Monday 11th Mar 2019
Here's all the information you need about the hotly anticipated augmented reality mobile game Wizards Unite, set to bring the Wizarding World to life in a whole new way. Here’s what we know so far.
This is the next big offering from Portkey Games
Wizards Unite serves as the second big release from Portkey Games, the games label from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment that invites you to be the centre of new Wizarding World adventures, all inspired by J.K. Rowling’s original stories. The game has been created in collaboration with Niantic, makers of Pokémon Go.
The general story? You must help rescue wizarding world characters, creatures and more...
So, surprise! You now work for the Statute of Secrecy Task Force! This organization was formed by the Ministry of Magic and the International Confederation of Wizards to investigate and contain the Calamity.
Due to unknown forces (known as ‘the Calamity’), artefacts, beasts, people and even memories of the wizarding world (called ‘Foundables’) seem to be appearing in present-day Muggle reality, and it’s up to all witches and wizards to unite together to rescue them and return everything to its rightful place. Oh, PS: that includes you.
For example, you may be walking down to the shops, minding your own business, when a magical Trace appears on the ground indicating that a Foundable has appeared! Entering the Trace will bring you into an encounter with the likes of Buckbeak the Hippogriff, who has been whisked away by the Calamity and is trapped by the chaotic, Confoundable magic.
Your job is to help dispel the situation and return the Foundable Buckbeak back to his rightful place. And he is just one of many familiar faces you’ll see.
Wizards Unite will transform your reality around you
So how on earth will we be able to even see Buckbeak? We don’t get many Hippogriffs down our way. Well, we already knew that Wizards Unite would be an augmented reality game for our phones, but now we know a bit more about what that entails.
You’ll need to become your best wizardy or witchy self, and create your new avatar (complete with augmented reality wizarding accessories, such as scarves, hats and Luna Lovegood’s Spectrespecs) using selfie-mode, set your house affiliation and wand (core, wood type, length and flexibility) to create your Ministry ID. Once you’re all set and official, your surroundings will begin to emulate the rustic joys of the wizarding world.
As this game features real-world 360-degree exploration, your phone will use augmented reality technology to create a magical map that imitates your actual surroundings. Regular Muggle buildings will turn into Fortresses, Inns, Greenhouses and more... and you’ll be able to gather valuable supplies such as delicious foods, or potion ingredients that you’ll need for upcoming Wizarding Challenges. More on those later. And yes, throughout all of this, of course you will have a wand to help you overpower the Confoundables.
So, watch out for magical traces
Fervent fans of the upcoming game will notice that the Wizards Unite social media channels have been launching ‘Trace’ videos, such as an unruly Niffler here or a rogue Nimbus 2000 broomstick there.
The Traces help you discover “Foundables”: beasts, objects and people pulled out of time and even memory. pic.twitter.com/p3Vwbs9TEK— PotterMoreMischievous (@pottermore) March 11, 2019
These Traces are triggers that help you to discover the Foundables. Once you’ve discovered whatever you find (one example sees a fallen Harry Potter in the middle of a Quidditch game, about to receive the Dementor’s Kiss) you’ll need to trace a glyph on your phone screen to dispel the Confoundable spell. Once you’ve succeeded, Harry should be restored to his rightful place in the wizarding world.
You’ll also need to pick a wizarding world profession
You may be a Statute of Secrecy Task Force recruit, but you still have a day job.
You’ll have a choice of picking from three of our favourites: Auror, Magizoologist or Professor. Whatever you pick will help shape and level your skills, abilities as a witch or wizard. This will be particularly useful, because...
It helps to work together
The game works best when played with friends (or, hey, fellow players in the street that you could abruptly make your new best friends!) due to multiplayer challenges that you’ll come across on your travels.
Visit areas called Fortresses, and you’ll be tasked with taking part in some augmented reality combat encounters. For example, maybe you’ll run into a particularly nasty bout of Cornish Pixies that you’ll need to vanquish as part of a team. We all remember what happened when Professor Lockhart messed with those guys.
Bear in mind that working together with comrades from different wizarding professions will help you cover more ground – as well as unlock rarer content.
And that’s only one of many, many things to do...
While your over-arching mission is to restore the Muggle world to its rightful state, you’ll also be able to take part in smaller extra-curricular activities along the way. Dotted around your surroundings, you’ll find all sorts of wonderful magical items to pick up – which work very well for one of the mini-games, which invites you to make potions.
The game champions outdoor exercise and will magically change wherever you are
Varying external circumstances will shape your gameplay and change what objects you’ll find. Weather, geo-location, natural phenomena, time of day, even phases of the moon can all affect the type and amounts of potion ingredients that appear around you, so get planning some decidedly-more-magical-than-usual nature walks.
Collect the right items, and you’ll be able to brew your own concoctions – which could be good for, say, if you get swiped by a Cornish Pixie and need a bit of health replenishing...
And if that’s not all real enough for you...
Discovering Portkeys will bring everything to a whole new level. Represented in perhaps their most iconic form (a boot!) finding and unlocking a Portkey Portmanteau will activate a a Portkey – meaning your phone will invite you to enter a new world through your phone, almost like virtual reality. Here, you may stumble into a selection of familiar Wizarding World locations.
And the game could truly go on forever
So, as you may have gathered, we’re set for a rather addictive experience. Let’s admit it, the Muggle world is a bit boring. But within Wizards Unite, a whole new world awaits us at just a tap on our phone screens.
And excitingly, the mysteries of the Calamity are only just beginning. Why are our wizarding world favourites out of their rightful place? Why are they here? And what other magical mishaps are set to occur? Expect some familiar characters as well as new wizards and witches to be introduced to try and figure out what on earth is going on: enigmatic new characters that may be the key to this huge mystery. The game-makers have promised this game involves a ‘deep, multi-year narrative arc’ to discover the truth, and honestly, we’re totally here for it.
We may even invest in some new walking boots.
Wizards Unite will launch later in 2019 and you can learn more from their official website.