THE new Harry Potter mobile game from the makers of Pokémon Go is finally coming out this week.
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite lets you play as an actual witch or wizard and as with Pokémon Go, sets up the real world as your game board.
The new ‘augmented reality’ game is going to be available from Google Play store for Android phones and the App Store for Apple fans.
It’s free to play, but there will be things in-game you can spend actual money on.
There are different sorts of encounters scattered over the map, and you’ll have to visit the locations in real life to interact with them.
As an actual witch or wizard you’ve got three professions to choose from: Auror, Magizoologist and Professor.
Different professions have different skills, and you’ll learn more skills as you play.
Unlike Pokémon Go everyone is on the same side; as you’re a grown-up now you don’t get dumped into a school house.
Everyone in the game is part of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force, trying to rein the magical world back in after the “Calamity”.
The game features lots of stuff for you to do on your own, such as catching magical creatures, finding magical items, or defeating Death Eaters.
Once you’ve reached the location you’ll need to bring whatever you’re hunting up on your phone screen, where you can then swipe to cast appropriate spells.
There are also more mundane things to do – you’ll have to visit greenhouses to stock up on materials for your spells, and taverns to top up your spell-casting energy through the medium of cake.
The story in the game is totally new, and the first part will play out over several years.
Familiar faces from the books and movies will pop up in-game as the story progresses, along with entirely new characters.
What’s going on in game will be tied to the weather, the time of day and even the phase of the moon, so you’ll have to pay attention if you want to get everything.
You will then be able to add different things that you’ve found to your in-game codex.
These come under Care of Magical Creatures, Dark Arts, Hogwarts School, Legends of Hogwarts, Ministry of Magic, Magizoology, Magical Games and Sports, Mysterious Artefacts, Wonders of the Wizarding World and Oddities categories.
Unlike Pokémon Go there is no player-versus-player combat, but there are dungeons to explore with a team of pals.
Here you’ll have multiple levels of enemies to defeat, getting harder and harder as you go down.
Unlike the raids in Pokémon, though, these will be open all the time for you to go into at your leisure.
Virtual Reality v.s. Augmented Reality – what’s the difference?
Here’s what you need to know…
- Virtual reality involves using a headset to simulate a virtual world
- In a VR world, everything you see will be computer-generated
- Popular VR headsets include the HTC Vive and Facebook’s Oculus Rift
- Augmented reality lets you see the real world, but “augments” (or adds on) computer-generated elements
- This means you’ll be able to see computer images overlaid onto your real-world view
- This can be done by holding up your phone, and looking ‘through’ it using your phone camera to see directions overlayed on the road in front of you
- You can also use AR headsets like Microsoft’s HoloLens and the Google Glass spectacles
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Elsewhere in the world of mobile gaming, you can get some free Pride content in The Sims games, including The Sims Mobile and Freeplay.
There are also a couple of new Switch consoles already in production, with Nintendo set to reveal them any day now, with one rumoured to be a purely handheld version.
Finally, Microsoft recently revealed its streaming service xCloud is nearly ready for prime time, and we got to test it out to see just how well Xbox One games really play on a phone.
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