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DS  header logo

Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure

For: DS

Goes together like strawberries and cream

Product: Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure | Developer: EA Tiburon | Publisher: Electronic Arts | Format: DS | Genre: Action, Adventure, Platform, Puzzle | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure DS, thumbnail 1
There's a fine line between lampoonery and reverence when it comes to the English gentleman. Compare Colonel Blimp and Bertie Wooster to Sherlock Holmes and James Bond.

It's a line that firmly bisects Henry Hatsworth. From his flamboyant suits, monocle, and neatly curled moustache to his yellow robot suited alter ego - fuelled, of course, by a nice cup of tea - he's as ridiculous and enterprising as the Last Night of the Proms. Still, one can't help but straighten one's tie and sip, not gulp, Earl Grey in his presence.

As for his Puzzling Adventure, it twists Super Mario Bros-style 2D platform action with the match-three problem solving of Bejeweled. It sounds like a strange fusion but such genre-mashing is now the done thing, even in polite gaming society - as demonstrated by the success of games such as Puzzle Quest, which bought match-three RPGs into the mainstream.

Still, Henry should have gone to Saville Row for his clothes. He didn't, and now finds himself caught up in a chase to find a legendary lost suit, travelling the world of Tealand in search of the precious garments. The plot isn't exactly sensible, but then again nothing about the world of Hatsworth is.

So as you guide him through each 2D platform level on the top screen, the touchscreen below displays a match-three puzzle area. Defeating enemies up top with some sword-swishing or pellet-blasting will transport them down to the puzzle screen, transforming them into the form of coloured blocks in the process.

There each enemy must be eradicated for good by matching three blocks of the same colour either horizontally or vertically. To make matters even more testing, the bricks slowly ascend towards your adventurer. If they reach the top of the puzzle screen, they'll transport back into their full enemy form and you'll have to defeat them all over again.

It may sound like a bit of a handful, but getting used to the button controls to use your pellet blaster, sword, jump or crouch only requires practice. And a real-time tutorial eases you in to each move, so you're never bombarded with countless button combinations.

However the action is fast-paced and surprisingly challenging. Younger gamers may struggle to keep up with it. Not only do you need full concentration to knock out enemies - you progress from single melee attacks to powerful weapons and combos - while dodging deadly spikes and hazards, but it's always wise to try and keep an eye on the bottom screen before things start getting too crowded.

With a quick press of the X button, your progress on the top screen stops and you're free to concentrate on some hardcore matching. It's worth bearing in mind that your puzzle time is limited, although it can be easily renewed by removing enemies to gain extra time.

Power-ups are also available by clearing blocks with specific symbols. For example, clearing an orange block with a heart will replenish health, and if you're lucky enough to find a hat, you'll be rewarded with an extra life.

And as you discover the various pieces of the legendary suit, you'll get abilities such as climbing walls and swimming underwater. Good show old bean!

Along the way, you'll discover many colourful jewels which provide you with the money to spend on improved weapons, extra puzzle time, and such. It's a good incentive, especially as the monotonous mix of familiar foes can otherwise begin to lose its appeal after a while.

The purples, blues and greens of the environments are miles away from Henry's colourful personality too.

Still, even though Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure isn't the deepest game you'll ever play on the DS, there's no doubt that its mix of gameplay combined with the style of ol' Hatsworth himself - something reinforced with typical cutscene humour - offers plenty of charm and fun. This is one clubbable gent worth spending quality time with.
 
Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure
Reviewer photo
Stacy Kidd | 26 March 2009
An interesting mix of action platformer and match-three, plus a dash of humour, Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure is a surprising success
 
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aros | 09:08 - 3 July 2012
Tough but brilliant, would reccomend it to anyone.
Anonymous | 18:30 - 9 May 2009
I would give this game a 9/10

Its really good!
 
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