Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Game review by
Jinny Gudmundsen, Common Sense Media
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Game Poster Image
Dark themes handled with a light touch in this 6th game.
Popular with kidsParents recommend

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 18 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive messages

The game teaches kids about the importance of doing the right thing even though you might be putting yourself in peril. Dumbledore's actions show this theme, as do Harry's.

Positive role models & representations

Harry, Ron, and Hermione are great role models about being good friends. Harry, Dumbledore, and others all make sacrafices for the greater good.

Ease of play

This game is fun but very easy to play. It is set up so that kids and casual players will experience success. While you may have to retry a potion, or play a Quidditch sequence again to win, you will never lose or have to restart a level -- you just keep replaying a section until you win. And if you are struggling through a section, the game adjusts to become easier.

Violence

The fantasy violence is represented as magic spells cast from a wand. The spells can knock you down, suspend you upside down in midair, and freeze or stuns you. You will witness a spell that appears to kill a main character. On one scene you will have to cast magic to keep scary undead characters from crawling out of lake toward you.

Sex

There is a kiss shown between Harry and Ginny. You will hear talk about "snogging" (kissing) and "getting lucky."

Language

There is an occasional use of "hell."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this visually-exciting action adventure game is based on the movie and book of the same name. While the themes in J.K. Rowling's sixth book in the Harry Potter series are darker and more mature than those in the earlier books, this video game does not focus that much on those themes. While kids will fight the Death Eaters at the end of the game, those fights don't seem that frightening because they have been practicing dueling with other kids at Hogwarts throughout the game. Kids will see Harry being kissed. And while the video cutscenes at the end of the game show a main character being hit with a magic spell that causes him to go over the edge of the Astronomy Tower, it happens quickly and then the story moves on.

User Reviews

Parent of a 17 year old Written bylove2 October 6, 2009

ok game

i got this game for my b day and it was not the best game ever but it was pritty good. kids under 8 wont really understand the game and plus the game is inaprop... Continue reading
Adult Written byPockets420 September 11, 2009

its a good game if you are trying to get them all

I liked this game there was some stuff in it that could have been twecked i like the dolling the only thing i didn't like about this game was the story sto... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written bybosbos July 13, 2009
love it
Kid, 9 years old March 24, 2011

best

this game is good.PLAY IT.ON XBOX360

What's it about?

HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE is the sixth Harry Potter game produced by Electronic Arts. This time around, Electronic Arts provides kids with the ability to openly explore a beautifully rendered Hogwarts castle and grounds. The retelling of the story of J.K. Rowling's sixth Harry Potter book is shown through video cutscenes that are triggered by the accomplishment of various tasks. As Harry, you will attend class, help others, practice making potions, go to Quidditch practice and play in matches, and practice dueling. The game culminates with your fighting some Death Eaters. Throughout your castle explorations, you will find Crests to collect which unlock new and bonus content, including the ability to duel with a friend.

Is it any good?

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is a good game for kids and casual gamers who are fans of Harry Potter. Because it is an easy game and relatively short (about 8-10 hours in the story mode), it is not a good fit for video game enthusiasts. Because the story is compacted, it might not make sense to those who have not read the source book or seen the movie on which it is based. It is not as deep as previous games; in this one you will basically be brewing potions, dueling using magic, and flying during Quidditch.

What the game does well is provide realistic animations of all of the actors from the movie – you can even see emotion on the characters' faces. And many of the actors have lent their voice talents to the game including Rupert Grint as Ron and Bonnie Wright as Ginny. The wizard dueling is easier than in earlier games because the controls are more responsive (especially on the Wii) and you can now move Harry while he is casting magic spells. Likewise, the navigation is easier because you always have an option of calling up Nearly Headless Nick (a ghost) to lead you through the castle. We also found that flying on a broomstick had improved from previous games.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why all things Harry Potter are so popular?

  • How can game creators suck you into the game? Is it by presenting an emotionally charged story line? Or do they hook you by presenting fun activities to do. What happened here?

  • Is this game different from the book? From the movie? In what way?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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