Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Game Controls Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Usually, a new title in a series means improvement and solutions to earlier problems. LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 doesn't manage that, taking a step backwards in terms of its control scheme. What remains is still a great game and fine conversion of a highly enjoyable console game, but the controls will grate fast.
The first LEGO Harry Potter game deviated from predictability with its controls. At a time when virtual d-pads were seen as the best option for such games, it used finger taps for movement and gestures for casting spells. A moment's practice ensured that it was a great method that worked intuitively and was enjoyable to put into action. Unfortunately, LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 has reverted to using a virtual d-pad and buttons on the right hand side which affect spell casting and jumping. It works but it's far from as entertaining as the original game. It borders on clumsy during busy sequences.
Controls aside and LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 is a decent conversion of the console game. The last four films are all there with plenty of characters available to unlock. Smash em up fun remains with the need to destroy blocks to collect studs, while solving simple puzzles is all there. The only new addition comes from the in-app purchase option of Wizard Duels in which players can fight against some memorable names from the Harry Potter world. It is admittedly a little forgettable but fans will appreciate the option.
LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 pushes the technology of the iPhone 4 and I did experience a few minor stutters, but the graphics shine through and also demonstrate the potential of the device. Only the cut scenes feel a little jagged and dated.
It's frustrating to see the controls form such a pivotal step backwards for LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7. Other than that, it's a great way of playing a highly enjoyable game for a much lower price than through console means.