The magic begins...
Staying true to the novel, Harry's adventure begins at Number Four Privet Drive, Little Whinging - the home of his aunt and uncle, the Dursleys. After being kept in a cupboard under the stairs and treated as an outcast for years by his own LEGO family, Harry is rescued by Hagrid, the half-giant Keeper of Keys and Grounds for Hogwarts.
As the title suggests, the game covers the first four years of Harry's life at Hogwarts and takes the same path as the original books. The journey sees Harry, Ron and Hermione mature from inexperienced first year students to confident wizards and witches, concocting potions, solving puzzles and fighting foes with magical spells.
As the trio learn more spells and mix more potions, their powers and knowledge increase, allowing them to return to earlier unsolved challenges with the ability to complete them and enter places that were previously off-limits to them.
Just about every character from the books will pop up at some point in LEGO form, from Professor Snape to Crookshanks the cat. And, of course, don't expect to avoid the presence of He Who Must Not Be Named before the end of your time at Hogwarts.
Harry, Hogwarts and humour
The game and the characters within it are brought to life through the imaginative and quirky use of LEGO. Buildings, plants and even animals are all constructed from the colourful blocks and look completely charming on-screen.
Iconic settings from the first four books have been carefully reconstructed, from Diagon Alley to the Forbidden Forest. Once you have earned enough coins, you can visit Diagon Alley for a shopping spree. Buildings such as Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions and Gringotts Wizarding Bank have all been recreated for you to spend some cash.
Puzzles, tasks and battles are all made extra fun by their LEGO appearance. If Harry is being beaten in a battle he may be reduced to a pile of LEGO rubble, only to reform into his regular little self a few seconds later.
The cute, muffled sounds of the LEGO characters and the wonderful recreation of this enchanting and well known fantasy setting make the game a delight from start to finish, and one you'll want to enjoy again and again. So long as You Know Who lets you...
Your scar is legend
LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4 throws you into the magical world of the young wizard and his friends and foes at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The game sees you embark on a series of deadly missions, solve challenging puzzles and work your way through some of Hogwarts' most dangerous dungeons and chilling chambers.
As you explore the legendary halls of Hogwarts, complete with antique-looking and ornate LEGO portraits and creaky, moving stairways, you will come across plenty of fun tasks and magical missions to solve. To make each challenge a little bit more interesting, you must first discover what must be done by exploring each level for hints and tips to progress to the next part of the castle.
Once you have uncovered your task, you can set about mixing potions, finding missing objects and collecting house points for Gryffindor. You can also collect coins just about everywhere in the game, and then use them to purchase essential wizarding accessories in the shops at Diagon Alley.
Become the best wizard that you can by attending lessons to learn spells, listening to the teachings of the wise Dumbledore and completing missions all over Hogwarts.
It takes two
Teamwork is essential in LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4. If you're playing in single player mode, you can switch between characters and use their different abilities to solve puzzles and complete challenges. As well as learning certain spells and mixing particular potions, you will need Hagrid's strength, Madam Pomfrey's powerful witchcraft and Dumbledore's wisdom to succeed in some levels.
If you don't want to walk the magical streets alone, the multiplayer option allows a second player to drop in and drop out at any point to aid you on your mission. It's always handy to have someone else on board, especially when you're fighting huge brick-throwing Trolls in the girls' bathroom.
The game boasts over 150 playable characters, from Hagrid to Ron's pet rat Scabbers, whose small frame makes him perfect for climbing into the tightest of spaces to collect coins. Remember to check out the different spells and abilities that each character possesses in order to select the right person, creature or animal for the job.