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You play as Henry Hatsworth on the top screen, exploring several uninspired worlds in average platforming sections. The twist is that when Henry defeats enemies they are sent to the bottom screen to become blocks in what is essentially the game Puzzle League (which some of you may know as Tetris Attack). These blocks are slowly rising to the top screen, and if they reach it, they will respawn into the platformer. Pausing the game lets you play puzzle league and destroy these blocks first, killing the enemies properly and providing Henry with the occasional power up.
It's an average platformer combined with a good puzzle game. So why not an average score then? Because somehow Hatsworth is better than the sum of its parts.
This is because by blending two genres Henry Hatsworth is one of the few games which is able to have a puzzle game and a narrative work together in a simultaneous package. This is effective because finishing a games story is one of the biggest hooks a game has to keep you motivated to keep playing. This is not a bad thing. A fun game is more fun when you are looking forward to seeing where the story goes or just because you enjoy the humour in its cutscenes (the latter applies to Hatsworth, which features some great, genuinely funny dialogue).
Couldn't you just assign your own story to a puzzle game using your wonderful imagination? Tell yourself you're stacking the blocks in Tetris because they represent the rise of capitalism and you're just a corporate shill building towers for your uncaring master only to overthrow your Billionaire overlords with the long thin line of social justice even if it inevitably leads to economic collapse! Well no, that doesn't work because any puzzle game with a story is inevitably awful as I just demonstrated with that last sentence. That's because the link between a puzzle and a narrative is virtually non-existent. There's yet to be a great novel about the Rubix cube for a reason.
A platformer however, is much more suited to an in game narrative, and Henry Hatsworth's tale is a charming one. Slight, yes, but with plenty of character and ridiculousness (Henry is a dashing English gent and the scripted clashes with his nemesis are always a highlight). So even though it's not a great platformer, and you literally pause the platformer sections to play the puzzle sections, it works because you can enjoy the puzzle gameplay and be enticed to keep playing by the furthering of the story and the completion of the platformer adventure.
Now while this is effective, it only just works. Henry Hatsworth hasn't got the most engrossing story in the world and the gameplay is far from perfect. But it's still great fun and highly addictive, without the weariness you get from playing the average puzzle game for hours on end. Try it before you buy, but if you're a fan of puzzlers and wish they were a bit more than just a break from more complex, story driven games then this might just be the title for you.
The first thing to say about this game is that I am stuck on level 2 - 3.
So you haven't finished the game. why are you writing a review. I hear you ask?
Well up until this point the game has given me a lot of pleasure. I have really enjoyed playing it, and feel as if I have had my money's worth.
First thing to point out is that I am not 'into' computer games. I don't recall ever having completed a video game, and I doubt I will complete this.
It is essentially a selection of Lands, with levels within. You play the part of Henry Hatsworth, and to get to the end of each level you fight a number of enemys and hack them down with a sword, but be aware, once you have hacked an enemy down, it doesn't all end there...
All this action is taking place on the top screen of the DS. Meanwhile on the lower screen a wall of blocks is moving up towards the upper screen Tetris style.
Every now and then you need to switch screens to keep this wall down, from reaching your upper screen and there is a good reason for this. Remember all those enemys you killed? Well killing them isn't entirely accurate. Their ghost lives on as a block in the wall and when they reach the upper screen they come back to attack you. So not only do you keep the wall at bay, you are also keeping the ghosts of your enemies at bay.
So how do you keep the wall down? Well the blocks are in various colours and you can manipulate their position with the key pad. You need to manipulate the blocks into rows of three or more to explode.
So you are essentially juggling with two different games. The main level and the Tetris style level. When you get to the end of a level you will meet the inevitable Big Boss type level. Which is infuriating to say the least.
Despite the fact that I am stuck, up till now I have thoroughly enjoyed the game and recommend it.
I wasn't sure what game I wanted and told the guy in game that I liked platform games and puzzles. Based on that recommendation he recommended "Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure", which was a really good suggestion because it combines the two elements very well.
It's a very engaging and enjoyable little game. There a storyline about a magical suit and the aim is to find the different pieces of it. It moves from a standard platform game on the top screen to a "group the objects" style puzzle in the bottom screen which can be played either with or without the stylus.
The little scenes between the levels are a bit cheesy, but entertaining and short enough not to be too annoying. It's suitable for a broad age group and ability level - the basic game is easy enough for a low skill level, but there's plenty of easter egg scenes to entertain more advanced players. Good fun - wouldn't mind a sequel.
You don't get many games like this that incorporate both action and puzzle. This game is frantic, not for the faint hearted who appreciate a slower paced experience.
So you play the character Henry Hatsworth, he is equipped with his trusty sword and a cup of tea believe it or not which you must prevent from spilling! This isn't as easy as it sounds because of the pace of the game. It is fast and frantic and the screen has you fighting many enemies at any one time. You see him jumping around platform style swinging his sword chopping down his foe. The bottom screen has the puzzle element which many will recognise if they have play any game similar to Tetris. The idea is to move the blocks around until you have three of the same. This knocks down the rows and prevents the tower from reaching the top.
Henry has many different moves that are aided by him picking up items and weapons that form a gold suit that grant him special powers, so he uses this to enhance his movements and fighting style. You can also go back to previous levels and try to get to areas that you couldn't reach before.
So the blocks on the lower screen come from you defeating your foes. The souls of these baddies transfer to the lower screen which you need to get rid of fast to survive. It is a totally different concept that I have never experienced before and is a lot of fun.
The game gets a lot harder as you progresses that makes you need to try and upgrade Henry when you can. You have a meter bar that fills up when you destroy the blocks, once it is full you can unleash hell by turning into a super robot that can't be harmed. Timing is key here so don't waste this option as it doesn't last forever.
The controls, graphics, and music are all very good and suit the game well. You'll find yourself getting more addicted the more involved you get. It is a rewarding game that offers a lot of challenge. I hope they make a sequel.
5 out of 5
Meet Henry Hatsworth, a quirky, lighthearted character who will guide you on your journey through a new style of gaming adventure on your Nintendo DS, by combining the action of an adventure game with the challenge of a puzzle game. In this twoinone adventure, explore five exotic worlds, fight a variety of opponents, and venture through more than 30 levels, including nearly a dozen hidden levels while taking on outrageous worldending bosses.