Ready your wands and your smartphones because the secrets of the wizarding world are appearing in the Muggle (or real) world. A brand new augmented reality game, “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite,” launched on Friday, and is calling for witches and wizards to use their phones to return these creatures to where they belong.
Niantic Inc. released “Pokémon Go” in 2016 and it seemed to take over the world. Everywhere you looked, people were walking around with their phones in the air, turning this way and that trying to catch ‘em all. Now, the company teamed up with WB Games San Francisco to create “Wizards Unite,” a mashup of the "Harry Potter" series and the "Fantastic Beasts" films.
As players move their phones around, the buildings around them will turn into magical places. In the game, players are recruited into the Statute of Secrecy Task Force to help contain mysterious creatures called Foundables. Users create an avatar, decide which house to join and a wand down to the length and wood type. Players need to cast spells to gain rewards as they send the Foundables back to the wizarding world.
Stopping by certain places in the real world enables wizards to fuel up and replenish their Spell Energy. They’ll also come across locations dubbed Greenhouses where they can find ingredients to use in Potions. Pottermore explains that weather, geo-location and phases of the moon can affect the type of ingredients that will appear. Players can find keys that transport them to wizarding world destinations. As users are teleported, they’ll find themselves immersed in a full 360-degree advanced AR experience in Ollivander’s Wand Shop, for instance.
Players can visit fortresses found on a map and participate in real-time multiplayer battles against the likes of Death Eaters. Since each player has the opportunity to choose a specific profession (Auror, Magizoologist, Professor), they will have unique abilities that will be helpful if they team up with wizards with different talents.
This is a free game on iOS and Android, but players can use real money to buy currency within the game to spend on spell energy and other things.
Can’t wait to start playing? Pre-register in the Google Play store or sign up on the official website with your birthdate. The webpage promises you’ll be the first to know as more information about the game becomes available.
Just like with “Pokémon Go”, players of “Wizards Unite” have to physically move around in order to do well at the game. It’s worth noting for parents who worry about screen time making their kids lazy.Comment on this story
Other brands are launching their own augmented reality games too. “Minecraft Earth” goes into beta testing this summer and allows players to cover the real world around them with the world of Minecraft. Players can build anything and then use augmented reality to walk through their creations. The game will be free on Android and iOS.
The popular video game "Dragon Quest" will also soon beta test an augmented reality game. “Dragon Quest Walk” will let players build and decorate their own houses and battle monsters. It will also be free and available on Android and iOS sometime later this year.