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 features mild violence. Our dapper gentleman gets into plenty of fights with monsters and humans, but nothing particularly nasty ever happens. Mr. Hatsworth does use a blunderbuss and a rapier, but defeated enemies simply disappear in a flash of light with a look of shock on their faces. It's also worth noting that while the puzzle portion of the game is fairly simple, the platforming areas offer a level of challenge that likely won't be suitable for younger players and for that reason we have set the age appropriateness at age 10.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
HENRY HATSWORTH IN THE PUZZLING ADVENTURE has players taking control of a British professor who, in action-packed Indiana Jones style, quests for a magical -- and rather dapper -- suit. He runs into plenty of monsters along the way, which he does battle with using weapons including a blunderbuss and a sword. Defeated monsters fall to the bottom screen and become pieces in a match-three block-swapping puzzle that constantly creeps up towards the DS's top display. Should the monster blocks reach the top of the screen before being cleared, they'll reappear in the platform part of the game and try to attack the professor.
Is it any good?
The manner in which Henry Hatsworth melds the seemingly disparate genres of puzzle and platform gaming is nothing if not innovative. Play is shockingly seamless; all it takes is a single button tap to switch from the platform adventure to the puzzle game below. Moreover, the puzzle controls are mapped to the same buttons as the platform controls, so there's no need to pull out the stylus when it comes time to start swapping blocks (though the option does exist for those who prefer using the DS's touch screen). You can work on the puzzle until the timer runs out, clearing monsters and earning power-ups, or hop back up to the top screen and pick up the platform adventure exactly where you left off. Note, the platform puzzles can get very challenging toward the end of the game.
This fast-paced action is enhanced by fun and original artistic design. Our titular hero dons distinctive apparel and accessories -- including a bowler hat, a pith helmet, and a monocle -- and regularly utters identifiable Britishisms such as "quite so" and "good show." He and his equally idiosyncratic nemeses travel across lush and colorful backgrounds ranging from rainforests to graveyards to undersea worlds. An eclectic score that quickly and effortlessly moves from jungle beats to powerful orchestral movements to Scooby-Doo-style haunted house melodies -- acts as the icing on this creative and undeniably unique little handheld adventure.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about some of the interesting characters found in the game, particularly the titular protagonist, a bearded, bowler-hat wearing British professor who utters phrases like "good show!" and comes off as a bit haughty. What do you think of using such stereotypes for comical effect? You can also discuss the game's innovative melding of puzzle and platform play. Do these two types of games feel compatible? Did you find one more compelling than the other?
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