As you already know, the latest big mobile game Harry Potter: Wizards Unite has launched. Though I’m not a Potterhead, I do play the Pokemon Go so I’m curious to see if there are any similarities between the two in terms of game mechanics and the like. Besides, the trailer looks incredible. It gives that urgent “We need you” feeling that makes you want to be part of the game.
But so far, when I searched for reviews online, IGN rates it at 6.7 out of 10 while Den of Geek gives it only 2.5 out of 5 stars. Not very promising, isn’t it? And the most common complaint across the board is “not enough magic”.
Well, I decided to find out for myself and see how this game really fares.
First off, the game uses 704.1 MB of storage space, bigger than the Pokemon Go app which is only 382.9 MB. Let me assure you there’s a good reason for this, and you’ll see it right away when you launch the Harry Potter game. The visuals. Are. Stunning.
As soon as you begin, you’ll be walked through the story about what’s going on. Harry Potter fans will be happy to see the guy himself greeting you together with another character named Penelope who seems to be your main guide in the game. Both of whom are spoken by voice actors, by the way. Though I’m not sure if that’s the real Daniel Radcliffe.
Your role is basically a new recruit of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force, and Harry and Penelope will urge for your help to free the Foundables (special items, memories or other characters like Hagrid) from the evil grasp of Confoundables (magic or beasts).
I know the Pokemon Go visuals are just as beautiful, but Wizards Unite takes it a step further with the magic effects. Not once did my phone freeze or the effects slow down. Every interaction and transition occur very smoothly throughout the whole time I played. So that’s at least one reason why the app is bigger in size.
The part about freeing the Foundables works a lot like catching a Pokemon in Pokemon Go. But it does have its own magical touch! For Pokemon, it’s a straightforward flick to the Pokemon whereas in Harry Potter, there’s a certain glowing pattern called glyph to trace your finger (you can see it in the video above). You have to follow the pattern, or else the “spell” doesn’t work. Sometimes, you’ll have to do it more than once because “the Confoundable resisted you”. Here, you can use potions to make your power stronger or level up.
Crafting potions begins at Level 4. All potions are to help you heal and strengthen your abilities and spellcasting. To start you off, the game will give you all the ingredients needed for the Exstimulo Potion for free. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay with in-game gold coins.
After going through the tutorial, I started exploring the game on my own. While setting up my Ministry ID, I realise that the game never assigned me a House or Wand. I thought that was very odd since they are an integral part of the Harry Potter universe. I’ll admit, that alone kind of dampens the experience a bit. Even Pokemon Go lets you choose which Team (Valor, Instinct or Mystic) you wanna be on from the beginning. But maybe I’m still very early in the game. I’m only at Level 4, after all.
Besides crafting potions, freeing Foundables and beating Confoundables, the game offers a heck more stuff like Portkeys, Wizarding Challenges and answers to the mysteries surrounding the truth behind what caused the Calamity.
Compared to the much simpler Pokemon Go, Harry Potter Wizards Unite is actually quite complex. There’s really so much to do! If you’re a true Potterhead, you would enjoy this game. And because I’ve only just gotten started, I’m gonna stick around longer and see what else happens.
Stay tuned for the next part of the review!
So far though, I’ve enjoyed the game. The gameplay mechanics may be very similar to the Pokemon Go, it’s different enough to stand on its own. Especially with the amazing graphics, I can already feel the magic.
Lots of exploration and activity
Some story signatures feel missing (choosing a House and wand)
Overwhelming gameplay for beginners
May be too complex for casual players