The Play-by-Play

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

(EA Games; multiplatform)

We rate the ''Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban'' videogame

YOU PLAY AS... Young wizards-in-training Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger

GAMING GOAL Solve puzzle after puzzle in the depths of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Be sure to watch out for the Dementors, escaped prisoner Sirius Black, and puberty.

VOICE TALENT Anonymous actors unobtrusively mimic the movie's cast, but the dialogue is too often predictable and clumsy.

COOL MOVES You get to cast an increasing variety of spells, including the foe-defeating Flipendo and Expelliarmus. But when it comes to time to defeat the Dementors, there's no need to shout ''Expecto Patronum'' -- just hit a button.

JUST LIKE THE MOVIE? Potter fans may wave their wands in irritation when they see how the game reworks or disregards key moments in ''Azkaban.''

BONUS POINTS Like ''Shrek 2,'' ''Potter'' requires you to control multiple characters at once, but the process is smoother here.

LOW POINTS Though it's pleasant to wander the halls of Hogwarts, cartoonish graphics, shoddily dramatized cutscenes (the animated moments between gameplay), and sometimes tedious puzzle solving can make it hard to believe in the game's magic.

FINAL GRADE C+