From the makers of Pokemon Go comes a new game that leverages the world and characters around Harry Potter. Will it have you hooked? Read to find out
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
Publisher: Warner Bros
Platform: Android, iOS
The new Harry Potter game is mobile-based and requires a decent smartphone to run, and just like Pokemon Go, it is about walking around, collecting stuff and combating creatures. But that is where the similarities end. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is a standalone game. While the essence of the game is still the same — to walk around and explore, the Potter game has a lot more depth and a story, which was missing in Pokemon Go.
For starters, the game has gone for a much more realistic character and game-world design, rather than the childish cartoon graphics. The result is a good-looking game with familiar characters from the movie that pop on screen from time to time, pushing the story forward.
The combat is also sophisticated, when compared to the continuous screen-tapping of Pokemon Go. In Wizards Unite, you have to make shapes to conjure spells or aim and then make shapes for battles spells. It is a little harder in the beginning, but you get the hang of it soon enough. Also, special mention to the appropriately named Constance Pickering, who is always appearing on your screen, annoying you to do things — it deserves a slow clap.
We also loved the Portkeys concept: it is comparable to eggs in Pokemon Go, but instead of hatching a monster by walking, you get to open up and step into a virtual portal that takes you to a room. In the room, you can find and collect magic items. It is quite ingenious and sets Harry Potter apart in a significant way. However, the game has to be on your screen for it to register the kilometers walked, which is annoying as Pokemon does register how much you have walked, even when the game isn’t running.
Wizards Unite is also not a game we see people playing for very long. The way it is designed limits your gameplay, unless you fork out some real cash or do the hours of daily grind, required to just keep the game functional. What is even more painful is that very little in the game is explained and it expects you to stumble around to figure it out.
The casual nature of Pokemon Go has always been its biggest draw — you can whip out the game anywhere at any time and play it without having to collect things first. The Potter game, on the other hand, has a set limit to the number of spells you can cast, which would have been okay, if it was easy to get energy. Unfortunately, to get those, you have to find an inn and essentially keep swiping every five minutes to gain just three or more energy. Considering you start-off with 75, that can take a while to refill. So unless you live in the vicinity of an inn, it can get annoying.
Some ingredients for essential potions are also hard to come by. Getting coins again is super hard without spending money. The developers would have to significantly tweak the game to make it more appealing and playable for a long time.
Despite the issues, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is a game with potential. If the developers iron out the flaws, this could be a more satisfying game and maybe, enough Potter-heads will be glued to this.
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