Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery – Wasted Time & Potential

May 6, 2018
Adventure

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is a new foray into the Harry Potter universe specifically for mobile.

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery gives Harry Potter fans the ostensible opportuntity to delve back into the Harry Potter universe and be a student before all this Harry Potter nonsense.

Attend classes, learn spells and engage in the Hogwarts community, it all sounds so amazing! Right?

Unfortunately, this fantastic potential is utterly wasted because the game is just flat out bad.

Many games suffer from character flaws that might diminish good qualities the game already possesses; other times, the problem with a game is so glaring and awful it utterly destroys the experience entirely.

For Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, it is most clearly the latter.

Like many free-to-play games, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery tries far too hard to get your money, and far too quickly at that.

Like many free-to-play games, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery tries far too hard to get your money, and far too quickly at that.

To attend classes, speak to friends and just generally progress through the story, you need to expend energy. Energy regenerates at a rate of 1 per 4 minutes, meaning that many times as you progress through the story, you’ll be forced to wait arbitrarily for the energy counter to replenish. This can prove frustrating and an unnecessary timesink – of course, for a low payment of $5, you can buy your way through the story.

This is commonly done, but it only works – and is thus just excusable – if the player has had time to acclimatize themselves to the game. If you’re invested within the story, you’re more inclined to actually spend money as you’re invested already.

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With Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, however, that doesn’t happen. You don’t care about the game, because it’s only been 15 minutes and the story is bland as white wallpaper.

The story is another significant problem; even if the game didn’t massively limit you with arbitrary time constraints and cooldowns, the story is just plain boring. For a self-proclaimed Harry Potter adventure, there’s basically nothing interesting that happens.

You’re constantly reminded of the legacy your brother left behind, of his betrayal of Hogwarts and joining the dark forces of He Who Must Not Be Named, yet the story lacks any kind of urgency of care.

It frankly feels like the plot writers just cashed it in, which is fitting because that’s the true purpose of Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery; to force you to spend money to progress at all.

However, they failed even in that aspect, as the gameplay and story does nothing to drag you in.

However, they failed even in that aspect, as the gameplay and story does nothing to drag you in.

Learning and casting spells is a series of clicking on highlighted objects and people, spending energy and then just doing the spell. There’s no feeling or credible sense of progression, just endless toil and waiting.

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is a game that actually could’ve been fantastic – a call back to the PS1 era of adventure games, themed within the Harry Potter universe, would’ve been fantastic to play and get stuck into the brilliant story and world.

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Instead, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is a shameless cash grab, filled to the brim with pointless gameplay, meandering story and an absolutely awful time-wasting mechanic as its main feature.

It’s difficult to overstate this: Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is a failure of a game through and through.

Our Rating

ProsCons
The initial feeling of excitement when starting a new Harry Potter game is nice.The base story and gameplay are utterly boring. The energy mechanic is utterly arbitrary and frustrating.
Rating
2/10
Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery
Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery
Developer:
Price: Free+
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