Picture it. All those years ago a short book about a boy wizard and his friends came out and we all fell in love. Then the movies, and finally the conclusion to our much loved series bringing us all to tears. Well guess what? Along with the new Fantastic Beasts franchise, WB Games San Francisco has combined with Niantic to bring us a new augmented reality game, similar to Pokémon Go, called Harry Potter: Wizards Unite!
In this new game, released on June 21st of this year, the player gets to become a real wizard! It is set after the books and will be considered cannon in the universe. Your task is to help the Ministry of Magic collect lost Foundables after The Calamity, a mysterious event in the Wizarding World, caused different objects, people, animals, and even memories to be scattered across the Muggle World, threatening to expose their secrets. As of now, the source of the attack is unknown, but I am hoping as the story continues we will find out. You get to pick your house, wand wood and core, and wand length. Eventually the famous Harry Potter pops up himself! For your profile image there are hundreds of fun filters to bring out your inner witch or wizard as well.
While playing you can walk around collecting Foundables and brew potions with the ingredients you find on the way. Eventually you get to pick a profession, Auror, Magizoologist, or Professor, where you complete lessons to earn more points, level up, and be able to cast better and more powerful spells. While walking you also unlock portkeys which can take you to different locations in the Wizarding World to explore.
Like most games, along with the fun things you can collect and potions you can make there are daily prizes for logging in.
Now for the personal opinion portion of this review: The game overall is fun. It’s a bit more complicated than Pokemon Go, there is more to do and more personalizable options with the house choice and such. Unlike PoGo where the main goal is to catch Pokemon, this game has a few tasks to keep you busy if you are not always able to be walking about with the lessons to be learned, potions to be brewed, and fun Snapchat-esque filters to play around with. Similar to Niantic’s previous AR game, there are Greenhouses and Inn’s to visit, just like Gym’s and PokeStops, and collect fun and useful items. My only complaint would be that the app must be interacted with to keep your phone open and unlocked. There is no opening the app, putting your phone in your pocket, and going on a walk to unlock, or “unwalk”, a term I coined of when PoGo first came out, things like with PoGo. This does cause your battery to drain a bit more, which is unfortunate. Otherwise this is still an entertaining app, available for Android and iOS devices, and it’s free! (There is in app purchases, if you choose).
If in any future updates they add a “sleep mode”, where the app is still open and recording location data, but is able to be put in your pocket or bag, this would be a 5 star game, for overall effort, design, and playability. Until then, a solid 4 out of 5 stars.