Harry Potter: Wizards Unite review

From the creators of the insanely successful Pokémon Go, comes the latest addition to the Harry Potter franchise. I personally am a massive Harry Potter fan and when the news broke about this new game, I was super hyped up. I love everything about the wizarding world, and I knew I would enjoy this game. Deep down, I was scared that Niantic might mess it up. Did they? Let’s find out.

The whole point of Wizards Unite is to stop the muggles from finding out about the Wizarding World. When you play Wizards Unite, you will face two kinds of encounters: Foundables and confoundables. Foundables are collectibles such as people and objects which can be that can be logged into your registry. However, if you want to log a foundable in your registry, you must first free it from a confoundable. These are spells placed on your person or object. Your registry is basically your Pokedex.

From the second I opened the game; I knew it was a Pokémon go remake. In my opinion, it felt a lot like the Pokémon go game we all once loved, which was not a bad thing. I remained confident and was excited to try it out. I made my character and played through the tutorial. After the tutorial, my worst nightmare became a reality. Nothing spawned around me and I quickly realized that Wizards Unite cannot be played in rural areas. I was frustrated, but there was nothing I could do. If you are in a rural area and aren’t in the city very often, Wizards unite is not for you.

When I finally got into the city to properly play Wizards Unite, one thing I was pleasantly surprised by was the fact that each spell has a different pattern to trace on the screen. If you take too long or miss it will cause loss of power. This mechanic feels a lot more comforting than throwing a Pokeball. I also quickly began loving the aesthetic map that came with Wizards Unite. It’s much more visually appealing than Pokemon go. It is little things like a better map and improved mechanics that wins me over.

Another thing I noticed is how complicated it seems at first. So much information was thrown my way so early in the game that it confused me. Although Wizards Unite is not a complicated game, the rushed tutorial explained way too much information making it seem much more complicated than it is which threw a lot of people off. It’s not just me who thinks this, I’ve seen a lot of people complain about this as well. However, if you manage to wrap your head around the game, you will be fine.

As always in these games, one of the major things you notice is the fact that Wizards Unite has a great deal of customization. You can choose your house, wand, create an SoS Task Force ID and take a unique picture in which you can add elements from the wizarding world. However, you can’t customize your wizarding character. I really like customizing characters in games and this really pestered me. I would much rather have a custom character than a green wizard.

In Wizards Unite, instead of leveling up and expanding your Pokemon, the focus is now on you, as you do all the fighting. This starts with choosing a profession. There are three professions which are called auror, magizoologist, and professor. Which profession you play purely depends on your playstyle and your preference.

I love the Greenhouses and inns over the Pokestops so much. I feel like this change is one of the biggest improvements from Pokemon go as it adds more variety and things to do. However, with insufficient inventory space, it can be hard to search for more resources without getting bored. If you want more inventory space, you must pay gold for it. This wouldn’t be a problem if Gold wasn’t so damn hard to find. So unless you have time to grind or are willing to spend real money, you are stuck with a small inventory. I also found myself running out of Spell Energy a lot. In my opinion Wizards Unite is a bit over monetized.

The UI in any game is very important, but in Wizards Unite the UI just plainly is not good enough. Purchases don’t have a confirm button and not being able to find out the amount of Spell Energy you have when not in battle is aggravating. The UI needs to be improved and fast.

It was obvious that Wizards Unite didn’t have a successful launch compared to Pokemon GO and I feel like one of the reasons for this was the overbuilt hype. I remember when Wizards Unite was first announced all the way back in 2017, I was so excited to try it out. However, skip forward a year I forgot all about Wizards Unite. They should not have announced it so early and built so much hype.

In conclusion, right now Wizards Unite is not in the best state. The game is repetitive and doesn’t even work in most rural areas. I only spent two hours playing Wizards Unite before getting bored. Maybe in the future, it might appeal to me more, but for now, I’m not into it. The game has a few positives, but it just has too many negatives for me. It’s a 3 out of 10 stars from me.

Developer: Niantic and Portkey Games

Price: Free

Platforms: Google Play IOS

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