Sunday, December 4, 2011

Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure Review

Released March 19,2009
Developed By: EA Tiburon
Published By: EA Games
Platforms: DS
           Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure is a puzzle game mixed with a platformer.  The bottom screen is used for puzzles, while the top screen is used for platforming.  You can quickly and easily switch between the two screens. When on the puzzle screen, the platforming screen pauses. This means, thankfully, you wont have to worry about dodging attacks on the top screen while matching up blocks on the bottom screen. The puzzle screen never pauses, The puzzle system is rudimentary, but fun.  You must switch adjacent blocks horizontally to match three or more blocks of the same color to make them disappear.  There is a puzzle meter which will slowly drain whenever you are on the puzzle screen, making time a factor. The puzzle meter can be recharged by erasing blocks, or it will slowly recharge over time.
           Enemies killed on the top screen while platforming will be sent down to the puzzle screen to inhabit a block.  If you do not erase a block an enemy is inhabiting by the time it reaches the top of the puzzle screen, the enemy will move up to the platforming screen in it’s block form and try to wreak chaos.
           Erasing blocks and doing damage to enemies also fills a super meter.  Filling the super meter once will turn you into a younger Henry, who has more life and does more damage.   Filling the super meter while in Henrys young form lets you change into a robot who has devastating attacks.  Damage taken in robot form drains super meter, not life. Once the super meter is depleted you will revert back into your young form with full life.
           Projectiles also use up the super meter.There are three different projectiles in the game; boomerangs, bullets, and bombs.   After firing a projectile, you can quickly switch to the puzzle screen and power it up by erasing blocks.  This is a nice feature that is very important in the later levels.You must constantly  juggle between using projectiles and building the super meter to change forms, adding some strategy to the game.
           There are four power ups that can randomly appear in a block on the puzzle screen or can be dropped by enemies.  One erases all blocks of the same color and damages every enemy on screen. Another restores health. A third erases the entire row or column the block is in . The last power up freezes your puzzle meter and all of the enemies on the platforming  screen.  Enemies also drop treasure that can be traded in between levels for upgrades like more damage or more health.  The game lets you start over with all of your upgraded gear once you have beaten the final boss, but nothing changes on the second play through, so there isn‘t a reason to replay the game.
Roboting it up
           As far as platformers go, the story is one of the better ones.  The puzzle realm is invading our realm and the only way to close the gateway is with a magical seven piece golden suit.  So you, as famed treasure hunter Henry Hatsworth, are charged with collecting the suit and closing the gateway.  There were a few jokes that made me chuckle and kept me interested in the dialogue.
           When action gets intense with a lot of enemies on screen there is graphical slowdown, which is unacceptable in a game made exclusively for the DS.  They knew the specs, they knew what the DS could handle, and they fucked it up.
           Overall Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure is an enjoyable game that is simple to pick up, yet challenging enough to keep you engaged.  I recommend it for both puzzle game fans, and platformer fans.

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