A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this game lets kids explore what magic can do in Harry Potter's world, including curses, jinxes, and spells to defeat a wide range of magical beasts. Some of these beasts are scary looking and many are tenacious and relentless. Cooperation is stressed: At times, the only way to defeat magical foes is for Harry, Ron, and Hermione to jointly cast magic -- a great lesson for three friends playing together to learn.
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What's it about?
In the previous three Harry Potter games, the focus was on learning magic. In HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE the focus in on using it. As the players wander through the 11 locations, they use their wands (game controllers) to see what magic they can do in each location. Charms and jinxes appear when you need them -- and the more you use them and explore how to use them, the stronger a wizard you become. The main goal in each location is to find a TriWizard Shield. Players can obtain the shield only after solving a variety of puzzles and battling creatures with magic. Earning enough TriWizard Shields allows players to unlock new locations, including the three that house TriWizard Tournament Tasks and the culminating confrontation with Voldemort.
Is it any good?
Fans of Harry Potter will delight in exploring the new video game version of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Unlike the past Harry Potter games, kids don't have to go alone. A player can act as Harry, Hermione or Ron; then up to two friends can join the play as the remaining two characters. If no friends are around, the computer will provide the artificial intelligence so that the trio can work magic together.
Kids playing this graphically rich game will learn to cooperate with friends to accomplish difficult tasks, think creatively to solve logic puzzles, and take risks to accomplish results. If this sounds like great training for the real world, you're right. It is.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the role of the Collector's Card -- a way for kids to influence the magic available to them in the game. Some kids will want to use cards that make them more powerful while others may choose cards that allow them to heal their fellow players. You might want explore what risks your child decides to take while playing this game and why?
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