LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 Game Poster Image

LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7

(i)

 

Darker story is lightened by humor and fun exploration.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids can learn about solving problems and puzzles while collaborating with others to explore and understand new environments. Kids entering this magical world must use a keen sense of observation and logic to figure their way out of story-based predicaments. As kids learn to use the magic, they work out the rules of a new system and learn how to survive and thrive within. For kids who thrive in open worlds, this is a magical way to learn about logic and collaboration.

Positive messages

The story, which comically mirrors that of the Harry Potter books and movies, is all about forces of good taking up the responsibility to defend the world from forces of evil. There is a lot of self-sacrifice that occurs, as well as bonds for friendship being tested and strengthened. Of course, this is all acted out wordlessly with LEGO toys.

Positive role models

There's something about the LEGO characters that makes every situation, no matter how dark and sober it was in the movies, sort of jovial and fun in the game. They put a touch of humor into everything, which subtly tells kids not to take it all too seriously.

Ease of play

Controls are relatively simple to learn and generally easy to handle. Keeping track of all the different spells and which ones you need to use in different situations might require a learning curve. Plus the game doesn't automatically save each time you move to a new area, and at times, the save points are few and far between.

Violence

Players use their wands to zap monsters and evil wizards with colorful bursts of magical energy. The characters are all portrayed by LEGO toys, so none of the violence is realistic in the slightest. Defeated characters break up into their component LEGO parts. Most of the darker, scarier moments occur during animated cut scenes. In those movie moments, you'll see multiple characters die (one of whom dissolves dramatically — the only death that doesn't involve a block scattering).

Sex

There are multiple kisses between LEGO people. Also, a wizard loses his pants and covers up his bare LEGO legs.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The game is a tie-in to both the Harry Potter series and the LEGO toy line.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5–7 covers the darker and more violent last half of the Harry Potter saga. While the game's focus feels more on the side of puzzle-solving and exploration than it does on fighting, there are still plenty of wand-zapping wizard battles taking place throughout. Keep in mind, though, that all the characters are portrayed by plastic-looking LEGO mini-figures and that pretty much everything -- even the deaths of major characters -- gets a dose of humor added to it here. That being said, there are still some scary moments, including an extended boss battle against a rather frightening dragon made of fire.

What's it about?

LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 covers the plot territory of the final four Harry Potter films: Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince, and Deathly Hallows Parts I & II. Colorful LEGO mini-figures act out retellings of the evil Lord Voldemort's return to power and the resistance movement against him by heroic students of Hogwarts.

The game is linear, where you start in Harry Potter's fifth year and you can't access the next year until you've completed the one before it. Players will attend classes at Hogwarts to learn magic, practice dueling, and solve hundreds of environmental puzzles. There are also many things to collect, including LEGO studs, students in peril, crests, items to help others, and more. Each movie is represented in 6 levels, and when you've completed a level, it becomes available for replay in an open play mode.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

All the LEGO video games have been graced by great humor, creative level design, and the sheer joy that comes from collecting tons of unlockable characters. But what makes LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5–7 a real standout is the parts of the Harry Potter story that the developers decided to dramatize. They could have gone for a blast-heavy shoot-em-up (like LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars), but opted to put the focus on exploration and puzzle solving. In a game that depicts the final four Harry Potter films, you might not have expected levels where the goal is to explore Professor Snape's childhood memories or convince Horace Slughorn to come out of retirement and become a teacher again. But those levels are incredibly fun and fresh-feeling -- perhaps even more so than the (admittedly also great) levels devoted to the Battle of Hogwarts. There's so much to experience here, that the only real complaint is that you can't save your game mid-level -- so before you start a new play session, make sure you've got the time to work your way through to the next autosave spot.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the violence in the game. Does the fighting and death in the game have less of an impact because it is depicted with LEGO toys?

  • Does the humor help to alleviate some of the darker and more frightening aspects of the story?

  • Parents can also talk to kids about marketing synergy and product placement. Does playing this game make you want to buy LEGO Harry Potter toys?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Skills:Self-Direction: achieving goals, work to achieve goals
Collaboration: group projects, meeting challenges together, teamwork
Thinking & Reasoning: logic, problem solving, solving puzzles
Price:$29.99-$49.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Warner Bros. Games
Release date:November 11, 2011
Genre:Action/Adventure
Topics:Magic and fantasy
ESRB rating:E10+ for Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief

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Teen, 17 years old Written bycraftygirl202 December 4, 2011

AMAZING, AMAZING GAME

Probably the best video game of '11 AND '12. Hardly any glitches, great screening, and amazing humor and characters. There's a laugh every second, it seems like. Bravo for the LEGO creators!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 15 years old Written byChristhegamer_360 December 15, 2011

Sequel is awesome

This is an extremely good game for your younger gamer but it is dark. Be careful with 6 & under.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 11 years old November 26, 2011

Possibly the best lego game yet.

Harry and his friends are nice to each other, although Harry can be pressured into being a brat at points. The game contains little violence, such as characters getting killed, but the death is lightened up by childish lego humor. Characters kiss, but since it is lego, most of it is lightened. Lego ties in with Harry Potter, making extra product placement.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much consumerism