This game should have been every Harry Potter fan’s dream. And in a way, it is. You get to design your own character and send them to Hogwarts, where they attend classes, form friendships, and go on exciting quests. It’s incredibly fun to play – until you run out of energy.
The storyline so far follows the younger sibling of a former Hogwarts student who was expelled as they navigate their first year at school. You get to pick your character’s name, gender, and Hogwarts House, as well as designing their physical appearance. The game provides several options for hairstyle, skin tone, and facial features, but the animation style is just a little unnerving at times, in the way that old CGI movies like The Polar Express can be unsettling to watch. Here is my character:
And here’s a picture of the Ravenclaw common room:
The game is set after Voldemort’s defeat but before Harry starts school. However, most of the characters are stand-ins for ones from the book series. Awkward, nerdy Rowan, who offered to tell me a comprehensive history of Ravenclaw house right after the Sorting ceremony, is a lot like Hermione. “Cowardly” Gryffindor Ben Copper reminds me a lot of Neville, and Merula Snyde is essentially a female Draco Malfoy. The teachers are all familiar ones. So far, Flitwick seems very impressed by my character and Snape seems to hate her with a burning passion, but that might change depending on which House you’re in and which subject you choose as the one you’re most excited about.
A lot in the game depends on your choices. You gain “attribute” points for courage, empathy, and knowledge that affect who your friends are and what choices you can choose to make. Then based on those choices, you get even more attribute points. I’ve been trying to mostly make the decisions I think I really would, but there’s nothing saying you have to. I’m curious how the game might be different if I’d chosen to be in a different House or to make decisions in a different way.
My biggest complaint so far is that you only get a certain amount of energy and can’t continue playing once it runs out unless you buy more (with real money). I normally don’t mind this in app games and see it as a sort of screen time control to keep me from wasting too much time on my phone. However, it’s really annoying when it happens in the middle of an activity. It’s totally possible to start a game or a lesson with a full energy bar and still not have enough to finish it. You get one new energy point every four minutes and several hours to finish each activity, so it’s pretty much taken for granted that you’ll start, run out of energy, put it away for a while, and come back when your energy is full. Or just pay for a refill, which I’m sure is the point. I’d much rather only be able to do a certain number of activities before my character has to rest than get stuck with Devil’s Snare wrapped around my neck for half an hour because I ran out of energy points.