Early in February, news broke of a Harry Potter-based game release: Hogwarts Mystery. The augmented reality RPG game was produced by Warner Bros. and JAM CITY games. The news quickly went viral around gaming and Harry Potter communities alike. Towards the end of February, a trailer was released. An ‘unreleased’ version of the game was also made available on Google Play.
Warning: This article will contain mild spoilers for the first chapters of the story.
The Game’s Setting
The game’s setting is pretty evident by the title – Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. But before you get too excited for a cameo from any of the characters we know and love, you should know that this game takes place around the early 1980’s, after Voldemort kills Harry Potter’s parents. So unless you’re willing to consider a news report on baby Harry a cameo, then you’re out of luck. Fortunately, older characters like Professor Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall and even our favourite love-sick villain, Severus Snape, are ever present in the game.
Characters aside, the story revolves around your avatar as they begin their first year at Hogwarts. The story starts off as you can imagine, venturing through Diagon Alley to purchase your avatar’s school equipment. Here you’ll meet Rowan (whose gender depends on your avatar’s gender) and get some backstory. Much like the Boy Who Lived, your avatar has quite the reputation surrounding them, thanks to your sibling, Jacob.
Converse with Rowan further and you’ll find out that Jacob was a brilliant – yet unhinged – student who, after allegedly attacking his fellow students, was expelled and suddenly disappeared without a trace. Pursue this line of inquiry further and you’ll discover that Jacob’s disappearance has left your avatar with both burdens and questions, not to mention becoming their main motivation for attending Hogwarts.
Fast-forward through the formalities like meeting the Hogwarts staff and selecting your house (yes, you can choose via the Sorting Hat) you are soon given your first few classes. You’ll attend Charms with Professor Flitwick, Flying Lessons with the owl-eyed Madame Hooch, and of course Potions, with the sardonic Professor Snape. Each class gives you the chance to make a new friend, like the book-smart Penny or the timid Ben Copper, but also a rival, Merula Snyde (a Slytherin, of course) who sees your avatar as a threat to her dream of becoming the best witch to attend Hogwarts. Throw in some visions of knights, ‘cursed ice’ and haunting secrets within the castle walls and it becomes clear that there’s a mystery afoot within Hogwarts.
Can you solve the Hogwarts Mystery?
As can be expected of a smart-phone and tablet based game, the touch screen is the crux of this game. Since I downloaded the game from Google Play, there’s a chance the Apple version could differ slightly. Regardless, 99%