Initially released on the 25th of April, the Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery developed by Jam City has allowed fans of the Harry Potter phenomenon to finally breathe properly after waiting so long for something new HP related – a spinoff novel, a colouring book, collectables and now a mobile phone game.
The first click entering this app sends players their own acceptance letter into Hogwarts from Professor McGonagall and follows a very similar storyline to when Harry Potter was first entering the Wizarding World. From the outset you are able to design and personalise your own avatar, both with your looks and your personality which dictates where your path ends up – such as the house you are sorted in.
Basically the story follows your character as you try to find out what happened to your older estranged brother who was rumoured to either be expelled or disappeared from Hogwarts. You go though ‘chapters’ and different year levels in the game that lead to more clues about your brother, whilst learning new lessons from class such as the spell Wingardium Leviosa. The detail is intricate in detail if not always visually, and most of the important features from Harry Potter are included in the game such as, gaining house points or being able to visit most points in the castle.
The game is not too complex for an RPG as it is available through the app store and on the phone. It is quite easy to use and the controls are clearly displayed but the game is quite limited. It did get very repetitive in the beginning where you are constantly tapping to read conversations between students or playing tasks that are different but have the exact same game play such as ‘learning to mount your broom’ which is similar to the ‘Wiggenweld potion lesson’.
What I disliked about the game was the lack of voices from actors and actresses from the actual movie. The @HogwartsMystery Twitter had claimed “it was an honour to show Warwick Davis, Michael Gambon, and Dame Maggie Smith the #HogwartsMystery avatars of the iconic characters they originally brought to life in the Harry Potter films! See these familiar faces and more”, but it was not so prominent.
Also to my dismay, you need to wait for your energy to recharge to learn new spells and lessons, which can take quite some time, so it is a game that needs patience and won’t be finished within a couple of hours (unless of course you spend real money to buy gems and coins).
However for Harry Potter fans, it is a new way to be submerged in all that is going to Hogwarts School for Witch Craft and Wizardry, which is where the app is targeted. In a press release Jam City’s CEO explained that “our goal with Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is to make players really feel for the first time like they’re attending Hogwarts”.
Having played the opening stages of the game I can conclude that Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is a rather good RPG considering it is a game for your mobile phone and is quite basic to navigate.
Although a word of warning, don’t play the game using your own mobile data as the game uses a large amount of it, stick to wifi!