Wizards Unite serves as the second big release from Portkey Games, the games label from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment that invites you to be the centre of new Wizarding World adventures, all inspired by J.K. Rowling’s original stories. The game has been created in collaboration with Niantic, makers of Pokémon Go.
So, surprise! You now work for the Statute of Secrecy Task Force! This organization was formed by the Ministry of Magic and the International Confederation of Wizards to investigate and contain the Calamity.
Due to unknown forces (known as ‘the Calamity’), artefacts, beasts, people and even memories of the wizarding world (called ‘Foundables’) seem to be appearing in present-day Muggle reality, and it’s up to all witches and wizards to unite together to rescue them and return everything to its rightful place. Oh, PS: that includes you.
For example, you may be walking down to the shops, minding your own business, when a magical Trace appears on the ground indicating that a Foundable has appeared! Entering the Trace will bring you into an encounter with the likes of Buckbeak the Hippogriff, who has been whisked away by the Calamity and is trapped by the chaotic, Confoundable magic.
Your job is to help dispel the situation and return the Foundable Buckbeak back to his rightful place. And he is just one of many familiar faces you’ll see.
So how on earth will we be able to even see Buckbeak? We don’t get many Hippogriffs down our way.
You’ll need to become your best wizardy or witchy self, and create your new avatar (complete with augmented reality wizarding accessories, such as scarves, hats and Luna Lovegood’s Spectrespecs) using selfie-mode, set your house affiliation and wand (core, wood type, length and flexibility) to create your Ministry ID. Once you’re all set and official, your surroundings will begin to emulate the rustic joys of the wizarding world.
As this game features real-world 360-degree exploration, your phone uses augmented reality technology to create a magical map that imitates your actual surroundings. Regular Muggle buildings will turn into Fortresses, Inns, Greenhouses and more... and you’ll be able to gather valuable supplies such as delicious foods, or potion ingredients that you’ll need for upcoming Wizarding Challenges. More on those later. And yes, throughout all of this, of course you will have a wand to help you overpower the Confoundables.
You may be a Statute of Secrecy Task Force recruit, but you still have a day job.
You’ll have a choice of picking from three of our favourites: Auror, Magizoologist or Professor. Whatever you pick will help shape and level your skills, abilities as a witch or wizard. This will be particularly useful, because...
The game works best when played with friends (or, hey, fellow players in the street that you could abruptly make your new best friends!) due to multiplayer challenges that you’ll come across on your travels.
While your over-arching mission is to restore the Muggle world to its rightful state, you’ll also be able to take part in smaller extra-curricular activities along the way. Dotted around your surroundings, you’ll find all sorts of wonderful magical items to pick up – which work very well for one of the mini-games, which invites you to make potions.
So, as you may have gathered, it's a rather addictive experience. Let’s admit it, the Muggle world is a bit boring. But within Wizards Unite, a whole new world awaits us at just a tap on our phone screens.
And excitingly, the mysteries of the Calamity are only just beginning. Why are our wizarding world favourites out of their rightful place? Why are they here? And what other magical mishaps are set to occur? Expect some familiar characters as well as new wizards and witches to be introduced to try and figure out what on earth is going on: enigmatic new characters that may be the key to this huge mystery. The game-makers have promised this game involves a ‘deep, multi-year narrative arc’ to discover the truth, and honestly, we’re totally here for it.
We may even invest in some new walking boots.
Wizards Unite is available on the App Store and Google Play now.