Prose & Pixels

Prose & Pixels #3: Lego Harry Potter

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Prose & Pixels is a feature that combines two of my loves: books and video games. Here I’ll discuss all sorts of things to do with the two, whether it’s recommendations, influences or just a good old chat.

Today I want to discuss the Lego Harry Potter games, as part of Harry Potter Month organised by Faith @ Student Spyglass!

Just a normal day in the life of Harry Potter.
Just a normal day in the life of Harry Potter.

You may be forgiven for thinking all the Lego games are only for kids. But let me tell you something – THEY’RE NOT! Is Harry Potter just for kids? No. Neither are the games. I’ll explain why you should play these addictive titles, illustrated by some of my own screenshots!

With a wonderful, quirky sense of humour that you grow to recognise as you play more and more of the Lego series, the Lego Harry Potter games will appeal to all. The jokes (all completely non-verbal, by the way) work for both children and adults, and if you know the Harry Potter series then it’s all the more fun. Plus it’s not just the main characters you that meet – but practically every minor character that J.K. Rowling ever mentions has their own little Lego doppelganger.

After breaking out of Azkaban, Bellatrix had to take up a part-time job to make ends meet.
After breaking out of Azkaban, Bellatrix had to take up a part-time job to make ends meet.

It’s so wonderful to play in such familiar settings, and with characters that you’ve grown up with. You’d be surprised at how gorgeous these games actually look, considering they’re based on a load of blocky figures! Practically every environment you could think of within the grounds of Hogwarts, as well as Hogsmeade, parts of London, the Ministry of Magic and Diagon Alley have been faithfully recreated for the games. And unlike so many of the other Harry Potter video games, you have the freedom to explore Hogwarts as much as you want, whenever you want, searching for hidden areas and running through well-known locations. The only game that really got close to that within the film-to-games series (at least of the ones I played) was Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Causing carnage in Hogsmeade.
Causing carnage in Hogsmeade.

Some games take ages to tell a story, through endless cutscenes, countless speeches and thousands more lines of dialogue within the game itself. Although admittedly, Lego Harry Potter is recounting a familiar tale, it manages to tell without any words. There are no voices in the game (only sound effects like grunts and shrieks), which helps to make many a funny moment. The developers have taken some liberties and added in occasional extra bits, or silly moments, but none of it ruins the story and only makes the games even more charming.

This is somehow even more upsetting than the actual moment in the book/film.
This is somehow even more upsetting than the actual moment in the book/film.

Personally, I absolutely love these games, and they’re my favourites of all the Lego games. Of course it helps that they’re based on a series I know and love – but I even prefer them over Lego Lord of the Rings. Whilst the main story may only take something like ten to twelve hours to run through, you’ll want to collect everything and achieve that coveted 100% – which will take so much longer, and many repetitions of levels after you’ve unlocked the right character for the job. Apparently I’ve spent fifty-five hours on the first game, and thirty-nine on the second, which should give you some idea of how much there is to find! However, this means more time to explore Hogwarts, and pretend, even if for a short while, you’re a (rather square!) student at Hogwarts.

Even Snape needs a day off every once in a while.
Even Snape needs a day off every once in a while.

I highly recommend the Lego Harry Potter games to fans of the series, as well as fans of adventure and puzzle games. They’re a real treat that will keep you entertained for a long time, as well as giving you the opportunity to explore Hogwarts!

A combined total of 84 hours later for both games... SO SATISFYING.
A combined total of ninety-four hours later for both games… SO SATISFYING.

Have you played the Lego Harry Potter games, or any other Lego games? What did you think?