‘Harry Potter: Wizards Unite’ game review: 'Pokemon Go' for Hogwarts fanatics

‘Harry Potter: Wizards Unite’ game review: 'Pokemon Go' for Hogwarts fanatics

The new freemium mobile game from Niantic lets Potterheads fight magical creatures and fantastic beasts in augmented reality

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'Harry Potter: Wizards Unite' is a new AR game from the makers of 'Pokemon Go'.
Photo: Facebook/Harry Potter: Wizard Unite

Niantic, the producers of Pokemon Go, have used the same technology from their critter-catching app and given it a Harry Potter makeover in their newest mobile app.

Unlike last year’s Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Niantic’s Harry Potter: Wizards Unite doesn’t follow much of a structured storyline, allowing players to wander around a city in real-time as they see fit. The game’s loose plot is that the magical world is in danger of being exposed to the non-magical world. Players must explore their surroundings to collect badges, called Confoundables, and return them to their proper place.

The similarities to Niantic’s 2016 release don’t stop there. Players can also unlock Portkeys in the same way Eggs are hatched in Pokemon Go – with a lot of walking – and spell-casting requires very precise swiping on the screen (just like when throwing a Pokeball).

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There are also daily assignments, special challenges, mysteries and events to take
part in. While fun, this plethora of features seems a little unnecessary and overwhelming.

Fans of J. K. Rowling’s world will be pleased, though, to see cameos from well-loved characters such as Hermione Granger and Harry himself.

Wizards Unite is completely playable as a free game, but Niantic have added items and potions to the game’s virtual shop, which cost real money to buy.

The graphics are, of course, brilliant, and augmented reality technology is used in a way that’s fun and creative. The game brings to life the wizarding world in an immersive way that the movies weren’t quite able to.

In Hong Kong, you shouldn’t have much of a problem with losing connection when playing the game – as long as you have a good data plan or decent Wi-fi, but there seems to be a glitch where, when you open the game’s Ministry ID page, the app shuts down. This makes it tricky to complete missions where the page is needed.

With its simple storyline, engaging interface, and fun graphics, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is a good way to pass the time for Potterheads and Muggles alike.

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