Harry Potter for Kinect

Common Sense Media says

Relive this epic tale by putting your own face in the game.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Players new to the Harry Potter universe will get a clear sense that the game is about good versus evil, even if they don't always understand what's going on. They'll see young wizards being brave and coming to their friends' help. The game also promotes physical activity, getting kids up off the couch to do lots of jumping, ducking, dodging, and flailing.

Positive role models

The kids are, as always, courageous, loyal, and moral. However, the narrative's disjointed structure and focus on action sequences means we don't really get to see them discussing the reasons for their decisions. Harry, Hermione, and Ron are, in this particular Harry Potter production, shallow characters.

Ease of play

Diagrammatic instructions are provided during loading screens and again during mini-games each time players need switch to a new activity. The mini-games are quite easy to start and slowly grow in difficulty with each passing year the player spends at Hogwarts. The final year has one game that will test players' physical endurance. Two difficulty settings means players looking for a little extra or a little less challenge can adjust the experience to their preference.

Violence

Mini-games have kids casting magical spells at enemies ranging from evil human wizards to a giant troll. Victims may be incapacitated, disappear in a puff of smoke, or burn away. One human dies on screen, others are left permanently addled. There are also scenes in which the player slashes at a monster and a snake with a sword, and another where battling Quidditch players punch each other while flying. Several scary scenes involve creatures like dementors, vicious fantastic creatures, and aquatic monsters lunging at the camera.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

This game is part of the Harry Potter franchise, and has countless related products ranging from books and movies to toys and other games.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

No privacy or safety concerns.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Harry Potter for Kinect is a collection of mini-games that requires Microsoft's motion- and sound-sensing peripheral. The second half has quite a bit of violence, mostly in the form of magic spell battles, as well as some pretty spooky scenes with dementors, evil wizards, and fantasy creatures (the game does its best to emulate the dark and dramatic visuals and atmosphere of the films). Parents should also note that this is a fairly active game that frequently prompts players to leap about and swing their arms.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Hobbies

  • sports

Skills

Communication

  • friendship building

Health & Fitness

  • fitness
  • movement

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Potter fans will definitely have fun shouting out the names of their favorite spells and playing Quidditch. The activities get a little repetitive, but the intuitive motion controls remain solid throughout. 

Learning Approach

Healthy movement and friendship-building are core components of this game. It will help kids maintain an active lifestyle and get them thinking about how they socialize.

Support

Directions are provided in-game for each activity. There's little support beyond this, though friends might consult one another for tips on how to improve performance.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Hobbies

  • sports

Skills

Communication

  • friendship building

Health & Fitness

  • fitness
  • movement

Kids can learn about healthy movement and friendship building in this very active Kinect game. Players find themselves in a nearly constant state of movement through most of the mini-games, which tend to encourage kids to use their entire bodies as they move about the play space. Kids will also have a chance to work on their socialization skills while playing quick multiplayer games both with and against their friends. Harry Potter for Kinect is a game about reliving the Potter experience, but it also helps keep kids engaged in an active lifestyle.

This Learning Rating review was written by Chad Sapieha

Parents say

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Kids say

What's it about?

HARRY POTTER FOR KINECT is a collection of quick and simple mini-games based on more than 25 of the most memorable moments from the films. This highly cinematic game leads players through all seven movies in chronological order, depicting three to five action-packed scenes from each one in little activities that generally take no longer than three or four minutes to complete (assuming you don't fail). Players will dodge the branches of the Whomping Willow, block incoming balls in a Quidditch match, run through a hedge maze en route to grabbing the Triwizard Cup, and go up against Voldemort in fevered magical battles. Once the story mode ends, players can explore a series of bonus games in the Extra Classes menu, where they can mix more potions, cast more spells, engage in more duels, and play together with friends in a handful of multiplayer mini-games.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The Harry Potter books will take most readers more than 100 hours to read. The movies last close to 20 hours. This game fits the entire story into somewhere between two and seven hours, depending on the player. Think of it as the Cliff Notes version of this epic saga, with most of the really good bits of dialogue edited out in favor of focusing on more action-packed moments. It's safe to say newcomers to the franchise (as rare as they may be) may be a lost.

But that's not to say what's here isn't entertaining. Fans will find fun shouting out the names of their favorite spells, gardening mandrake roots, protecting Dumbledore from the Inferi in the Horcrux cave, and playing different positions in Quidditch matches. The activities get a little repetitive after a while -- there are a few too many simple variations on dodging and spell-casting games -- but the intuitive motion controls remain solid throughout and the settings change. Perhaps best of all, you can create an avatar with your own face to make it appear as though you're the one attending Hogwarts -- a dream come true for any Harry Potter super fan.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the depiction of kids in fiction. What are some of the best and worst role models you've encountered? Where do the Harry Potter kids fit on that scale?

  • Families can also discuss how to keep active outside of games. What kind of physical activities interest you most? How do you feel after engaging in an intense sport or active play?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360
Price:$49.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Warner Bros. Games
Release date:October 9, 2012
Genre:Mini-games
Topics:Magic and fantasy
ESRB rating:E10+ for Animated Blood, Comic Mischief, Fantasy Violence (Xbox 360)

This review of Harry Potter for Kinect was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 12 years old January 27, 2013
AGE
13
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

harry potter kinect

harry potter Kinect is a good game has scary things like creatures in year 3 -7 troll appears in a fight no swearing so thats a good thing
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Safety and privacy concerns
Kid, 10 years old May 13, 2013
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

yea it harry pottery

its good but its scare to watch so thats why i said 10 and up
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written byPotterheadWhovian104 September 27, 2014
AGE
8
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

Okay game for HP fans.

When I first got this game I was SO excited, because it's Harry Potter and everything about it is exciting. It was a bit of a let-down though. Nothing special. I enjoy playing it when I'm bored, but I don't really seek it out for fun.

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