Towards the end of 2017, we found out that Niantic Labs, creator of the successful Ingress and Pokemon GO, was working on a new augmented reality game based on the universe developed by J.K. Rowling for the Harry Potter saga. After more than a year-long wait, we can finally see Harry Potter: Wizards Unite in action and find out some of its key features before its scheduled release this year. 

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Protectors of the muggle world

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The game is set in the real world and the current times, chronologically after the events seen in the books/movies after the end of Voldemort and disappearance of the deathly hallows. An unknown event called the “calamity” scatters all sorts of magical creatures throughout the world. You, as member of the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy, have to try to correct this imbalance in order to prevent chaos from breaking out all over the muggle world.

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What you’ll find in Wizards Unite

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For all intents and purposes, the game gives you a similar experience to what we saw in Pokemon GO. You can explore your environment in search of magical creatures, which you have to fight through a simple minigame of skill. From time to time, a familiar face or two from the movie saga will even show up. You’ll also come across other creatures, either monsters or dark wizards, who you have to fight and try to to reduce their life bar before they do the same to you.

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All this effort will make your magic reserves dwindle, forcing you to visit other types of locations like inns or greenhouses to “refuel” and get special items and ingredients to make potions. These points will recharge every certain amount of time and are basically the same as the stops in Pokemon GO.

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With the background of the enormous franchise the game is based on, and keeping the Fantastic Beasts premise in mind, all these encounters will be noted down in your list of discoveries. So a huge part of the progression will depend on your search of special creatures – some with certain requirements before they appear. For example, werewolves will only appear if there’s a full moon in real life.

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Progression as if it were an RPG

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The difference in regards to other previous games from Niantic is the existence of skill branches, visible statistics for the player and up to three professions that will strengthen your traits: Professor, Auror (the “police” of the magic world, so to speak) or Magizoologist. As you advance in one of these professions, you’ll unlock new bonuses. Although you can alternate between them and specialize in the feature of the game that interests you most.

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In addition to all this, and as a bigger challenge, you’ll find the fortresses, which are a lot like the gyms in Pokemon Go. Here you have to collaborate with other players to destroy the most powerful creatures that protect them. Depending on the skills you’ve developed, you’ll have to select a specific enemy that you have more possibilities to beat.

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When and how will Harry Potter: Wizards Unite show up?

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Although there’s still no official date, the game is expected to be released throughout this year. We’d guess it’ll happen sometime in the summer months to repeat the success of Pokemon GO. The pre-registration has begun on Google Play and we know it will be available in at least 17 languages right away, including Spanish and English. 

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