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Henry Hatsworth In The Puzzling Adventure Review

EA deliver quirky platforming at a low price

First looks truly are deceiving. Take a glance at that curious name and the smartly dressed gentleman that adorns the front of the box and it would be understandable if you immediately dismissed this as a poor clone of Professor Layton. Yet underneath the familiar dapper suit and bowler hat lies a rather spiffing adventure.

Mr. Hatsworth is a globetrotting adventurer seeking a mythical golden suit that gives the wearer all sorts of magical powers. Henry's not alone though and so it's a race against time against other adventurers as he hops across five continents in search of the booty.

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That equates to five stages of platforming action, but is actually only half the adventure. Simultaneous to your platform navigation on the top screen, a puzzle game is slowly ticking away on the touch screen, a grid of coloured blocks filling it from bottom to top. Defeated enemies on the top screen will fall and merge with the blocks. To finish them off you need to tap X to shift control to the bottom screen and take part in that age-old 'match three or more blocks of the same colour to erase them' puzzle mechanic, or else they'll eventually encroach back onto the top screen and attack you in a Mario Thwomp fashion.

A Game Of Two Halves

Keeping you on your toes is a strict time meter to the left of the screen, counting down as long as you are active on the touch screen, and only recharging as you revert to the top screen to jump platforms and defeat enemies. But success on the puzzle portion is very important - item blocks will activate special attacks, like smart bombs, on the top screen once they've been wiped off the board. Wiped blocks also increase the strength of your gunshots and add to a super meter on the right of the screen, which once fully filled will initiate Tea Time, in which Henry Hatsworth morphs Power Ranger-style into a giant indestructible robot for a limited time (don't ask).

It's a great premise and the difficulty ramps up quickly, leading to frantic switches between screens to clear blocks and boost your meter to unleash special attacks. The smooth interplay between the two makes you forget you are in fact playing two fairly basic examples of their respective genres. If only that interplay, as well as the quirky bizarreness of the game, were ramped up even further we'd really be singing the game's praises.

Yet its tough, quirky charm makes the fact that this is on EA's casual label all the more surprising and may go some way to explaining the cheap price retailers are looking for from you. One penny shy of 15 quid makes what would be a full-priced curio a wallet-enticingly good proposition. Give Henry Hatsworth's puzzling adventure a go. We reckon you'll be pleasantly surprised.


7 comments so far...
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  1. Thamayous Friday 20th Mar 2009 at 19:47

    This game looked quite intresting before but I wasn't really gonna get it. Also, it says that it's on Wii up there!

  2. funmaker11 Friday 20th Mar 2009 at 23:16

    Not keen on this but it seems a cool game. :D

  3. Mopsical Saturday 21st Mar 2009 at 21:22

    Much better than 74%. Much better.

  4. Oni-91 Sunday 22nd Mar 2009 at 00:49

    Not exactly doing a good job in defending the British stereotype of tea-drinkers, but still... probably will get if money's not as tight as it is now.

  5. Rudie111 Monday 23rd Mar 2009 at 09:14

    You need to change it from wii to ds game.

  6. Akriloth2160 Monday 23rd Mar 2009 at 13:50

    What I like about puzzle games like this is how they are incredibly simple, yet once you start, you only stop when the trial period is over, or if you've finished the game, both of which bring about some form of withdrawl symptom. It's THAT fun! Therefore, I HAVE to own this game! :D

  7. LEGEND MARIOID Monday 30th Mar 2009 at 08:38

    I'm sorry, but giving this 74% only is wrong IMHO. Yes, yes, I know 74% in your book isn't a bad score, but the gameplay and value-for-money alone should put this one in the 85%-89% bracket. I urge DS owners to get this as I reckon most will not be disappointed.

    The negative points of your review didn't warrant giving it a 74% only anyway as far as I could see.

    Nevertheless, thanks for the review, it was a good read.

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