After my somewhat unpleasant encounter with the DS version of Lego Harry Potter, I settled into the Wii version, and found myself in much more familiar territory. The Wii version is the same game as is found in the other main versions (as I understand it, at least—I didn't actually play all the versions myself), with just a little added touch: letting you use the Wii Remote's pointer to target your wand actions.

I think I can safely say that those of you who like the Lego movie games will find yourselves at home here, at least to some degree.

The standard for the Lego movie games—set by the original Lego Star Wars titles, is that of a somewhat-platformy action title where you meander through sets inspired by scenes from whatever movie it is that has its title on the game box, with characters and some of the environments represented as they would if they were Lego toys. In every area, many things can be interacted with in a purely toy-like fashion, netting you extra Lego studs (the little round pieces) that you can use to buy all sorts of unlockable items. There are also a number of cutscenes scattered about, giving their humorous Lego-branded take on the events of the movies in-between the action segments.

Lego Harry Potter fits nicely into that standard, though you'll find a few things are different if your memories are primarily of the LucasArts Lego games—fortuitously, we had the opportunity to directly compare to Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures, fresh out of the box, thanks to a crazy sale. In Potter, you'll spend a lot more of your time walking through the same areas in the hub area of Hogwarts than playing traditional levels, which can get a touch tedious as you'll find you've already milked the areas nearly dry of activities when you have to walk through them again, newly-unlocked abilities making a few more things accessible notwithstanding. There's still plenty to do though in the game though, particularly in the occasional actual levels.

Key to the series and likely its success is the co-op play implementation, which Lego Harry Potter improves upon with a much-needed improvement. Previous games could be a bit of a mixed bag in this department as the camera could go sickeningly nuts zooming and panning around trying to keep everyone in the frame, but Potter adds a dynamic screen split that will divide the screen in two at whatever angle works best to let both characters freely explore the levels and keep everything in focus. Like many things in this series, it isn't perfect, but it's a very much-appreciated enhancement.

The Wii version is sort of an interesting case, particularly when we contrasted it with Indiana Jones. Lego movie games have always sold best on Wii; this very title placed ninth in last month's NPD results—and the pointer feature I mentioned before works very well and is a very good reason to own this version over the others. But the Wii version also seems to be unnecessarily suffering in the graphics department. Faces in particular are really horribly low-res, and in some of the busier scenes it's really easy to lose track of what little Lego guy walking around on the screen is the one you're playing as. Looking at prior Lego titles on Wii and their much stronger presence in this department saddens me some; things like this are supposed to get better over a system's life, not worse.

Not a new problem to the series is the inevitable bugginess that always seems to come with these games. It's hardly game-killing, though we did probably collectively waste an hour or more trying to work our way through impossible situations where someone or something would get stuck, hindering our progress—thankfully, the frequent autosave proved our savior. Memories of the frustration, though, did dampen our enthusiasm for the inevitable area replays with the new characters we'd unlock along the way.

We like Lego Harry Potter; it's not the greatest of the Lego movie games, but as Harry Potter fans (though not the crazy kind) we found the game a lighthearted and entertaining retelling of the tale with a nice amount of amusing play to go with. If you're a kid at heart—or better yet, have a kid-at-heart (or even just a kid) in your house who likes Lego and Harry Potter in your house—this is a good game to take home and play through.