It has been over a week since the global release of Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery and the reviews have been pouring in from all over, most of them negative due to the energy-based system used in the game, but does the game still hold up?
The answer is; it depends.
Harry Potter geeks will find the game endearing and stay around for the story, atmosphere, and music because this is the closest experience fans will get to an open-world Harry Potter game. Getting to create an original character and decide what kind of character they open up countless possibilities to be the nice guy, or be a total jerk throughout the game.
Those who don’t like Harry Potter or are casual fans at best may struggle to continue playing the game. In fact, many deleted the game after finding out just how fast energy runs out.
That’s okay though because I feel the game was developed with Harry Potter fanatics in mind. It’s like Pottermore gave birth to a better product with more restrictive controls. Where Pottermore was more reading than it was interactive, this is more interactive than it is reading.
Though the game feels constricting in just how little can be played at a time, the story and atmosphere more than makeup for it, at least for this writer.
The moment that the music started in, I felt like I was a child again, visiting Hogwarts after years of not seeing it. It’s like a reunion, except you don’t recognize but a few of the students. Hearing the music, completely in the style of John Williams sparked a child-like euphoria for me and I sometimes found myself just staying in a scene for minutes at a time just absorbing the atmosphere of the game, even if it is simple at times.
It’s a fun adventure that’s essentially a mix between the Kim Kardashian mobile game and a mobile Telltale Games adventure. Part of me wishes it were an open-world game, and not for mobile devices but for what it is, it’s great.
The game can certainly be annoying at times and calling it a game is even a bit of a stretch. It’s more like an interactive book with nice graphics and music but it presents itself well enough, at least for me, to let it slide and accept it for what it is.
Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery has continued to draw me in with its story. I have found myself coming up with theories on what could be happening with the main character’s brother who apparently has disappeared without a trace after his search for a cursed vault, and wonder what the future holds for my original character as the game progresses.
The fact that a mobile game can make me daydream about what could be happening when the timer runs down is pretty amazing. I can’t wait to see where the game goes from here, and I will certainly continue playing it until there is no content to play anymore.
With one more Harry Potter mobile game in the works, fans of the series have plenty of content to indulge in the coming years.
Colin Schwager is a news writer and gamer from Lynchburg, Virginia. In his free time he enjoys playing Xbox, game development and marketing and design.