Henry Hattsworth and the Puzzling Adventure - Sit On It, Layton

The star of EA's 08 Showcase is easily the underdog. Not much has been said about Henry Hattsworth and the release date remains firmly fixed in the far off haze of 2009; so I wasn't expecting to see so much of such a cool game when I finally got my turn to try the dual screen adventure-puzzle hybrid.

I get why I haven't heard too much: the game is kind of hard to explain. It uses both screens at all times of the game - the upper is the adventure game where you're Henry Hattsworth and you've got some bad guys to take out. The lower screen is the puzzle, a basic block-slider like Bejeweled. The screens are connected in that the enemies you take out up top fall into and become blocks in the puzzle on the bottom. If the block puzzle fills up because you're too busy adventuring, the baddies climb out of the puzzle and back into the adventure world to attack you.

So, to take out bad guys for good, you've got to switch to the block puzzle and move some things around to get rid of the bad guys. The amount of time you can spend puzzling is limited by a time gauge that can only be extended by making good matches and killing more bad guys in the adventure world. By connecting certain blocks in the puzzle, you can also earn bonuses to use in the adventure world, like freezing time, upgrading weapons or activating an invincible robot mode called Tea Time.

I'm really glad to see this kind of game coming from EA - it's proof that they're getting away from the sequel-spitting machine model of game making and it also proves that American publishers can come up with original IPs that don't get all gimmicky with the motion controls. Seriously - you could play through the entire game without even using the stylus.

So keep an eye out for Henry Hattsworth, and if you catch anyone comparing it to Professor Layton, slug 'em right in the jaw. For me.


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