The game received mixed reviews from critics, with reviewers enjoying the scope of the games spells and gameplay, but being less impressed by the game's short length, and the game not featuring the free roaming components of previous games.
The game follows the events and characters of novel, and film, with the player controlling Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley. The game uses an improved version of the group casting mechanic found in the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Improved graphics mean the characters themselves more closely resemble their film counterparts than in previous games. Gameplay in the Goblet of Fire is much more action-oriented, which is a change from the puzzle and adventure elements found in previous games of the series.
The game is split up into particular levels, rather than freeroaming around Hogwarts castle like in earlier games. Levels are played from parts of the novel the game is based on, with levels ranging from the Quiddich World cup, the Prefect's bathroom, and the Herbology greenhouses; which can be entered from the in game "pensieve". The game also features modes outside of combat, including broomstick flying, and underwater swimming.
In a first for the series, players can play the game with friends, and can combine their magic and spells to make them more powerful. Players can also capture moving beans using Accio and increase their power with collectors, creature, and character cards. The game is divided into several non-consecutive levels, some of which are locked at the beginning of the game until the player collects enough Triwizard Shields to unlock it.
Just like the previous Harry Potter game titles, Goblet of Fire has received "mixed" reviews, according to video game review aggregatorMetacritic.[a] In Japan, Famitsu gave it a combined score of 28 out of 40 for the DS version; and 27 out of 40 for the GameCube version.Famitsu Cube + Advance gave both the DS and GameCube versions a score of 27 out of 40.
Detroit Free Press gave the GameCube version all four stars and said, "This is a masterful video game because it can be enjoyed on many levels. Younger players can simply explore this graphically rich Harry Potter world and succeed. Older players will enjoy manipulating the magic by choosing spells and skills and casting magic together with friends." However, The Sydney Morning Herald gave the game three stars out of five and stated that its highlight "is a brief but thrilling broomstick chase against a fire-breathing dragon. An underwater interlude is less successful, although it provides variety."