Harry Potter: Wizards Unite Is a thing that brings Pokemon Go-like AR to Rowling’s iconic universe

By Joe Robinson 11 Mar 2019 0

Hey, remember Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery? What a wonderful (read: awful) poster-child for everything that’s wrong with Free-to-Play that was. I imagine Harry Potter fans were less than pleased with the most recent mainstream attempt at bringing a beloved franchise to mobile, but perhaps redemption is at hand thanks to Pokémon Go creators Niantic.

Working with WB Games San Francisco, the location-based games developer has taken their tried and true AR platform and brought it to everyone’s favourite world of wizards and magic. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is officially a thing, and it’ll be coming to iOS and Android later this year. Pre-registration is currently available on Google Play.

In Wizards Unite, you play the role of a new member of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force, whose job it is to go out into the world and clean up a calamity that’s causing magical beings and objects to proliferate the Muggle world, putting everything at risk. If you’ve played the Pokémon game you can imagine the type of activities you’ll be doing, and where you’ll be doing them. This blog post on Niantic’s website is specifically illuminating.

I’d just taken up my role as Editor when Pokémon Go First launched in the summer of 2016. Due to the fact it took me a while to find my feet, I let the game pass us by although I did end up dabbling in it myself.

AR or Location-based mechanics are pretty interesting and take on a variety of guises – there is an interesting confluence at the centre of people’s natural habits in terms of where they go, what they do etc… and how they use their phones, of course. Harry Potter feels like just as good an idea as Pokémon Go did. It’s not really my cup of tea anymore (especially as I don’t travel about as much as I used to), but as a new parent, and as someone who used to like the Harry Potter books, I can certainly appreciate the appeal.

wizards unite 1

Through Pokémon Go and Ingress, Niantic have been perfecting and improving on their underlying technology, so you’re likely to see similarities in Wizards Unite if you’ve played their other titles. Judging by the previews already online, a lot more real-world information interacts and effects in-game encounters, which could be interesting.

What do you guys think? Are you more likely to play this Harry Potter game vs. Pokémon Go? What are your thoughts on free-to-play AR games in general?



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