I am a great Kinect fan and while Kinect games do have their limits, they take the gaming experience to a whole new level. Harry Potter Kinect is no exception and I immensely enjoyed reliving some iconic scenes from the Harry Potter films.
First of all, this game is definitely made for fans, so anyone who is not familiar with Harry Potter will not really get it and probably not really enjoy it. But that’s only natural – if you don’t know the story, you won’t be as engaged. If you do know the story, it will be incredibly exciting! But be warned – if you like Harry Potter, but haven’t read all the books/watched the films, this game will contain massive spoilers!
The main feature of the game is playing through iconic moments of the films. So you will be brewing potions (Snape looking directly at you is massively disconcerting), repotting Mandrakes and duelling Voldemort. There is a good variety of games, so playing through the moments doesn’t get too repetetive. Some elements are repeated (the style of the Voldemort battles, jumping and ducking or catching the snitch/key), but it’s never too often or an exact copy. So far I have only played through the story mode in casual difficulty and I haven’t tried the challenges yet – so there is plenty to do. Especially the duels take practice to do well. You need to know your spells!
Next to the story mode you can also brew more potions, practice spells and duel different characters. The main menu is Dubledores’s office, so having a look around is always worth your while. You will find the Sorting Hat is eager to sing his songs and Fawkes wants a good ruffle of his feathers (I really want a phoenix now). I was excited to hear that you can take a picture of yourself and bascially play as yourself, but the resulting character is too hideous for words and I wouldn’t dare showing a picture here. So go on and try it – if you fancy nightmares 😉 .
I absolutely love the controls. The game has been running pretty smoothly for me and it’s been recognising most of my movements correctly. So no complaints there. I especially love the feeling of casting spells. A little flick of the wrist unleashes a host of jinxes and curses to vex your opponent. It’s simply great and intuitive. I guess I’ll try and use a wand next time – to make it even more authentic.
Harry Potter Kinect is a fun and engaging Kinect game, that takes you right into the heart of the Harry Potter story. If you ever wanted to duel, catch a snitch or compete in the Triwizard Tournament this is the game for you. Just forget you are standing in front of your TV in your living room and yelling „Wingardium Leviosa“ at the screen – you just made that feather fly! How awesome is that?