DS Review: Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure

Two different genres collide to make another great DS title…

The DS has its fair share of puzzle games and platformers, but what if one game had both? That’s what gets answered with Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure. The game starts out with Henry just playing as a standard platformer, then afterwards the puzzle element comes along and the game opens up. Essentially when you defeat enemies in the platform world, they are sent to the puzzle world on the bottom screen and you have to switch back and forth between the games to defeat the enemies.
The puzzle itself is essentially a case of matching 3 tiles either vertically or horizontally, you can shift any tile in a row either left or right, but not up or down. If the enemy tiles rise up high enough, they’ll leak back onto the top screen and Henry will have to beat them again to send them back. If you beat them on the puzzle screen, they won’t return. It’s an interesting concept and one that works quite well and it’s certainly unique, I can’t remember any game that has combined two genres like this.

The platforming element of Henry Hatsworth is fairly standard, it’s not that innovative and it’s linear. You can’t jump on enemies to kill them, so it’s not a Mario clone by any stretch. But having to switch back between the two games is pretty clever; although the idea is simple…I wonder why it hasn’t been done to this level before?

If there’s one major complaint about the game, it would be that it’s quite short. I blasted through it and afterwards, I craved more. There’s no multiplayer component to be seen, so once you are done with the game, that’s it. There’s little reason to go back and play it again, so it lacks any replay value. It’s unfortunate since the idea is solid; it would have just worked a bit better if it was longer. There are more than 30 levels in the game, which sounds a lot…but each can be done in a few minutes, while later ones a bit longer. Either way, it’s not really a struggle for the average gamer. There are a dozen hidden levels also, I just can’t help wanting more and sadly I felt a bit cheated which is a rare thought for me to have.
You can use the stylus or the buttons on the puzzles; I found the stylus to be more effective. Although it does mean that you have to keep dropping and picking up the stylus each time, since the platform element is purely d-pad and buttons. The visuals don’t push the DS far, but they do suffice. There isn’t voice-acting as such, instead just annoying noises during dialog boxes, kids might not find it so infuriating…but I had to turn my DS’ volume down to stay sane. Seriously, I wonder why they thought these noises might appeal to anyone; I can’t see how it could.

The Verdict

Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure is another example of why the DS is the best handheld on the market. It takes a simple idea of combining platforming with a puzzle game and the end result is a great game, if the games were on their own they just wouldn’t be that memorable. It’s a great game overall, just a bit on the short side.