About a week and a bit ago, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery became officially available for iPhone and Android users and damn it, it’s irritatingly good because it’s your classic free-to-play-but-not-actually-but-fuck-it-I’m-going-to-play-it mobile game.
If you haven’t had a chance to suss the game yet, the time period is set in the early 1980s which is some years before Harry attends Hogwarts. This means a completely new plot line with new and old characters to completely suck you in.
The latter includes our beloved Professor McGonagall voiced by none other than Dame Maggie Smith. Sassy McGonagall welcomes you to Hogwarts during the introduction of the game and oh look you’re suddenly hooked.
The game progression itself is turn-play for characters and combat so not a lot of concentration needed which is perf when you’re on the bus and need something to kill the time. In saying this, everything is pretty simple because it’s a mobile formatted game so don’t expect amazing graphics or character actions. The plot is carrying this game and so far, so good.
So for the… purpose of research, I downloaded the game and gave it a lil’ suss fully believing I’d have it for three days max. It’s nearly been two weeks.
As for the story line, it’s actually quite interesting. You – whoever you are – have a dodgy brother who went looking for the mysterious Cursed Vaults, got expelled for doing so, and then disappeared. Is he alive, is he this game’s version of ol’ Voldi? Who knows. So alike the OG Harry, you’re the talk of the town.
Also, Professor Snape hates you for literally no reason whatsoever while Professor Dumbledore randomly awards you 100 gems here and there for being a good sport – gems which you can use to acquire more energy.
Energy? What’s this you may ask?
Well, game-makers Jam City gotta make their money somehow.
Energy is how you function in the game. Gotta complete quests? Energy required. Gotta talk to a professor? Energy required. Gotta smile at a new mate of yours? Energy required. It’s quite the real life vibes but when you begin the game you have a maximum limit of 24 energy bolts. Unless you spend $$$$$$$ for more, it’s a four minute wait per energy.
(Gems are also awarded to you through quests or more $$$ and these can be used to score more energy.)
Mmmm, micro transactions, my favourite. Fans were actually so pissed, Jam City threw a 80% of sale.
Oh yeah, your Draco-equivalent nemesis is named Merula and she’s honestly such a shit. Your sort of Hermione and Ron equivalents are Rowan and Ben.
Quests are also completed in real time so when Rowan tells you to meet her in your common room later tonight, she literally means later tonight in eight hours. Miss this deadline and well, you have to wait around again.
Am I salty I can’t waste my time playing this mobile game hours on end? Yes. Am I glad there are limits to the game so that I’m not completely lame? Also yes.
Your story begins in Diagon Alley where you meet Rowan, who for some players is a girl while for others it’s a boy. Either way, Rowan’s very smart and a loyal friend to yours truly. You buy your books and then head over to Ollivanders for your wand. It’s all very cute and tickles your nostalgia then you’re off to Hogwarts and your adventure begins.
Right from the get go, you land in deep shit because you’re trying to figure what happened to your brother. Merula being a dick, tricks you into a trap that includes Devil Snare. At this point you have to furiously tap at your screen, using your energy, to escape but uh oh, you learn for the first time that you don’t have enough energy so…
My life has essentially become doing random things to fill the time until my #HogwartsMystery energy refills
— George Jackson fan account (@MCharles5) April 28, 2018
You inevitably escape after waiting some time and the plot continues.
Look, if you’re a patient person and have a life to live then the game will become the next best thing to turn to when you have a few minutes to spare throughout the day. If you don’t, then well you’ll still end up playing it because your inner-witch/wizard’s heart is incredibly warmed at the sight and sound of hearing Professor McGonagall lecture you in Transfiguration class.
Hogwarts castle will also become increasingly available to you as you level up so again, more reason to play. Once you reach Year 2 and Year 3 you get to meet Bill Weasley and Nymphadora Tonks so again, even more reason to play.
Suss the above pic and you can see house points are up for grabs and surprise surprise, Hufflepuff is coming last. On the right you have three attributes for you to fulfil to level up. You can score these points by completing quests and by doing so unlock new dialogue features like telling Merula to piss off. (Not in those words).
Bit of a tangent here but the clothing choices for this game are horrible.
If you’re a Harry Potter fan you’ll love the game. It may be frustrating but it still gives you the little rush you once felt as a kid watching the films for the first time. It’s shitty good, like the rom-com you always turn to on a quiet Friday night.
And speaking of frustrating, if you need more energy than here’s some help.
- In the East Towers – tap on the empty portrait for one energy boost. A flower girl will appear and annoyingly giggle at you.
- West Towers – go right and tap on the painting with the branches. Coconuts (?) will appear and that’s one energy boost for you.
- Lower Floor West – tap the extinguished flame by the entrance to the Great Hall. And the suit of armour standing in the middle on the right side for him to pick up his shield. That’s an energy each.
- Dungeons – go right and tap the poor House Elf who’s tired.
- Castle Grounds – go right and tap the branch for a puppy Fluffy to come running to fetch it.
- Lower Floor East – go right and tap on the scattered books.
- Hogsmeade – haven’t unlocked it… yet.
Am I incredibly lame? Yes, yes I am. Will I be all over the Pokemon Go version of another mobile Harry Potter game when it inevitably comes out? Undoubtedly.
Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is available now and you can catch the trailer below.
Hoo boy, I need to get out more.