Nineteenth-century England, jungle exploration, and robots: this is Henry Hatsworth and the Puzzling Adventure.
Henry Hatsworth places the player in the fabulously-dressed shoes of Henry Hatsworth, the top member of the “Pompous Adventurer’ Club” on a quest to find the Gentleman’s Suit. This suit allows the wearer to control an alternate dimension known as “The Puzzle Realm,” and gain the treasures within. The suit pieces were scattered across the world by its creator, known only as “The Gentleman,” after no one else was “gentlemanly” enough to wear it. After finding one piece of the suit, a golden bowler hat, Hatsworth creates an unbalance between the two worlds and vows to find the other parts of the suit before the monster residents of The Puzzle Realm invade his world.
A majority of the game plays like most other platforming-action games, but with a puzzle twist. Hatsworth battles enemies on the top screen of the Nintendo DS using a saber for close, melee attacks and an elephant gun for long-range attacks. Defeated enemies are then sent to the Tetris-like puzzle on the bottom screen where they are turned into puzzle blocks and the player must slide the blocks to line up matching colors to delete the blocks from the puzzle. If the enemy block happens to make it to the top of the screen, the block spawns on the top screen and Hatsworth must defeat it again. Deleted blocks from the puzzle can also contain items that help Hatsworth in his adventure, such as freezing time, electrocuting any enemies on the screen, and extra lives. Deleted blocks also add to the game’s “super meter,” which allows Hatsworth t use special attacks, the most interesting of which has Hatsworth jumping in a giant, robotic suit, complete with a Power Rangers-style transformation sequence.
One of the most interesting aspects of the game is the universe the developers created. Hatsworth, hailing from an obvious parody of England named “Tealand,” is joined in his quest by his boy partner Cole, who also runs a shop where Hatsworth can buy weapon and life upgrades. The main antagonist of the game is Leopold Charles Anthony Weaselby the Third, who occupies the number two slot in the Adventurers’ Club and will stop at nothing to get the suit parts for his own greedy goals. Weaslby contracts his evil deeds out to various other nefarious characters who serve as boss fights at the end of each world.
The original score in the game is incredibly well done and feels very reminiscent of the adventuring movies of old. Characters talk with garbled voices, like Zelda or Animal Crossing games. For the most part these voices are unremarkable, but for some, such as Cole’s, they get annoying after a bit of time.
With tight controls, fun action, and challenging puzzles this game is perfect for the entire DS audience. The goofy, cute characters will appeal to younger kids, the action-platforming is great for fans of the two genres, and the challenging puzzles are perfect for older people who bought their DS for the brain-training games.