On June 20th, a day before the actual release, we actually had Harry Potter: Wizards Unite release in the UK and US. Well, for most people. Some of us didn’t get it on Google Play, so after a lot of back and forth (not from Niantic, they never respond to Tweets), I thought of the Galaxy Store. And lo and behold, it appeared there! So I quickly downloaded it and I started my adventure.
To register my wand details I just needed to use Pottermore/Wizarding World Passport for recreate my given wand (this isn’t mandatory but I wanted the added touch). And as for the house – that was obviously going to be Slytherin. I was worried because I’d heard rumours about them not featuring houses during the beta testing, but I’m glad they went ahead and gave us that opportunity. It doesn’t really add much, apart from changing the colour of your avatar, but I like having my Slytherin representation there.
The main encounters (or Confoundables) are pretty simple – it gives you a difficulty rating, which you can use potions to reduce that rating. Then you trace a spell to successfully eliminate the Confoundable. The Foundable will return to its rightful place and collecting them will earn you ranks in that particular area, rewarding you with items including Runestones used for Wizard Challenges.
The daily assignments were what I was expecting the Research tasks for Pokemon to be – for example, I had assignments such as ‘Return 10 Foundables’, and there were eight altogether, resetting at midnight each day, so you always get new tasks to complete. You also get Daily Treasure every day, with the next treasure also given at midnight each day.
The Points of Interest in Wizards Unite are the same as Ingress and Pokemon Go, but there are variations – Greenhouse, Inn and Fortress. The Greenhouses and Inns refresh every 5 minutes. Also of note is that EE is a sponsor in the UK, so they will have Points of Interests available at their stores.
Greenhouses give a random assortment of ingredients – my house sits on top of a greenhouse, and because the range is better in this game than in Pokemon Go, I can reach the greenhouse more frequently.
Inns are where you restore energy you use to cast spells. A random selection is made from five choices, and whatever you pick will determine how much energy you gain. You can place Dark Detectors on Inns (up to three can be placed at any time), and you can find rarer Confoundables by using them – the more that are placed, the better chances.
Fortresses are where you use Runestones and do Wizard Challenges. These are essentially turn-based battles with different kinds of encounters. This is where Professions come in, as you can choose a Profession (Auror, Magizoologist and Professor) that will make you stronger against a type, but weaker against another. For example, I chose the Magizoology Profession, meaning that I am stronger against Beasts, but I take extra damage against Curiosities. I am unaffected by Dark Forces.
I started reviewing this just as it came out and I was able to play it. But I wanted to play it over the course of a few days to make sure I became used to the gameplay features. The only feature that I wish was better was the energy feature. There is no way to rest and restore your energy, instead having to rely on Greenhouses and Inns – of which if there are none in your area, you don’t have a lot of options for this. However for the time being, there is a complimentary gift available in the shop, granting you 50 energy.
Overall I feel that Wizards Unite does seem strange without a form of defensive play for the time being, it’ll shape up to be a great game. I know I would have loved this when I was younger and seriously getting into the books and the films. While it’s perhaps a different kind of game to what we would have expected as children, it’s fun nonetheless.
Even the day after release, some still can’t find it on Google Play, meaning that the best port of call was trying the Galaxy Store (which I did).
As for whether or not I’ll include any news and stuff on this game – I think I will do. I’d like to broaden my horizons, and yes it would give me more to write up about on the regular. Pokemon Go will still be my main as long as I am still vigorously shiny-hunting, but I might choose a time to let Adventure Sync do its work and I can play Wizards Unite a little more.