This is one of those things you know you shouldn't node, but yet you must express your amazement, and warn others. Of course, none of you were planning on buying a game that you play using your TV and remote control. Even the stoutest Harry Potter fan couldn't really have imagined that this would be worth $20. Even if you thought that the multi-billion Harry Potter industry might have made the effort to make something new, inventive, and potentially worth-while in the way of DVD games, you would at least have read a review or two before buying it, right?

Well, just in case you're coming to E2 for your reviews, let me tell you. This game is god-awful. There is nothing on it that makes it better than the 'special feature' games you find packaged along with any other movie, except that it includes more games (14 in all!), and they are spiffed up with clips from the movies. If you have a computer, any and every game that you have on that computer will be more interesting.

I have certainly not taken time to explore all fourteen 'games', but it seems that about one third of them are 'mazes' of sorts. You are flying in a quidditch game, running from a werewolf or dodging the whomping willow, guiding a flying owl -- but the basic idea is exactly the same. You must press one of the of four arrow keys on the remote at well-spaced intervals; sometimes there is a clue as to which arrow key you need to press, sometimes not. You play the maze over and over, until you memorize the correct sequence of arrows. This is a step down from.... No, there's nothing that it could be just one step down from. It's about three steps down from Pac man. I suppose that it might be two steps down from those 'games' that teach kids to touch type; it's more boring, has more lag time, and is less educational. Bah.

Thankfully, that's not all there is. There are also 'classes', which are basically exceptionally simple games interspersed with clips from the movies. Mix two colors to make orange; match the pattern the wand makes with a pattern from the list; time your button push with the movement of the progress bar; click when you see one of these objects; shift the moving staircase so that the stairs connect. These are stupid, but potentially interesting and even educational to a young child. They also pepper these with trivia from the books/movies ("make a potion the color of Dobby's eyes"; "Hedwig is one of these").

As you play the games, you earn house points and move through your years at Hogwarts. You have the option of multiplayer play, which also gives you occasional opportunities to backstab, and, more importantly, it gives the more competitive among us a reason not to give up after the first five minutes. You can neither die nor save a game, making nearly impossible for a grown adult to finish a game (no one is that bored).

This game is not rated, but is it probably of most interest to kids between the ages of 6-10. They should be bored, and they should be raging Harry Potter fans. If you don't have a computer that the kids can use, then this might be a good way to distract them with a nearly educational pseudogame. I would certainly not pay the $20 American that Amazon advertises, but there's a good chance that it'll be appearing in dollar bins of your local store in the near future.

The disc also comes with one special feature; trailers for The Order of the Phoenix, the Christmas Classic Collection, and Chill Out Scooby Doo.

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