If you are like me, you are most likely the sort of person who starts playing a video game with the best of intentions. “I will beat this game!” you swear, gritting your teeth in frustration. But just as you think you’ve mastered the basics, something new and confusing is introduced and you’re back at square one. Sound familiar? Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets for the Game Boy Advance is the perfect game for you.
“But this game was manufactured for six-year-olds!” you argue. Exactly. When you can finally forget that this is the case, it is a marvelous self-esteem booster to defeat the basilisk at the game’s finale.
If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you’ll love this game simply because you can live out the book. The game follows the storyline very closely, beginning with the Weasleys rescuing Harry from the Dursleys’ house. It continues to Diagon Alley, where you must make your way to the vault in Gringotts and get wizard money.
Gameplay is simple and easy to control; enemies are defeated and secret objects are revealed with spells learned throughout the game. No fancy maneuvers are necessary, as spells are cast with one button and selected through the “select” screen. It gets slightly annoying to scroll through the options screen if you have to continually switch spells in a mission, but this is rare because the game is so simple.
The general object of the game is quite self-explanatory if you know the story. As Harry, you attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, hanging out with Ron and Hermione, exploring the school, playing Quidditch, and going on sneaky side missions. Most things that you will do, however, are related to the ultimate goal: uncovering the mystery of the Chamber of Secrets. It is definitely fun, especially since your frustration meter is virtually nonexistent. Smooth sailing all the way.
Graphics appear to be decent. They are clear, if a little dark at times. Audio as well is merely average—nothing exemplary. Essentially, the game delivers little more than uncomplicated fun. I don’t know if it would be worth playing again, as it was so easy the first time, but one never knows. It provided a few hours of good entertainment during lag time as a camp counselor this past summer, as well as scoring me instant popularity points with the first-graders. If that’s your thing (Michael Jackson, anyone?), check this game out.