When Pokémon Go launched in 2016, it sent the world into a frenzy. The immense success of the app inspired Niantic to turn another popular franchise into a game, which is how we got Harry Potter: Wizards Unite earlier this year. While it has many similar features to its predecessor, it also puts its own spin on things. That makes the experience distinct from anything you’ve ever played before.
Defeat the confoundables
While the premise of Pokémon Go is to catch the franchise’s many unique creatures, Wizards Unite is focused on defeating confoundables. These are essentially enemies or obstacles which have trapped characters and other memorabilia from the Harry Potter series.
Defeating them is relatively easy because all you have to do is trace the pattern on the screen to cast a spell. Of course, whether said spell actually works or not is another matter. Just as Pokémon Go makes some creatures harder to catch than others, Wizards Unite assigns varying difficulty levels to the confoundables.
Collecting the characters
Once you defeat a confoundable, you receive a fragment of the person, animal, or item that you saved. This then goes into your registry, although some characters require multiple pieces to be completed. For instance, Professor McGonagall has to be collected 15 times before she’s done, whereas Arthur Weasley only needs saving four times.
Collecting these fragments is basically like completing a sticker book. Once you fill up a page with stickers, you can reset it and start capturing the same characters again for better bonuses.
Stops on the map
Whereas Pokémon Go has gyms and pokéstops dotted around the map, Wizards Unite has inns, greenhouses, and wizard challenges. The first two of these are similar to pokéstops, offering players energy and ingredients respectively. The former is required to fight confoundables – think of them as pokéballs – while the latter is used to make potions. These are beneficial for reducing a confoundable’s difficulty – aka berries – or keeping you going during a battle.
Fighting wizard challenges
The battle system comes into play at the wizard challenges. Here, you pick a difficulty level to fight at then put your skills to the test against the computer. Taking it in turns, you cast spells to do damage then protect yourself with protego. The amount of enemies you have to fight depends on the difficulty you chose, with lower-level battles only pitting you against one or two foes.
Unlocking the portkeys
One of Pokémon Go’s most notable features is the ability to hatch eggs through walking. This is a great way to get Pokémon that might not spawn in your local area and potentially even find yourself a shiny. There’s a similar system in Wizards Unite, although it works with portkey portmanteaus instead.
The idea behind these is that after you’ve walked so far, you can open a portal to another world. Think of these like a bonus area which allow you to pick up things like extra ingredients and experience. They do require you to move around a bit in the real world, so it’s vital you don’t open them until you’re somewhere safe. Niantic doesn’t need any more people endangering their lives for the sake of their games.
Wizards Unite is still in its infancy, so, much like Pokémon Go, it still has a lot of issues to iron out. However, if you love Harry Potter and want to embrace it in your day to day life, this is the game for you.