I can’t stop thinking about Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure

I can’t stop thinking about Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure, a Nintedo DS exclusive title being designed by Electronic Arts’ casual division. In my head, I picture myself as Henry, hopping about the world as I hack and gun down enemies, sending their souls to the spirt world on the handheld’s bottom screen. Then, I quickly phase into the puzzle realm by pressing X, and I exorcise their spirits by matching like-colored blocks, preventing them from returning to the real world. 

It’s crazy, I know — an action-platformer mixed with the puzzle action and color matching of Panel de Pon. The craziest part: the two vastly different gaming experiences are seamlessly integrated. The result is a little bit of something for everyone, and a game that EA hopes will catch the eye of both casual and core audiences.

Henry Hatsworth is a surprisingly — almost deceptively — deep game, featuring five worlds, and a system to upgrade Henry and his various abilities. It doesn’t hurt that you can turn Henry into an unstoppable, rocket-and-laser-shooting robotic wrecking machine, provided you perform admirably in the game’s puzzle realm. Yes, I said it: you can turn into a robot. 

Our own Hamsa Aziz went hands-on with the title at EA’s software showcase this past August, and called it “the best game of the show.” After spending some time with it, I can see why he’d say that; Henry Hatsworth is not only disgustingly adorable, but is an interesting and addictive convergence of two very disparate genres.

“Hardcore” gamers, don’t sleep on Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventures just because it’s being designed by EA’s casual label. It looks like there will be more than enough game here to satisfy both crowds when the game ships in early 2009. 

For more detailed impressions of Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure, be sure to check out our preview.

Nick Chester