Back in November, we got our first look at upcoming AR game Wizards Unite. While the teaser confirmed that the game would feature the Golden Snitch, it gave few other details about what the Harry Potter mobile game would consist of. This past week, a select few went hands on with the game, and it sounds like it’s shaping up to be a fairly in-depth dive into the Wizarding World.
For those muggles who have yet to hear, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is Niantic’s upcoming follow up to Pokemon Go. Instead of catching critters, players will cast spells, interact with wizards, and also catch critters. Magical critters, that is.
Now that people have gone hands on with the game, we have a better idea as to what it entails. It still shares similarities with Pokemon Go, but it actually has a few key differences that look to set it apart from its predecessor.
Welcome to the Wizarding World
Just like Pokemon Go, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will involve exploring the real world and using your phone to interact with events in the game. The story takes place after the books, with an event known only as “The Calamity” causing an issue with the time-space continuum. Magic seeps into the muggle world, so players take on the role of a member of the Statute of Secrecy in order to keep things under control. One neat tidbit about the story is that since it involves the time-space continuum, time travel allows characters and events from the Harry Potter series to pervade the game. For example, gameplay shows players defending Harry Potter from a Dementor.
One big contrast from Pokemon GO appears to be the map itself. With the absence of Pokemon to catch, the game has more locations to visit, such as pubs, greenhouses, and even locations from the books and movies accessible through the teleportation of portkeys. That’s not to say there aren’t encounters, this time called “foundables.” These are magical events that require players to deal with them, such as the aforementioned Dementor battle.
Magic At Your Fingertips
And speaking of battling Dementors, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will have players casting spells for all sorts of encounters. This will comprise the bulk of the gameplay, and will consist of tracing spells on your phone and tapping to block oncoming attacks.
The “foundables” scattered throughout the map will also be paired with “confoundables,” which are challenges that you’ll have to complete in order to gain rewards. These challenges may consist of wizarding duels, or other instances in which magic must be utilized.
Largescale battles will take place in fortresses, castle-like buildings with various enemies. Here players will team up together to defeat these enemies, which will consist of a variety of monsters and dark wizards from the series. According to Techcrunch, there’s a lot more teamwork and strategy involved here than in Pokemon Go’s raid battles. By defeating these challenges, players will receive rarer foundables.
Exploration and spellcasting appear to be the main areas of the game that Niantic showed off, but it did reveal a few more pieces of information on its website. Players will choose one of three professions, that of Auror, Magizoologist, or Professor. Each of these professions will have a full skill tree for learning new abilities. And don’t worry, players will also get sorted into one of the four houses of Hogwarts.
Players will need to visit inns in order to get food and drink, which will replenish Spell Energy needed for casting magic. Potion ingredients will also appear around the map, which will help brew potions to give your character magic bonuses.
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will release some time later this year. However, that’s not the only Harry Potter game on the horizon, as a Harry Potter role-playing game is reportedly in the works as well.