Pokemon Go launched nearly three years ago, and was an instant hit for its developer Niantic. Niantic just launched their next game, but this time based on the Harry Potter universe.
It’s called Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, and is based on the same platform as Pokemon Go - and when you open the game, it looks very similar. Your character, a wizard, is standing on a street map of where you are standing in the real world. Your mission is to liberate magical artifacts that have been stolen and scattered throughout the Muggle world, threatening the secrecy of the Wizarding World. You can return them when you stumble across one by tracing out a magical spell on your phone’s screen. The faster and more accurately you trace the spell, the higher the chance that you’ll succeed and send the item back where it belongs.
You’ll also find virtual greenhouses, inns, and fortresses at real-life landmarks. You can go to an inn to recharge your spell energy, and grow potion components at greenhouses. Fortresses are where you can team up with other wizards to find especially powerful magic.
It’s fair to see Wizards Unite as a spiritual sequel to Pokemon Go. But while Pokemon Go is pretty simple to understand, Wizards Unite is needlessly complicated. There are dozens of categories of collectibles, and it’s not immediately clear how they all interact. The game is really slow, unless you download an extra pack of resources, which is hidden deep in a menu. There are options to choose your Hogwarts House, your wand, and other personalization options, but it’s not made clear how these affect the game.
There is a lot to do in Wizards Unite. Unfortunately, the game doesn’t do much to make me care about most of it.