Henry Hatsworth and the Puzzling Adventure, published by EA games is a strange and wonderful mix of both classic platformer (what the DS needs more of) and a simple puzzle game. The marriage of the two genres is harmonious and wonderful, and seems to cater to more just the casual gamer. That’s right. Like Retro Game Challenge, Henry Hatsworth is a nod back to the old school days of gaming and a great one at that.
Story (4 out of 5)
Tealand is in trouble! The great adventurer Henry Hatsworth has just discovered a magical golden bowler hat, part of the mystical Gentlemen’s Suit, that allows him access into the Puzzle Realm. Unfortunately, now that he has opened the porthole, the Puzzle Realm is trying to break through. The only way to stop it is for Henry to find the rest of the Gentlemen’s Suit and gain control the Puzzle Realm himself. Of course, evil gentlemen are after the Suit as well, and thus the adventure begins.
Gameplay (5 out of 5)
Henry Hatsworth and the Puzzling Adventure is split into two modes of gameplay, platformer and puzzler. The platforming action takes place on the top screen while the puzzling action is restricted to the bottom (utilizing the touch screen controls). However, everything that happens in the top is affected by the bottom and vice versa.
The platforming part is pretty straight forward. Henry jumps, slashes enemies with his sword (or shoots them with any variety of weapons) and gathers power ups, and like any good platformer, there are there are air worlds, water worlds and more. However, for any enemy to really be defeated or any power up to take effect, one must destroy or activate them in the Puzzle Realm as well.
The puzzler portion plays like Tetris Attack in which blocks must be lined up in rows of three matching colors. The rows are constantly moving upward. Enemies that are defeated in the real world turn into blocks in the puzzle realm and if they are not defeated there they will come into the real world and attack! However, in order to get into the puzzle realm you must build up your puzzle meter by attacking enemies and advancing through each level. It sounds complex, and it is, but once you get the hang of it it becomes second nature, old chap!
Graphics and Sound (4 out of 5)
Henry Hatsworth and the Puzzling Adventure looks really nice. It’s just 2D, but the colors are bright and backgrounds are interesting. Everything looks great on the DS, and while not groundbreaking, it is a breath of fresh air to have an old school game with simple old school graphics.
Sound wise Henry Hatsworth and the Puzzling Adventure is awesome. Each cut scene is hilariously voice acted, but not how one would expect. Instead of speaking English, they speak Tealandese, a type of made up language that is just a bunch of gibberish with a few poppycock’s thrown in for good measure. The music is wonderful also, and really adds an element of suspense to the game.
Fun (4 out of 5)
Yes. Yes. Yes. Once I started playing Henry Hatsworth and the Puzzling Adventure I couldn’t stop even though each level is long and very unforgiving. Sure, you get plenty of lives and the game auto-saves after every level, but still, 30 minutes for one level? That’s a lot to invest in a platformer. In fact, each level seems like a real adventure in itself. The only problem is the game seems to fall back on the enemy overload several times per level (Henry stuck on a screen with a constant barrage of enemies to defeat), but even those are bearable.
Overall (4 out of 5)
If you like platformers and puzzle games, Henry Hatsworth and the Puzzling Adventure is for you. The story is charming and funny, the characters are quote worthy and the gameplay is top notch. What are you waiting for? Start your own puzzling adventure today!