect makes it simple for one person to jump in with no hassle recalibrating.
A great element of Harry Potter for Kinect is that it is loaded with humor. The game is really funny. You won’t find any of the characters telling jokes, but they do have some ridiculous quotes.
When reviewing a game like this, it needs to be remembered what this game is meant to do. It’s not meant to be a groundbreaking game in any way. It’s supposed to be a really fun game that allows you to literally be some of your favorite Harry Potter characters, and that’s exactly what it does.
Our only qualm with the game is that it is pretty short. With only five maximum moments from each book, there’s a lot missing and you get through the game at a fairly quick rate. There is quite a bit of extra material, but we would have loved to have more of the story that we know and love. There’s so much that could have been there that is missing.
Rated: E 10+ (for animated blood, comic mischief, and fantasy violence)