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Immerse yourself in the Harry Potter Universe with Hogwarts Mystery

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Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, a role-playing mobile video game released by Jam City on April 25, follows the story of a customizable protagonist as they engage in magical lessons and embark on adventures around the castle–including a journey to discover the secrets behind their older brother’s disappearance.

The player attends classes around the Hogwarts castle, interacting with characters and locations featured in the Harry Potter books and movies. They are attempting to figure out why their older brother Jacob, who attended the school a few years before them, went missing without a trace. On top of their classes, they have to deal with a rivalrous witch named Merula, who wants to sabotage their relationships with professors and their investigation with the mysterious “cursed vaults” that their brother was expelled for opening.

The protagonist of the story is a fully customizable character, who is paired up with a best friend named Rowan who is the same gender and house that the player chooses. Options to choose your skin color, change your name, and even assign your own Hogwarts house make the game unique to each individual. The game is also highly decision based, meaning that the may be affected by the players’ Courage, Empathy, and Knowledge stats–which they can level up on quests and in lessons.

Though the personalized aspect of the game is enticing and can engage the player further into the world of Harry Potter that they may have imagined being part of growing up, the options still are limited and very underwhelming. There are very few options in term of hairstyles and skin color, and the more acceptable choices require a higher level or an in-game purchase to use. The clothing options also prove to be unattractive and not worth paying for using the game’s token or gem system.

The visuals of the game also are disappointing in comparison to the well-produced movies—but are still relatively eye-catching for a mobile game. You can walk around the castle and click on interactive objects, as well as engage in cutscenes of characters interacting or casting spells. The movements are awkward and jerky, but often don’t distract from the gameplay or seem too out of place.

Another issue for many lies within the time-consuming aspect of the game. Tasks require using “energy”, which you have to wait four minutes to regenerate a single one of. Also, many quests require waiting up to eight hours to even start, making it difficult to play the game without having to stop every few hours in order to continue on. This makes the gameplay very tedious and time-consuming, but can be appealing to people who prefer these types of systems.

Chronologically, this game takes place before the series occurs, so some older characters (such as Bill Weasley or Minerva McGonagall) can be seen as students and professors alongside the player. The plot seems to be well-developed around the canon series, and includes an entirely new storyline for longtime Harry Potter fans who are looking for a new adventure. The game appears to be part of J.K. Rowling’s attempt to revamp and revitalize her series—with new games and new movies planned to come out over the next few years.

Though Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery could use a lot of work in terms of aesthetic value and customization options, it is a hopeful start to a new line of personalized Harry Potter entertainment. It’s enjoyable to play as a fan of the series, even if it can be time-consuming and tedious

About the Contributor
Joselyn Carbonell, Editor-in-Chief

Grade: 12

Most passionate about: Animals, hugging animals, helping animals, saving endangered animals, my betta fish Noodles, and my boyfriend

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