We may not have gone to Hogwarts, but we still have magic.
If we’re being totally honest, even though we’re now past school age, there’s a small part of us that is still waiting for our letter from Hogwarts.
For years we’ve dreamed of going to the wizarding school from JK Rowling’s Harry Potter books, encountering creatures like Hippogriffs and unicorns (eek!), casting spells and swanning around in robes.
And yes, we know it’s probably not going to happen, but we’ll be able to get a little bit closer this week, when Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is released.
The augmented reality game will work in a similar way to Pokémon Go, enabling us to see the world of Harry Potter in our surroundings, using just our phones.
A number of fans, including comedian and actress Tiffany Haddish, have already tried out the game at a special event held at Universal Studios Hollywood, and a sneak peek has been released in a trailer.
Here’s everything you need to know about Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, the game that will officially make us wizards and witches.
What is Harry Potter: Wizards Unite?
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is the second game from Portkey Games, the games label from the company behind the Harry Potter films, Warner Bros. The first was Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, a choose-your-own story adventure set in the Wizarding World. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite has been created in collaboration with Niantic, the makers of Pokémon Go.
What’s the story in Harry Potter: Wizards Unite?
The game is all about the Calamity, unknown forces which are causing artefacts, beasts, people and even memories of the wizarding world – known as Foundables – to appear in present-day Muggle reality. Players will be recruits of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force, an organisation formed by the Ministry of Magic and the International Confederation of Wizards to investigate and contain the Calamity.
It will be the job of each player to find and return Foundables to their rightful place. Although players will be working for the Statute of Secrecy Task Force, you’ll also still have a day job, and can pick from Auror, Magizoologist or Professor. Whatever you pick will help shape your skills and abilities as a wizard.
Your avatar will come with accessories, and you’ll be able to set your house affiliation and want.
How does Harry Potter: Wizards Unite actually work?
Like Pokémon Go, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will use your real-life surroundings as part of the game. Once you’ve downloaded the game and created your Ministry of Magic ID, your phone will use augmented reality technology to create a magical map that imitates wherever you are. Regular buildings will be turned into Fortresses, Inns, Greenhouses and more. You’ll be able to go into these buildings to gather supplies including food and potion ingredients.
As you explore your surroundings, Traces will appear. These will let you know a Foundable has appeared, and to help free it you’ll need to enter the Trace and use your skills and magic against Confoundable magic. For example, one Trace shows Harry Potter in the middle of a Quidditch game, about to receive a Dementor’s Kiss. To beat the Confoundable spell, you’ll need to trace the correct Glyph on your phone screen.
There will also be Portkeys dotted around the game for players to find, and doing so will mean being able to enter a new world that will work almost like virtual reality.
Is Harry Potter: Wizards Unite a single-player game?
While you might play much of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite on your own, there are moments when you’ll need to work with a group of people (it’s in the name!), such as when encountering a pack of Cornish Pixies. Working with other people, especially those who have chosen different professions from you, will help you cover more ground and unlock more of the game.
When can I play Harry Potter: Wizards Unite?
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will be released on 21 June for Android and iOS in the US and UK.
Accio Harry Potter: Wizards Unite!
Image: Portkey Games