Despite the fact that the final film in the series was released in July of 2011, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has managed to stay relevant for the past seven years. Dedicated fans of the series can express and explore their love for the series by going to theme parks, visiting the official Pottermore website and watching the “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” cinematic series. On April 25, Harry Potter fans started their own experiences at Hogwarts with the launch of “Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery.”
“Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery” is marketed as an app where players can experience life as a student at Hogwarts by creating a character, choosing a house, learning new spells and potions and making new friends. The story begins in 1984, so players can interact with familiar professors and students but experience a completely new conflict.
“Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery” is marketed as an app where players can experience life as a student at Hogwarts by creating a character, choosing a house, learning new spells and potions and making new friends.
The biggest problem with the app is that instead of taking a quiz to reveal what house the player belongs to, The Sorting Hat allows students to choose whatever house they please. This doesn’t reflect the “true Hogwarts experience” that the game promises. Instead, the game should have a short personality quiz that determines the player’s house incorporated into the Sorting Ceremony. Even though some fans know their house through the quiz on Pottermore, it would have been nice to see that integrated in the game.
The app is actually very similar to something that longtime Harry Potter Fans have seen in the past. Before it was essentially a site for Harry Potter news, Pottermore was a game where fans could discover what their wand is, get sorted into their house and follow along with the original story line by completing tasks and learning spells. Players could also interact with each other and earn their Hogwarts house points by sending gifts to other players and winning duels. “Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery” is similar in that players earn their house points by completing tasks, but they are not actually interacting with other students.
The biggest problem with the app is that instead of taking a quiz to reveal what house the player belongs to, The Sorting Hat allows students to choose whatever house they please.
Even though everything that happens in the game is predetermined, the plot keeps the players interested. The story begins with the player’s character meeting their best friend, Rowan, in Diagon Alley when buying supplies for their first year at Hogwarts. During this interaction it is revealed that the main character’s (the player’s character) brother was expelled from Hogwarts and disappeared. As one plays the game, more is revealed about the brother and how he was obsessed with finding the Cursed Vaults of Hogwarts.
This doesn’t reflect the “true Hogwarts experience” that the game promises.
Along with discovering more information about the main character’s brother, as the story progresses and each school year passes by, the player will begin to have access to more floors of the castle, classes and friends. While unlocking new areas is a good motivator to continue with the game, it is extremely time-consuming to achieve any goal because the player needs enough energy to complete it. If a player runs out of energy, they could spend some of their gems to complete a task, but they could also use those gems to buy items for their character. It is incredibly easy to accidentally spend gems on extra energy. In the future the developers should add an extra warning so players don’t waste their gems on energy that they could have just waited to replenish.
Overall, the new “Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery” app is extremely addictive and fun, but it is missing some vital elements of the Wizarding World that give players a “true Hogwarts experience.”
- Interesting main plot and side quests
- Entertaining for Harry Potter fans
- Voice cameos from actual actors
- Easy to accidentally spend gems
- No “proper” house sorting
Photo by Genna Nordling