New Harry Potter game promotes getting out and walking
Niantic released their new mobile game, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, in the United States on Thursday. The game is classified as augmented reality, or AR, and is all about getting out in the real world to find objects associated with the game-world and also complete tasks within the game.
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite starts by explaining the premise of the game, which is to find ‘confoundables’ that are wreaking havoc on the world and return them before muggles (non-magical people) find out. To do this, players must get out into the streets with the mobile app and locate these confoundables.
In addition to returning things from the magical world, players can also visit inns, grow plants, brew potions, and fight in fortresses. Just like the confoundables, inns, greenhouses, and fortresses can all be found at locations in the real world. For example, a park pavilion in around the corner from your home might be an inn or a fortress in the game.
The game also promotes walking. Players can find “portmanteaus” which can be unlocked with in-game keys by walking a certain distance. There are three different portmanteaus: one can be opened by walking two kilometers, the second by walking five kilometers, and the last one by walking ten kilometers. Once opened, the player will be able to take a portkey to a spot in the magical world and gain valuable rewards.
This is not Niantic’s first bid at making an AR game. In 2016, the company released Pokemon Go, which had an extremely successful launch and remains relevant to this day. Just like in Wizards Unite, players must get out to real-life locations and walk to collect Pokemon and achieve goals.
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite has had a successful launch so far, with over 400,000 downloads in the first 24 hours following its release. The game is also expected to gross over $100 million in its first month following release. While this will not exceed Pokemon Go‘s records set in 2016, it would certainly be an impressive feat.
Augmented reality sets a new precedent in the gaming world. The popularity of Pokemon Go has shown that people are interested in playing games that get them out in the world. Other companies have begun trying there hand at AR games as well. The Canadian company Ludia worked with Universal to make Jurassic World Alive, and Blizzard has announced plans to make an AR game based off of World of Warcraft.
While all of these AR games are different, they are similar in nature. Each game requires that players get out into the real world with their phones. In a society that has become very comfortable being indoors, this is a great way to get younger and older generations alike out and about.
There have already been a number of stories on the internet about how these AR games have changed their lives. People have attributed weight loss to the games, and some have even said that it helped them combat serious mental disorders like agoraphobia and depression. This is a new style of gaming that certainly has an exciting future.
For people who love the Harry Potter franchise Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is a must-try. Remember to be careful though, do not attempt to play the game while driving, and be careful not to trespass or break any laws while playing the game. It is important to be respectful of other people while in public.
Whether you are looking for a reason to get out and walk, or you are just looking for a fun new game, or you are a Harry Potter nerd, this game surely has something to offer for you. The game is available for both IOS and Android for download in certain areas of the world.