Throughout the years, the Harry Potter franchise has gained millions of fans, either through the original books or through film. It’s even one of the few series that breaks the age-old adage: movies do not make good video games. And although I think Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is a decent mobile game, it just begs developers to make a new console game.
For those of you who haven’t been playing along since HP: Hogwarts Mystery has come out, it takes place years before the start of Sorcerer’s (or Philosopher’s) Stone. Instead of paling around with Ron and Hermonie, you create a character of your own and make friends while experiencing school life at Hogwarts.
That’s maybe the game’s greatest strength. Instead of just seeing the school through the adventures of 3 Gryffindor students, you can choose which House you are sorted into. Let me tell you, the Ravenclaw Common Room is absolutely gorgeous!
But in comparing with some of the other HP nerds here at WTF, that’s where the differences end. You really only get to choose your gender and House. Everything else follows a pretty strict script, hardly making it feel like it’s your own Harry Potter adventure.
But following a story is totally fine. It’s not like you can expect a real, in-depth, choose-your-own-adventure with a free mobile app. I get that. Totally cool.
But between 3 to 8 hour wait times to unlock story missions, an energy bar that you go through faster than Hermonie goes through books, and classes that rely on both of these “lovely” features, HP: Hogwarts Mystery feels like a pretty line simulator. Sure…you can “explore” I guess. Just to find nothing to do while you wait for Dumbledore to speak to you or your friend Rowan to research spells you can use.
I continue to log in. I am kind of curious about the story and want to see my little Lovely Alabaster graduate or whatever. But more than anything, the game makes me nostalgic for Harry Potter games of the past.
Now that my eyes are open to being enrolled in a different House, I would love to see what it could open up in an RPG style video game. Maybe I could make my own friends through dialog trees and just engaging with my fellow classmates. Not just the 7, pre-determined cookie-cutter friends HP: Hogwarts Mystery gives me. Let me find my own way and my own trio of BFF’s.
Better still, let me figure out if I want to be a good or bad witch. The antagonist of the Hogwarts schoolyard, Merula, makes some pretty good points. I’d love to actually attempt to befriend her. We both want to find out about the Cursed Vaults. We both are suspicious of the whole situation going on. And, to be perfectly honest, we both don’t like Ben Cooper. Ben’s sweet and all but OH MY GOD do I really have to baby him through everything?
So, although I think Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is an okay game, it really just reminds me of the possibilities it doesn’t explore. Sure, you can choose what your character says for some bonus skill points, but nothing that greatly affects your relationships. Professor Flitwick still likes me whether I lie and solemnly swear I’m up to no good, or if I tell him point blank, nah fam, I’m gunna go break the rules.
Yes, you can create your own character, but other than a different Prefect and a change of scenery, it doesn’t cause anyone to view you differently.
And again. The energy thing. And the waiting. And the option to pay real life money to speed things along. I get it, the developers want to make some cash, but the whole system is so slow and boring.
Let’s just hope that maybe Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery was just the first step in coming up with new and exciting additions to the previously rich world of HP video games.