Me and my friend came to the…outdoors to play a game that lets me fulfill my dreams of hunting dark wizards. Although, annoyingly, I don’t even get to use this. Harry Potter Wizards Unite is essentially Pokemon Go but Harry Potter. Now that pitch is basically all I needed to hear before becoming completely obsessed with it. But if you need some more convincing, here’s how it works.
Like Pokemon Go, Wizards Unite is a location-based collection game. Where your position in the muggle world dictates which characters or objects from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter you can collect. Instead of throwing Pokeballs, various spells are used by drawing the corresponding shape on the screen. The quicker and more accurate the spellcast is, the more likely the “confoundable” is to be captured.
While basic characters may only require one encounter, rarer confoundables such as Professor Snape, Mad-Eye Moody and other main characters require multiple captures in order to be added to the registry. A lot of the staples in Pokemon Go have a Wizards Unite equivalent. However unlike Pokemon Go’s Gyms in which players can place their high-level Pokemon to battle other players for team dominance, the Wizard Challenges are player – vs – AI encounters with Dark Wizards, evil creatures and hopefully, eventually, Dolores Umbridge.
Pokemon Go Vs Harry Potter Wizards Unite!
My main concern with the game is the energy system. Essentially, every spell you cast costs energy, and once that’s been depleted, you can either go to an Inn to collect a small amount or… and you guessed it, pay for it. Now this isn’t an issue if you live in a highly populated area with a lot of Inns on your daily travels, but, if you, like me, live in a slightly more rural area, good luck, because you’ll be spending a lot of your time watching cool things appear on your map only to be subtly extorted into paying them a quid for the pleasure of trying to capture them. The games daily quest system would greatly benefit from being rebalanced in favour of providing more energy for players.
While Pokemon Go does have its Pokeball system which in theory limits the amount of Pokemon you can capture, the only upper limit on Pokeballs is inventory space. In Wizards Unite, players face an upper limit of 75 energy. This can be expanded if you’re willing to part with a few Galleons but I was really disappointed with how much the game seems to be driving players towards buying these upgrades. I feel like if Wizard Challenges didn’t cost spell energy the balance would be much better. I’ve been in the middle of a challenge and ran out of energy and you lose all that experience. I mean, talk about Arresto Momentum The last major change from Pokemon Go is Portkeys. Like Pokemon Go’s Eggs, Portkeys are items that have to be walked a certain distance, 2K, 5K or 10K in order to use them. However unlike Eggs which would just hatch a random Pokemon from a specific set, Portkeys transport the player to a location from the Wizarding World where they play a short minigame.
East or West Nintendo Rocks!
This game requires AR+ meaning you need a fairly significant space to move around in. It’s a cool effect placing the portkey down and walking through it using your phone, but the actual AR doesn’t work especially well and I’ve found myself completely losing portkeys because the game glitched and shot me across the map for no reason at all. Anyway, I think it’s a good first try. Let’s not forget how barebones Pokemon Go was at the start.
It was practically broken when it first launched and while the fad faded pretty quickly, there are millions of people who still play it and Niantic have made it into something brilliant. Now I tried to shoot the end of this outside but it turns out releasing a game like this in one of the hottest weeks of the year for Scotland isn’t great for Hay Fever sufferers like myself. Honestly after an hour I might as well have been snorting lines of Polen it was so bad. Anway, I better get going before the Snatchers get me or my neighbours continue to look at me. Until next time, I’m Jordan Middler, see you later.
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