Being a big Harry Potter fan myself, I was among the fans that were extremely excited for the upcoming mobile game, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery. With the Pokemon GO craze still going, this announcement had been a highly pumped up one that left us all waiting in anticipation, especially with the constant reminders of the game leading up to its official release.
For the excitement it built up, it didn’t do so well on the day of its release as it turned out to be another play to win game. The storyline is really the only reason I continue to play and by play, I mean I use up the energy points available then leave the game to use up another set of energy points hours later. I would describe the gameplay as a game where you can leave a child being strangled by a Devil’s Snare because you have no more energy points to make an attempt at saving the poor child. But worry not, for in a mere few hours you will have your energy fully restored and you can return to saving them, unless the timer ran out, in that case you must start over the attempt.
The game allows you to customize your character and offer a variety of accessories and outfits that you unlock throughout the years of the game which you can get with -you guessed it! – gems that cost very real money. With the purchase of gems, you can obtain more energy points, clothing, and accessories. To test out the benefits of purchasing gems, I spent about fifteen dollars on a cauldron of 150 gems. It allowed me to refill my energy points meter three times which added up to about ten minutes of extra gameplay compared to the usual five. In other words, it didn’t do much to make up for the set up of the game and by this point, I hope the story ends up being well worth the weeks I have spent playing this.
The plot of the game is you are a student entering your first year of Hogwarts and is the sibling of a previous Hogwarts student who disappeared after causing trouble and involving himself in something referred to as the Cursed Vaults, which he was obsessed with up until his disappearance. Determined to unlock the secrets of these vaults and find the answers to your brother’s disappearance, you and allies you make along the way must manage learning spells, riding a broom, and slipping under professors’ radars as you explore the campus and its guarded secrets.
Having played since its release date of April 25, 2018, I am close to completing the second year of Hogwarts and have gotten through the game by playing in between classes because the waiting for that energy meter is what drives the urge to put the game down completely and delete the app. For the excitement it brought when it was first announced, the results are disappointing. The game has released some updates and seems to provide some opportunities to gain some energy points by encountering ghosts, house elves, or stacking books along hallways, but doesn’t do much with advancing the game.