Publisher: WB Interactive/Portkey Games
Developer: Jam City
My Rating: ****/5
“Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery” is a mobile game spinoff of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. While not without its flaws, the game is a solid experience and a fun adventure in the vein of other successful mobile games, such as “Pokémon Go.”
The game takes place not long after an infant Harry Potter is saved from He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, and you play as a young Hogwarts student that you can customize to your liking. While your experience may vary depending on which house you’re sorted into, the game is a point-and-click adventure that’s simple enough to pick up and play, but tough to truly master. Over the course of the story, you play out your experience of seven years at Hogwarts and try to unravel a mystery that led to the expulsion of your player character’s sibling, as well as many secrets inside the fabled school of witchcraft and wizardry.
The tasks you complete as a student include learning to cast spells, ride broomsticks and brew potions. While some of the “quicktime events” are tricky, many lessons can get easier as you continue to play and raise your skill level. The graphics are nice for the mobile platforms it was released on, with the art style resembling a 3D version of the illustrations from the books.
Many returning characters from the books are also voiced by their actors from the film series, including Michael Gambon as Dumbledore, Robbie Coltrane as Hagrid and Maggie Smith as McGonagall.
One notable drawback to the game is a large amount of microtransactions involved in the gameplay. Like any “freemium” game, the temptation to spend real-world money to progress further and faster is dreadful. Even so, the game is definitely a worthwhile experience and shows how there is potential for more games in this vein; which WB Interactive and their new label of Portkey Games are already making plans for.
Even though the game isn’t perfect, “Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery” is definitely a solid mobile point-and-click experience that serves a good start to more planned mobile games set in the Wizarding World. It’s the next best thing to being a young witch or wizard for those who never got their invitation at age 11, and the microtransactions don’t stop the game from being more than worth its weight in galleons.