Harry Potter fans got a nice little surprise this morning when Niantic‘s new mobile game, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, was made available to iOS and Android users. Just like Pokémon GO, the idea is to get outside and use AR to interact with the wizarding world.
I went lurching around the streets earlier today to see how the game plays and I gotta say, it’s pretty fun. Instead of finding Pokémon, your neighbourhood will be littered with things called Foundables/Confoundables. These can be things like artefacts, creatures, people, and memories from the Harry Potter universe which you can collect by banishing them. I know that sounds weird, but stay with me here.
You’ll see Foundables and Confoundables pop up on your map and if you’re close enough, tapping on them will bring up your phone’s camera. You’ll then have to look around for the actual thing, which will pop up somewhere like this.
You then have to align the three little stars with the corresponding stars on the Foundable and then tap the screen. This essentially captures the screen in its current position, after which you’ll be given a “threat level,” which tells you how difficult the Foundable is to deal with.
To piss that bad boy off to wherever it came from, you then trace the shape on the screen to cast a spell. Your accuracy will be rated and if it’s really shit, it won’t work, just like throwing a bung Pokéball. The higher the threat level, the better your accuracy will need to be to handle it.
Yeaahh that’s the good shit. And just so we’re clear, I’m not banishing Hagrid here, I’m getting rid of that sticky-ass web holding him down because I’m a good bloke and Hagrid must be protected at all costs. Each Foundable you collect is added as a “sticker” to your inventory and will earn you XP and all that good stuff for your levelling, which is pretty standard.
This mechanic is, for the most part, the crux of Wizards Unite and what you’ll be looking for when you rove around your streets at night freaking out the neighbours. Here’s another awful beast I found outside the office.
Rest assured, I banished it to wizard hell.
And here’s when I accidentally screwed up my spell to get rid the shackle Confoundable holding onto Filch and his blasted cat, Mrs Norris.
There are several categories in which stickers can go once collected. Filch, for example, lives in the first rank of the Legends of Hogwarts section.
If you’re wondering why the heck they’re called Foundables/Confoundables, they conveniently explain that as you play. How nice.
As you level up, you’ll receive a bunch of useful items for going about your wizardly business. Once you hit level four, you’ll have access to potions for various things. I haven’t made it that far yet, so I can’t give you any examples, but I’d wager they’re used for things like weakening Foundables/Confoundables or buffing your own abilities, etc.
Like getting Pokéballs, you’ll need to visit inns – which are real-world locations – to get supplies to keep you going. You can visit an inn for free shit once every five minutes.
Don’t worry, by the looks of it, they are fucking everywhere, so you shouldn’t have any trouble tracking down that sweet wizard juice or whatever they call it.
Outside of all that, you’ll also be able to complete daily and monthly tasks to get rewards, so there’s tons of stuff to keep you going.
That’s pretty well all there is to it, folks. If you’re keen to get out there and give it a go, you can download Harry Potter: Wizards Unite from the iOS App Store and Google Play for Android devices right now.Image: Niantic