LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4



Magical adventure is fun, funny, and fantastic.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The story promotes friendship, heroism, and helping those in need. The game itself promotes creativity and imagination as well.

Positive role models

Harry and his friends are excellent heroic role models here, just as they are in the Harry Potter books and movies. They stand for good in the battle against evil, but in a more relatable way, they always help out their friends and fellow students whenever somebody needs a hand.

Ease of play

The LEGO games have all been well-designed, with easy to learn -- and easy to use -- controls. This one is no exception. While switching between spells adds a level of complexity not seen in other LEGO games, it's still very simply laid out and never too hard to handle.

Violence & scariness

Characters -- in the form of LEGO minifigures -- blast one another with magic spells. Some yelp vocally when hit. Occasionally, a minifigure is destroyed as a result of fighting, and breaks apart. In the case of the heroes, they immediately reform. One heroic character dies toward the end of the game (if you know the books, then you know who) and as Harry mourns, holding the head of the LEGO minifigure, the game is sad for about two seconds. One dragon-type boss creature is killed with a sword. Voldemort and his minions are scary LEGO figures -- but they're still just LEGO figures.

Not applicable

The game has a double-tie-in, with licensing from both the LEGO toy brand and the Harry Potter movie franchise.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 covers the stories of the first four Harry Potter books (and movies). Those stories get darker as they go along, but in the world of LEGO video games, even that which is scary or violent is depicted with colorful block characters. A spooky LEGO ghost still looks like a toy. Even among the growing library of LEGO video games, though, Harry Potter is less violent. With LEGO Star Wars or Batman or Indiana Jones, there was a lot of physical fighting, but such melees are only a small fraction of the action here. In LEGO Harry Potter, the focus is much more heavily weighted toward exploration and puzzle solving. There is a tiny bit of crude humor, most of it involving bad odors -- as when a LEGO creature leaves little brown LEGO droppings, and characters grimace.

What's it about?

LEGO HARRY POTTER: YEARS 1-4 covers the same plot as the first four Harry Potter books (and movies). Young Harry discovers he comes from a magical lineage, goes to Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Witchcraft, makes friends, discovers enemies, and learns that he must stop the return of the most evil wizard ever, Lord Voldemort. Covered within this game are such memorable Potter moments as Harry's first Quidditch match, the battle with the basilisk, the attack of the Whomping Willow, the visit to Hogsmeade, and the Tri-Wizard Tournament.

Is it any good?


LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 is yet another winner in a long line of fantastic LEGO video games. The beautifully rendered story scenes are filled with tongue-in-cheek in-jokes and a lot of fun to watch, but here, more so than in previous LEGO games, much of the plot is revealed through gameplay sequences. The classes, for instance, in which Harry and friends learn new spells must all be played out. There are so many imaginative features and details that you may not even notice everything on your first playthrough; luckily the game is designed to encourage multiple replays. Exploration and trial-and-error are rewarded throughout, and it is so much fun just to wander around the halls of Hogwarts trying out different spells on different objects to see what happens. It would be almost impossible for Potter fans not to adore this game. But even those who aren't mega-Potterheads can appreciate and have a great time with this truly creative adventures.

Families can talk about...

  • Harry Potter fans can talk about this latest incarnation of their favorite story. How does LEGO Harry Potter compare to the books and the movies? Does it capture the spirit of the tale and its characters?

  • This is a game built for two-person cooperative play and requires a lot of teamwork. How do you like playing with another person as a team? Do you find it difficult to coordinate your actions? Or do you work better with a partner?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Warner Bros. Games
Release date:June 29, 2010
Topics:Magic and fantasy
ESRB rating:E10+ for Cartoon Violence, Crude Humor

This review of LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 was written by

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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.

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Kid, 11 years old March 10, 2011

Now i like LEGOS

When i first heard of LEGO Harry Potter I'm like, it sounds dumb but i totally need that. Now i love it! I finished the whole game and i'm going to play it again! I apprecite LEGOS more now!!!!
Teen, 17 years old Written byadamr2893 January 12, 2011

A game that is entertaining and funny. A great family game.

Wow. Since I got this game, I was amazed. The controls are very simple, and when you start playing this game, you just can't stop! The controls are just like the other LEGO games, but instead of punching or kicking, you use spells on things. This is also a great family game. There can be 2 players. But there is one teensy problem with multiplayer. When one person goes a certain distance away from the other person, a straight black line appears on the screen. Well, I guess it's better than dying and spawning where the other person is. Anyway, about the rating. This game is rated E10+ for Cartoon Violence and Crude Humor. Yes, there is cartoon violence throughout, but there's nothing to be worried sick about. Everything just breaks into LEGO pieces when you zap it with a spell. Nothing bad at all. There is also potty humor, e.g., Harry shakes his but while under the invisibility cloak. The game is REALLY funny. If you are a fan of LEGOs or LEGO games, this is the perfect game for you. There is so much to explore and unlock in the world of Harry Potter!
What other families should know
Great role models
Parent of a 7, 11, and 14 year old Written bybeckyhall July 1, 2010
We got this on the release date, being huge Harry Potter fans from the books to the movies to the games. My kids (7, 11, 14) LOVED it from the first moment! I love the humor in the lego games, and I love the theme of good vs. evil in Harry Potter in general.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models


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