It’s starting to happen again, but this time Harry Potter Wizards Unite could be the adults choice. We’ve downloaded the latest Augmented Reality game on our phones. When I say we, that’s Cat and myself, the kids haven’t got excited about it. Based upon a similar style of game like Pokémon Go, the “get outdoors and discover a gaming world” has hit at the right time for the summer.
Wizards Unite App
We’ve played a handful of games that use this interactive mapping concept before. Pokémon Go and Snatch, both used this idea and I love how detailed the maps are with buildings and green space highlighted.
The idea behind the game is to develop your character wizard up through levels. The higher your level is the stronger your attack is in battles. To progress through the levels you need to collect XP, which is found through challenges.
Around your world you’ll discover traces of magic, that have been scattered by The Calamity. Tapping on these will open up the magic, to reveal a “Foundable”. These are items that have been entrapped by dark magic. You need to cast a spell to release the “Foundable” and return it to the magic world before muggles discover them and exposing the magic world.
The first Foundable you will discover is Hagrid. The Augmented Reality works really well and even seemed to find my workbench! I was at work (on lunch) when I started to play this app.
Tip: Turn off AR to save on your battery and to speed up the game
To cast the Spell you trace a shape on the screen. Surprisingly it is harder than you think to accurately trace and do it with speed.
Tip: The faster your cast, the greater your spell will be, but it has to also be accurate to the shape needed.
After you’ve released your Foundable from the Dark Magic you add it to the Registry and you gain XP and other rewards. Different items have different rewards.
And it doesn’t take too long before your moving on up out of Level 1.
Wizards Unite Spell Energy
As this is a “Free” game, there has to be a catch somewhere. With Pokémon Go, it was that you ran out of Pokéballs. In Wizards Unite it is Spell Energy. Each spell you cast uses 1 piece of spell Energy and it’s only when you run out that you realise that’s what you need to collect.
When you’re in battle or a position to cast a spell, you can see your Spell Energy quantity in the lower left area. It’s symbolised by a lightning strike.
Don’t ask me why but this is saying I have 110 pieces out of a possible 75!
TOP TIP: TO get some free Spell Energy early on in the gameplay. Visit Diagon Alley (Click Suitcase, then shopping basket in the top right) This is the in-app purchasing area. However, if you scroll to the bottom of the list of items to buy there is 1 complementary item. It is only available for about 3 days from your first gameplay. It contains 50 Spell Energy.
Competing in Battles: How to Attack!
The biggest problem I had with this game is the lack of instruction when it came to battles. The first 6 battles I assumed I wasn’t having any impact because of my XP level. Turns out I wasn’t casting any spells.
To cast a battle spell you need to align your wand target with the onscreen target. To find your wand target you place your finger on the screen and drag it down and overlay it. As it lines up the spells strength increases until you can cast it with a wand motion.
You can also use potions to give your spell casting added strength or accuracy.
Adding Friends in Wizards Unite.
Wizards Unite is a social game, where you can team up and battle in fortresses together. However its fun to see how your friends are getting on through the game too.
There are also some achievements that get unlocked as your hook up more friends in your network.
If you want to add me my code is 0706 3710 8151
There is however a limit of 200 friends that any account can have.
Wizards Unite Top Tips
As we’ve been playing here are the top tips we’ve discovered.
1. If you have enough storage on your phone download all the game assets to it. This speeds up the game and uses less data etc. It means that you’re not waiting for a game element to download or waiting on a poor 3G signal to clear.
(Click suitcase, Settings button, scroll towards the bottom of the list and click download. It is about 3GB of data to store).
2. While you’re in the settings area, turn off “Map Camera Idle”. This is the annoying twitch that realigns your screen when you’re waiting for something to happen on your map.
3. As mentioned above, download your FREE Spell Energy while you get the chance.
4. Portmanteau and Portkeys. You have two types of key. A gold one with unlimited uses and silver keys that are only used once. For maximum efficiency, we suggest you use the gold key on 2KM Portmanteaus. Silver on the 5KM or 10km ones.
5. Earn gold instead of buying it. You can earn gold through levelling up, completing assignments and playing on a daily basis. So make sure you keep logging in.
6. Spell Energy is found at Inns, Greenhouses and by completing assignments. Catherine’s workplace is an Inn and a greenhouse, which means on her lunch she can top up her levels.
7. Turn Off AR. Although the Augmented reality is very cool. It uses more battery and slows down the game. So after the novelty has worn off, turn off the AR to play for longer.
8. Brew potions or you’ll run out of bag space! As your playing the game you collect potion ingredients. You can initially hold only 200 items. Unless you use these up you’ll end up maxing out the storage.
So visit “suitcase”, then potions, then recipes and see what potions you can brew up to help in the game.
9. If you unlock a Portkey, save it for when your playing at home. This will cut the boredom of having no Foundables to unlock.
10. Why is there a weather icon on the map? Different elements become present at different climates and times of the day.
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite Review
So far, both Catherine and I are playing the game and enjoying it. Abigail has shown an interest, but not as much as she had with Pokémon. Which is why I think this is better suited for the older generation of smart phone users. After all these are the ones that have grown up with Harry Potter and will probably see more relevance.
On initial viewing it is slightly more complicated than Pokémon Go, as that had a core of simply find and collect. Wizards unite involves developing many elements through levels, some that don’t seem to be that connected to each other.
The main bonus though is, that after a solid focused time of game play, we’ve spent no real world money on it. Not sure how long this will last for, but that makes us happy for now anyway.