Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is an all-new augmented reality game that’s supposed to turn your phone into a magic wand. The game is hitting the market this Friday, June 21, and an official tweet said to “keep your eyes peeled and wand ready for more information as the game goes live in your region soon.”
“The beloved Harry Potter stories have captured imaginations worldwide for more than 20 years,” said John Hanke, founder, and CEO of Niantic, when the game was first announced back in November 2017.”Soon we’ll turn the fantasy into augmented reality, allowing fans and their friends to become wizards and witches.”
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is a game based on J.K. Rowling’s hugely popular book series and the Warner Bros. films, which have grossed more than $7.7 billion at the box office.
Niantic, the acclaimed game developer, who first mass-marketed augmented reality games back in July 2016 with its popularly acclaimed Pokémon Go — that gave Pokémon fans a close-to-reality live experience of immersing in the world of Pikachu — is releasing another AR game, but this time, carrying the concept and storyline of the wizarding world of Harry Potter.
Furthermore, Portkey Games, who is also part of the development team for Wizards Unite, considers the events of Wizards Unite to be authentic and part of the overall story arc — even in the likely fact that it never gets mentioned in a film or future spinoff book. Additionally, Portkey said that the game set during the events after the seventh and final book in the main Harry Potter series.
In the latest teaser, we can see one of the beasts in the Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them franchise.
According to Niantic and its partner Portkey Games, a new studio under Warner Bros. Games in charge of Harry Potter properties, players are turned into witches or warlocks trying to keep humans or “muggles” from discovering the secret behind the world of magic.
Furthermore, players are given the chance to level up their character and choose a sub-class or profession which includes taking on the role of an Auror (best at spellcasting and defeating dark wizards), a Magizoologist (best at tackling magical beasts), or a Professor (best at using their “deep magical knowledge” to debilitate foes).
In the actual gameplay, wizards will experience wandering through their typical streets, but this time, they will get to unveil the curtain that separates the magical world from the mortal world. They will embark on mini adventures like saving notable characters from the series who are stuck in a bad situation — for example, saving Harry Potter himself by casting a Patronus Charm on the dementor that’s tormenting him.
As usual with a wizarding game, players will learn and cast spells. In Wizards Unite, players will need to learn how to wave your phone or your wand by following a tracing game.
There are also tons of other tidbits of entertainment within the game such as discovering mysterious artifacts, encountering fantastic beasts and meeting other iconic characters from the world of Harry Potter.
Niantic also includes “Fortresses” where players can team up to defeat enemies. The feature highly resembles Pokémon Go’s “Gyms.” Mirror reports, however, that “unlike in Pokémon Go, players are all on the same side, working together as part of the “Statue of Secrecy (SOS) Task Force” to hunt down and make safe dangerous artifacts littered worldwide.”
“Portkeys” will also allow players to open up a portal into a familiar location from the Wizarding World — such as Ollivander’s shop or Dumbledore’s office — where they can hunt for hidden treasures.
There’s definitely a lot of things going on in this game. It could easily get too complicated and too complex for some players. The storyline and hidden messages and meanings could also be a burden, “there doesn’t seem to be an easy-to-explain gameplay goal that could hook a young kid or adult right away — that is, unless they’re already a Harry Potter superfan, of which there are certainly plenty,” The Verge says.
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will launch in the US and the UK this Friday, June 21, with other regions to follow soon, their tweet said. However, it remains uncertain when the game will reach out to a more global audience. Pokémon Go took a long time before it fully launched in Asia.
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite comes after other highly anticipated AR game offerings like Square Enix with its Dragon Quest Walk and Microsoft with Minecraft Earth.