Expert commentary on new Wizards Unite mobile game
25 June 2019
Expert commentary on new Harry Potter: Wizards Unite mobile game
Jan Kruse, Senior Lecturer in Digital Design
Harry Potter – Wizards Unite releases to 150 countries today and from what I can tell is a nice improvement over previous AR games such as Pokémon GO and Ingress in a number of ways.
First and foremost, Harry Potter is a brilliant story to be implemented as an Augmented Reality game – only special people (the Wizards) are able to see magic in an ordinary world. Now, with the help of AR, you are able to see magic in a similar way.
Also, drawing on the legacy of an outstandingly successful series of books and movies, which attracted a very broad audience, old and young, gives it inherent features that do not need to be explained – we know them well from the books or movies.
It features a more appealing and interesting world with a lot more animations going on and a lot of different tasks to be tackled – unlike Pokémon or Ingress, which had nice geolocated implementations, but quite repetitive. For example, open the game in a moving vehicle (of course not, when you are driving!) and you will ride a broomstick just like Harry. Or watch the little animated doves carrying letters all across the city and countryside to new wizards. Nothing like the static world of other AR games – very much alive and fantastic.
I think we will see more and more appealing and interesting AR games in future – technology is catching up and enables richer and more vibrant experiences, which will ultimately contribute to a much higher participation in these games.
What I like about them personally, is that they get you off the couch and out of the house – Pokémon GO already leads as a great example of that and I strongly believe that Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will play its part here as well.