Play Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and shake your wand in public, or something
Niantic Labs’ new game is totally not going to get you arrested.
With the roaring success of Pokémon Go, Niantic, Inc. has shown that all it needs to make a hit game is a recognizable franchise to attach to it. Now, its time for another fan favorite to be turned into a
wallet destroyer err, I mean Augmented Reality game. We first heard of Harry Potter: Wizards Unitejust over a year ago when it was announced that Portkey Games, the games label dedicated to everything Harry Potter, was on board to help Niantic create the game.
As you’d expect from Niantic, the game involves you running around the place to battle a “calamity that has befallen the wizarding world.” It’s perhaps closer to Ingress, Niantic’s Pokémon Go predecessor, than the Pokestop mechanics in Pokémon Go. You take on the cape of a new recruit of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force, set up by the Ministry of Magic and the International Confederation of Wizards to investigate and contain The Calamity.
Sounds like a pretty standard RPG storyline so far, although the draw will be the Harry Potter world. The Calamity is causing everything from artifacts, creatures, people and even memories from the Wizarding world to appear in the Muggle world. That’s a pretty bad thing, so it’s up to you and your chums in the Statute of Secrecy Task Force to nullify the chaotic magic that surrounds these “Foundables” and make the Muggle world, well, boring and safe again.
Check it out
Those “Foundables” could be anywhere, although Niantic says certain ones are more likely to turn up “at various types of real-world locations including parks, banks, municipal buildings, college campuses, libraries, monuments, zoos, art galleries, and more.” You’ll need Spell Energy to keep casting to overcome the chaos magic, which you can refill by picking up food and drinks from Inns, or by brewing potions with ingredients you’ll find as you explore.
Oh, and in a first for one of Niantic’s AR games – you can enter fully 360-degree AR locations, such as Ollivander’s Wand Shop. These are accessed via Portkeys, which in turn are unlocked by solving “Portmanteaus” that appear during your journeys.
It’s not just single-player, with multiplayer Wizarding Challenges that allow you to group up to battle against Death Eaters, Dementors, and probably all the other nasty beasties in the Harry Potter world. You can also pick your profession, from Aurors, Magizoologists, or Professors. No word yet on if you can choose your Hogwarts House.
If you need a good excuse to leave the house this summer, you can sign up for pre-registration on the Google Play Store right now.
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