The following is a guest review by a Mommies with Style Dad, Josh. Josh lives outside of Philadelphia and has two kids, a girl (5) and a boy (1.5)
EA’s Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix for the Nintendo Wii is simply magic. Wandwork is front and center in this edition of the Harry Potter franchise, and the Wii’s intuitive, motion-based interface allows players to cast numerous favorites from the franchise (i.e., wingardium leviosia, expelliarmus) literally with a flick of the wrist. The graphics are nothing short of spectacular, offering the player virtually unlimited access to Hogwarts Castle and visits to Little Winging, Grimmauld Place and (eventually) the Ministry of Magic.
Because the “game world” is simply huge, getting lost – particularly in Hogwarts Castle – is easy. Luckily for players, the creators give one-button access to the infamous “Marauders Map,” which, in turn, allows players to maneuver around Hogwarts, locate rooms and fellow students, and avoid that awful Professor Umbridge. As the game progresses, players also have the opportunity to play as other characters besides Harry Potter, including Sirus Black, Fred and George Weasley, and Professor Dumbledore. I was also glad to see the game incorporate several plotlines left out of the 2007 movie due to time constraints (ex. Harry’s angst about being passed over for the prefect post in favor of Ron and Hermoine).
Although the graphics and storyline deserve their “E for Everyone” rating, due to the complexity of some of the spell-casting movements with the Wii remote, children under 10 may need some occasional help from mom or dad. That being said, once everyone gets the hang of it, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix will be great fun for the whole family, and is a superb addition to the ever-expanding Harry Potter universe.

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