It’s finally time to ready your phones – sorry - wands, join the Ministry of Magic and take on the mysterious ‘Calamity’ that is taking over the world. This is what awaits us in Harry Potter: Wizards Unite; the new mobile game that uses advanced augmented reality technology to bring the Wizarding World to life.
The game marks the second offering from Portkey Games; the official label for games inspired by the Wizarding World. While fellow mobile game Hogwarts Mystery invited you to experience your own Hogwarts story, Wizards Unite is bringing the magic to our own reality. Strange and familiar magical occurrences, which could take the shape of anything from Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts, such as characters, magical creatures, artefacts and beyond, could crop up when you navigate the world through your phone. Your task? To return them to their rightful place in the wizarding world.
A new trailer for the game teased out a few extra gameplay snippets we haven’t seen before – such as a closer look at the virtual reality Portkey function, which invites you to literally step into an iconic magical location, such as Borgin and Burkes or Honeydukes, through your screen. You can also create your perfect wizarding portrait – which you can jazz up with a range of accessories, from a Hogwarts scarf in your house colours, to a Harry-style pair of round glasses.
You can also pick your Hogwarts house, a wizarding profession, your ideal wand – and more. If you’re going to be helping out the wizarding world – you’ve got to look the part, right? And, naturally, you can get sorted here on Pottermore if you’re unsure which house to be... Or even read Mr Ollivander’s article about wand woods if you want to pick the absolute perfect wand for you.
As for the story of the game itself; Wizards Unite tasks you to work together with friends to try and contain the Calamity (with the things you bump into known as ‘Foundables’) and to skill up as you go along. For example, you can navigate the world to pick up ingredients to make potions, cast spells, and oh so much more. Working in a team helps you solve your tasks even more effectively.
Your phone will convert the Muggle world into something decidedly more magical; so watch out for a Dementor lurking outside your front door, a Hippogriff down the fruit and veg aisle of your local supermarket – who knows.
You can check out further details of the gameplay in our breakdown piece here.
The game was officially launched at an event in LA this week, with Tiffany Haddish (self-confessed Harry Potter superfan) hosting. The makers of the game seemed thrilled to be finally releasing this state-of-the-art experience.
‘Today marks the beginning of an incredible journey for fans of the Wizarding World, opening up virtual doorways to remarkable adventures in the world around them,’ said John Hanke, Founder and CEO of Niantic.
‘Everything we’ve learned about augmented reality and real-world game design over the last seven years has been poured into this game.’
David Haddad, President, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, added: 'We are very pleased to partner with Niantic, the AR gaming market leader, for Harry Potter: Wizards Unite to create a deeply magical and immersive Wizarding World experience for our Portkey Games label. If you are a wizard or witch who always felt the magic was really all around you, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite’s combination of unique narrative and cutting-edge AR technology will let you live out that fan fantasy.'
Along with the game itself, Scholastic are releasing a handy official players’ guide so you can really get stuck into every minute detail and learn a few tricks of the trade from the game makers themselves. So, if you fancy some cheeky hints on how to increase your Wizarding Level in the game, along with many other helpful hints, you can pick up Harry Potter: Wizards Unite’s Official Game Guide soon and pre-order here.
See you out there!