Mobile “Harry Potter” game appeals to existing fans

Sienna Voglewede, Ad Editor

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As of August, the Harry Potter franchise celebrated its 20 year anniversary since the first book release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in 1998. Although the last book came out over ten years ago and the last movie about eight years ago, the movement hasn’t lost its stride.
The momentum includes a spin-off movie series named Fantastic Beasts that has generated lots of discussion and is supposed to have five movies total with the next coming out in November.
The series has inspired two major theme parks in California and Florida at Universal Studios. There was also a major theater production in Great Britain called “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.”
Not to mention, fan accounts of the series who call themselves ‘Potterheads’ possess massive followings on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. These accounts continue to make Harry Potter a relevant topic.
With all this in mind as of April this year, an official Harry Potter themed app was released on Android and iOS. “Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery” is an role playing style game that is available on almost any smartphone. It fits a RPG style format in which you can create your own character.
The gameplay itself is rather dull. Most of the time you just click the screen repeatedly to perform various actions in the game.
You have an energy meter which limits how fast you can progress through various classes and story events. There is an option to either wait for your energy to recharge or buy energy using the in game currency that can be steadily built up over time or purchased. Players can pay actual money for the virtual currency.
In my time playing this game, I have never purchased game materials using actual money. It sometimes seems slow moving but it’s a game you can pick up for 5 to 10 minutes and play for quick periods of boredom.
This game has been criticized for its use of “microtransactions” but the game is still playable without purchasing anything.
I’ve been playing this game since this last summer and the reason I’ve stuck with it is the storyline. It revolves around your character’s missing brother and a mysterious phenomenon called the cursed vaults.
The game keeps you in suspense as the story is gradually revealed to you through each year. I’m curious to see if this game will add any more legitimate thoroughness to the Harry Potter story as a whole.
Thus far in my gameplay, I’ve encountered a few familiar characters as the story takes place previous to the original books and movies including Charlie Weasley, Nymphadora Tonks, Bill Weasley, and various professors. The characters that are original to the game you meet throughout the gameplay are rather stereotypical and seem to mimic characters in the Harry Potter novels. This can be seen in a character named Ben Copper who mimics Neville Longbottom in his nervous nature and the student antagonist Merula Snyde has many similarities with Draco Malfoy.

The largest “gameplay” element is dueling which occurs in the storyline occasionally and as a spare activity. It functions exactly like ‘rock paper scissors’ so it combines some strategy with a bit of luck.
Duels can be frustrating as it feels very chance based and are sometimes necessary to continue into the story. Eventually the opponent’s strategy can be figured out though even if there is initial difficulty with a battle.
The game generally has a nice atmosphere and the music is the key to it. It definitely feels very Harry Potter esque.
It consists mostly of classical tracks and depending on the type of scene, the music tone ranges from happy and light hearted to intense and dark. Music is one thing that can make or break a game and the music for this game definitely fits the bill.
Overall, the game is relaxing and pleasant to play. The developers have regularly made updates and the game has substantially improved over time with more options. These include more character customization options, pets for your student, and side quests which add more gameplay.
I would give this game 3 out of 5 spartan heads. If you are interested in Harry Potter and don’t mind the casual and slow-progressing nature of a game, I would say it’s definitely worth a try. I’m excited to see how the rest of the story unfolds.

About the Writer
Sienna Voglewede, Ad Editor

Sienna Voglewede is a senior at Fargo North and it's her first year working for The Scroll. She serves as the ad editor and a reporter. She is in wide...

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