|Min OS X: 10.6|
Mac OS X: 10.6.8 | CPU: 1.4 GHz Intel | RAM: 2 GB | HD Space: 7 GB | Graphics: 128 MB | Not Supported: ATI X1xxx series, ATI HD2xxx series, NVIDIA 7xxx series and Intel GMA series | Other: The following cards require you to have 4GB of System RAM: NVIDIA 320M, NVIDIA 9400, Intel HD 3000.
LEGO has a lot of game series these days. They have their standalone adventures, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean, and even the subject of today, Harry Potter. Each one has been approached in a different manner, but they tend to revolve around a centralized hub with easily-accessible missions and a grouping of abilities that don't vary much from series to series. However, they all have their own particular specialty. (You can't have space battles in Pirates of the Caribbean, but you also can't swing with a whip in Star Wars) With that in mind, what has Harry Potter brought to the table?
In the end, it's more about what it's taken away. In pretty much every LEGO game series to date, there's always been a melee attack, ranged combatants, special ability users, and a bonus level or two with special controls. In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 (HP 5-7), brought to Mac by Feral Interactive, there aren't any melee attacks and the characters use a limited set of spells that perform different functions. As a result, you end up running in circles mashing the spell key until the item you need to destroy is on the ground in pieces. It just isn't as satisfying as whipping, cutting, or sabering your way to success. In addition, the limited spell set that pretty much every character shares decreases the variety in characters. Sure, some can use pets and others have a special spell, but you're basically just running around as Harry mashing that spell key.
On the plus side, you do have the ability to participate in a lot of wizard duels. That mainly consists of hitting one key to block spells while hitting the "Next Spell" button until the color of the spell matches the circle around you. Once you've done that, you mash another key until you win the duel and do damage. It gets monotonous. The fact is, you'll basically just end up button mashing for the majority of the game for one purpose or another, so it doesn't seem to break things up sufficiently. The puzzles are also not as clearly defined as in one of the better series like Indiana Jones. You just tend to blow everything up until you can assemble something or deliver an item.
And blow it up you shall! There are thousands of breakable objects scattered throughout the various zones in HP 5-7, and each one relinquishes the studs that you'll need to obtain the usual bar of "this rich for extras" that all the LEGO series have for each level. There are also a few studs you have to explore a tiny bit for, like blues and purples hidden above a trampoline, but most are pretty straightforward. For the most part, all you'll be doing is running around firing spells everywhere and seeing what happens. Well, until you have a duel.
On the side of the controls, it just doesn't control as cleanly as the other games. Due to the fact that you have to select the right spell and that they're all fired as projectiles, it can sometimes be annoying to target what you want on the fly. The characters are also not as clear as, let's say, Chewbacca vs. Darth Maul. There's a lot of skill overlap, so it's easy to forget which character you need for a specific spell. This leads to a lot of unnecessary spell scrolling and just slows things down. It also doesn't help that key mappings seem to want to revert to default every time you quit!