Recently, Electronic Arts gave anxious Harry Potter fans a first glimpse at the
new Gameboy Color game Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, and considering the source material it's
probably not too surprising that the game is an RPG. The KnowWonder
development team has risen to the challenge of turning a much-beloved book
into a game, and appears to have had as much success as Harry himself has on
the Quidditch field.
The game picks up about a hundred pages into the book, on Harry's first visit to
Diagon Alley and continues through his first year at Hogwarts Academy
of Magic. Diagon Alley is a huge shopping district that caters exclusively to
witches and wizards. The Alley plays host to a plethora of shops, such as Flourish and Blotts's
bookstore, the world-famous (for wizards, at least) Leaky Cauldron pub, and last
but not least, Gringots, the worlds only wizard bank.
Many elements of the game are straight out of Harry Potter canon. The magic
system, for instance, is based on the famous wizard cards that are hidden inside
the ubiquitous and scrumptious Chocolate Frogs. Harry can combine any three of
the 101 cards to create spell effects, similar to
Castlevania: Circle of the Moon. Also, in a feature sure to make some readers think "Pottérmon," you can trade cards with your friends using a link cable.
All of the characters you love (and love to hate) are included in the game, as
well. Headmaster Dumbledore, Hagrid, Professors Snape, Quirrell and
McGonagall, Draco Malfoy and his henchmen Crabbe and Goyle, Ron, Hemione,
and almost a hundred other characters are included. KnowWonder has also
promised that the game will go beyond the scope of the books and offer new
subplots. This might set off the "Uh-oh" light in some series fans, but as this
game was created under the supervision of Potter author J. K. Rowling, there is
no reason to fear that the new story elements will not mesh with the elements
taken directly from the books.
With all the features that have been crammed into this Gameboy Color game,
one might think that everything from the books was included. Sadly, however,
KnowWonder felt that the aging Gameboy Color hardware simply couldn't do the
Quidditch game justice. On the brighter side, side-scrolling broom flying levels
will be included.
Even gameboy color owners who haven't read any of the Harry Potter books will
want to keep an eye out for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, which will be
released on November 16th, to cash in on the release of the movie.