It’s the Harry Potter 20th anniversary, so here’s the best game to indulge in nostalgia

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The boy who lived…

Today, June 26, 2017 marks the Harry Potter 20th anniversary. In 1997 the first book — Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone — was published, and since then the world has never been the same. The franchise created by now-famous British author J.K. Rowling became a worldwide sensation among children and adults alike.

With countless adaptations from spin-off books, Hollywood blockbuster films, and even theater plays, the Harry Potter franchise is valued at somewhere north of 25 billion dollars.

Despite the huge success, the franchise struggled to find any sort of footing in the world of video games. Early adaptations of the first and second books for PC and GameCube didn’t succeed, and later adaptations merely spiraled downwards, with almost no notable titles.

However, one studio stands above all in translating the magic of the world of Harry Potter to the home console: Traveller’s Tales.

Harry Potter 20th anniversary

The best way to experience the full story in video games

Traveller’s Tales is the studio that developed the Harry Potter Lego games for consoles. With the first game (2010) covering the story line from the first four years at Hogwarts, and the second installment (2012) covering the last three years.

The simple gameplay, charming and funny interpretation of the characters, and overall solid mechanics worked surprisingly well. Better than anything that was tried before with the franchise, for sure. The Lego game follows the story very closely with only minor changes to certain events befitting the typical humor in the Lego franchise. In addition to the already great single player experience with over 160 characters to unlock, you can enjoy the adventure in split-screen co-op.

If you’ve played a Lego game before, you will know what to expect of Harry Potter here. It’s a basic run-and-jump adventure with some puzzle solving and context-sensitive character swapping. The game is never really hard, but it’s on-point design keeps you going. The simple charm of the game and the love for the franchise comes through in every moment. As always, it is amazing what the developers can achieve without using words in their games, focusing instead on simple facial expressions much like emojis.

Harry Potter 20th anniversary

The games shine through their attention to detail, funny cutscenes, and simple magic system. Epic battles with trolls or Voldemort play great and require you to use the things you’ve learned before to protect yourself. On top of the fact that the game is available for almost any platform imaginable, the game was re-released in October 2016 as a bundle for PS4 with both titles, covering all years of the main Harry Potter story.

Since the game keeps you actively engaged, it’s easy to get lost in it and binge play it for longer than you probably should. It’s especially fun to play with a friend who loves the franchise as much as you do.

Harry Potter Lego is by far the best interpretation of the franchise in terms of video games, and now is the best time to try it if you haven’t before. Take a break from re-reading all the books and binge-watching all the movies to give this great little game a go!

How will you be celebrating the Harry Potter 20th anniversary? Let us know on Twitter!

Harry Potter 20th anniversary

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Guitarist, singer, console gamer, general nerd, marketer, contributor @obiliskgames.

Currently obsessed with Persona 5 and waiting for new Switch titles.

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