Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery was finally released today! The mobile game has been advertised as being able to join Hogwarts as a personalized character as you explore the castles halls. Your character will go to classes, learn spells, create potions and so much more. So does the game actually live up to it’s advertising? Well, yes and no! There’s some things you should know before downloading the game.
You are able to personalize your character to a degree. You can pick from a couple different styles in face shape, eye shape, a few hair styles, hair and eye color and so on. While you’re only offered a few, there’s more to unlock the higher you get in levels, so that’s rather unique. Then you’re able to pick your character’s name – but there’s some limitations. I tried to use the last name “Riddle” and wasn’t allowed to. You’re then treated to a tutorial in Diagon Alley to get your supplies before heading to Hogwarts.
It’s during the tutorial that you learn what the mystery is exactly. Your brother has been expelled from Hogwarts and brought shame on his House. He’s also gone missing and we need to find him. This fact makes your character a bit of an outcast, much like Harry Potter was. But if you think this around the time of the famous Potter, it’s not quite what you’d think. During the welcoming feast, Dumbledore explains that ‘Harry Potter is safe’, meaning this happened 11 years before Harry stepped through the castle’s doors.
As for classes, you definitely get to participate. The whole game is mostly a point and click game so not much skill is needed. Only when you’re in class do they challenge you a bit. They have patterns you need to draw with your finger to cast spells and timing segments for your character to “focus”. There are also “energy segments”, for lack of a better term, in which you spend energy points to participate in a challenge and collect all the points. This is where I found my annoyance. If you use up all your energy, you can buy more. If you don’t, you have to wait until you have more. This led to my character being stuck in some Devil’s Snare for quite some time. So just a warning that microtransactions may heavily impact your game play.
So far I’m only in Year 1 so there’s a lot more time to learn about what our character’s brother did and how that will effect us. In the mean time though, you can’t help but be nostalgic while playing this game. One thing that most fans will agree on is wanting to visit Hogwarts and learn magic and this game gives you a very small taste of it. The interactions aren’t fully voice acted so you don’t need to pay as much attention when playing. And as an aside, I really enjoy the animation style. They’ve done extremely well with the characters we all know and love. My biggest downsides so far is the microtransactions and the strict landscape mode the game is in. Most times I just want to hold my phone portrait wise so it’s a slight inconvenience. Otherwise, I would say if you’re a big fan of Harry Potter, check this game out!
Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is now available on mobile devices.
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