Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
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 is available across all platforms, but is truly spectacular when played on the Wii. The always-scary Dementors do appear at the beginning of the game. Later, you duel the Death Eaters and Voldemort: Both are long, intense battles, thus triggering the E+10 rating. But the fantasy violence is a small part of this game. Instead the focus is on exploration, solving fetch tasks, and immersing yourself in the world of Harry Potter.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX closely follows the story of J.K. Rowling's book and is based on the movie version. Most of the time, you play as Harry Potter, but occasionally, you become the Weasley twins, Sirius Black, and even Headmaster Dumbledore. The game incorporates a series of missions (tasks) into the story line, which is moved forward at various times by video sequences known as cut-scenes. But this is not a linear game. You are free to explore the castle and grounds of Hogwarts and pick up or change tasks at will. The first part of the game is spent finding and helping the 28 students who signed up to take a secret class from Harry about Defense Against the Dark Arts. Only when you have assembled all 28 members can you move on in the game.
Is it any good?
While the past four Harry Potter games have been great, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix far exceeds those built-up expectations. Available in a number of versions but best played on the Nintendo Wii, this enormous game gives us the Hogwarts the previous games made us long for, with a sprawling layout and endless nooks and crannies to explore. A fully orchestrated soundtrack, realistic animation, and original voices from the movie all add to the rich experience.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is a vast, gorgeous, and superb game. It creates a powerful gaming experience by immersing kids into the world of Harry Potter. It delivers the wish that many kids share: the ability to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and do magic.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how playing this version stacks up to the book or movie. How did it feel to be a wizard? Can you imagine how you would use this kind of magic and how that would change your life? Did you feel like you got a better sense of the Harry Potter world by experiencing it firsthand? Was this what you had imagined when you were reading the books?
- Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PSP, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, Windows, PlayStation 2, Game Boy Advance
- Price: $49.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Electronic Arts
- Release date: June 27, 2007
- Genre: Role-Playing
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy
- ESRB rating: E10+ for fantasy violence
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.