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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince review

More like half-assed game


  • Hogwarts looks the part
  • Detailed locations
  • Nice character models


  • Endless item-fetching
  • Clunky controls
  • Somehow makes Hogwarts dull

As with the Wii version, Half-Blood Prince on DS achieves the remarkable feat of turning the fantastical world of Hogwarts into one of the dullest places in gaming. It looks the part, with detailed locations and character models, but the endless item-fetching tasks mean you have to hoof it around the premises without ever really engaging with the place. And progress is hampered by clunky controls that see Harry bumping around like a dog wearing one of those post-operation plastic collars.

Optional minigames break up the trudgery, from snap and marbles (sorry, Gobstones) to simplistic spell dueling. Quidditch handles awkwardly – flying a real broomstick may prove easier. Harry-obsessed younger gamers may get some enjoyment out of simply being at Hogwarts but old-hands will soon tire of, ahem, puttering about.

Aug 11, 2009

More Info

DescriptionSeven months. That’s how much extra time EA Bright Light has had to tweak and polish Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince after its release date was pushed back thanks to the movie’s theatrical slippage. The time could have been spent perfecting one of the most valuable game licenses. Instead it seems as though Harry and company were dumped in the Vanishing Cabinet since the game’s completion last year and left to gather cobwebs.
Franchise nameHarry Potter
UK franchise nameHarry Potter
PlatformXbox 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PSP, PC, PS2
US censor ratingEveryone 10+
UK censor ratingRating Pending
Alternative namesHarry Potter 6
Release date30 June 2009 (US), 3 July 2009 (UK)