Most of the Harry Potter related games that exist, in fact all of them are played through being Harry Potter and his friends. That is, until recently when Warner Bros, Portkey Games and JamCity released “Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery”. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is a roleplay mobile phone game available on iOS and Android which is set at Hogwarts when Harry is still a baby and has only recently survived the attack by Lord Voldermort, I mean, sorry, ‘You-Know-Who’. Instead of playing as Harry and his friends, you get to play yourself by customising your own Hogwarts student, either male or female, and you get to choose which Hogwarts House you belong to.
You could by either Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or Slytherin. The choice is yours as The Sorting Hat takes your complete decision into account. There is no quiz or anything, and once you make your choice – that is it. So, make sure that when you do choose, you choose wisely. If you’re still unsure of which Hogwarts House you belong to, you can always do The Sorting Hat Quiz on Pottermore.com, the official sorting quiz to end all quizzes as it is written by J.K. Rowling herself. Although you can’t change your Hogwarts House once chosen, you can however change your username whenever you want.
If you do want to start over because you’ve made a mistake, a trick to rebooting your game is to connect it to your Facebook account, then delete the game from your Facebook in your settings, then deleting the game from your device. When you reinstall it to your device, you should have a fresh file to start all over again with.
Because you aren’t playing Harry and his friends, and you’re your own character, you have your own backstory. You are the younger sibling of a brother who apparently went mad while trying to seek and uncover the Cursed Vaults at Hogwarts and is now missing. What are the Cursed Vaults? You’re going to have to play the game to find out.
Like in the books and films, if you do well in your classes, you can earn points for your chosen house. So far, you can learn charms, potions, transfiguration, flying and herbology. In your first year at Hogwarts, you only start with charms and potions class, but as you progress in school, you take on more subjects and befriend more fellow students. The more you learn, the more experience points you get. You can even allocate rewards such as Knowledge points, Empathy points and Courage points. As Hogwarts Mystery is a roleplay game, the decisions you make really influence your experiences, your character and your journey.
Because the game is set at Hogwarts when Harry is still a baby, there are still some familiar but younger faces at Hogwarts who were already teachers and staff at long before Harry’s attendance; such as Professor Flitwick, Madame Hooch, Madame Pomfrey, Professor Sprout, Professor McGonagall, Professor Snape, Filch, Hagrid and of course, Professor Dumbledore. I love the graphics and emotive facial expressions of all the characters and I think the timeline setting for this game is genius because who hasn’t wanted to go to Hogwarts and be around all these familiar characters, yet have their own original story?
Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is not without its flaws. When the game was first released to the public, it was quite glitchy, and the available energy seemed minuscule with refills being quite tedious. The game only refills once every 4 minutes. But if you have patience and a genuine love for Harry Potter, you will still enjoy this game. Although the game’s energy process is supposed to encourage micro transactions, purchases aren’t necessary as everything you can do in the game is perfectly accessible without having the need to spend real money. If you choose to use real money to get energy, you will need to buy gems which is a commodity in the game. Even though you can buy gems to trade for more energy, using real money isn’t the only way to obtain gems. When you use energy to pass your classes, you are occasionally gifted gems, which is good if you don’t want to invest real money into the game. At present the game is only available until Year 3, but as it is still continuously being developed, more years will be available, being fully committed to providing all 7 years at the famed magical school.
Although I am quite fond of this game, I would have liked to have seen the dorm rooms as it is weird to live in a boarding school but never see your own bed. I would also have liked to have seen the ability to own a pet, just like how Harry had Hedwig. Thankfully, the ability to date other characters is going to happen when you hit Year 4 in the game which is something I wanted and having since being confirmed, I am really looking forward to.
Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery has an interesting storyline and the potential to be great. Although it is still growing and finding its feet, I have faith that Hogwarts Mystery will blossoms into something amazing. For now, the game has my attention and I have hope. I for one am really enjoying finally being able to wear Ravenclaw robes in Hogwarts (even if but digitally) and finally see what the Ravenclaw common room looks like. I can’t wait to see more.