Hogwarts Mystery Review: Not Quite Magical

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery

The Basics

  • Name: Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery
  • Developer: Jam City
  • Genre: Adventure
  • Price: Free, with IAPs

The Details

  • Installed size: 1.2gb
  • Best played short-medium sessions
  • Some minor bugs experienced
  • Playable Offline: No

What is Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery?

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is a casual adventure game that lets players create their own character and enroll in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Starting out as a first year student, players will quickly meet friends and adversaries, attend classes, and get in trouble.

Hogwarts Mystery is primarily an interactive narrative, where players make decisions regarding what they want to do next. That might mean avoiding conflict versus embracing it, being respectful or disrespectful towards a professor, or choosing what type of information you want to share with a teacher when you get in trouble. The decisions you make will impact how other characters treat you in the future.

The game’s classes and lessons boil down to tapping on activities until you run out of stamina or obtain enough stars to finish the lesson. Outside of that there are opportunities to bond with friends through a mini game that gives you various dialogue options and tasks you with choosing the best one for the situation. There is also a rock-paper-scissors style magic dueling system that comes into play at times.

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery gameplay

Recommendation

Unfortunately Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery doesn’t have a lot to offer for aspiring witches and wizards who are looking for a magical experience. This stint at Hogwarts is light on gameplay, heavy on energy related mechanics, and doesn’t give players much in terms of lore or other fun tidbits for Harry Potter fans.

The bright side is that the narrative is more engaging than that of most mobile games, even if it feels a little heavy handed at times. The game’s dialogue changes significantly based on the decisions players make, making the experience feel unique. That being said, the decisions players make will often have little impact on the game beyond dialogue.

While Hogwarts Mystery’s narrative is the game’s bright spot, the rest of the content fails to impress. Classes and other activities have nothing substantial to offer and act as a way of getting users to use as much of their energy as possible without the need for any sort of skill or strategy. The closest thing to gameplay that classes offer is requiring a particular touch screen gesture, timing a tap on the touchscreen or answering a trivia question after completing a portion of a lesson. The entire experience lacks charm and magic.

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is a game with a number of issues. While the narrative gives players the ability to forge their own path at Hogwarts, the rest of the game is a major letdown. Classes, which could have been used to offer some Potter lore, give players little more than a chance to deplete their energy pools and wait (or pay) to refill them. Beyond just waiting for their energy to refill, players also need to wait (or use premium currency) for their next story related mission to open up. If you don’t mind waiting and are hungry for a new story in the world of Harry Potter, Hogwarts Mystery is worth checking out. Otherwise, skip it.

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There’s not a lot of magic here
Available on Google Play
Note: This review reflects the author’s views on the game at the time it was played. The state of the game may have changed since that time. Please note that installed size includes optional downloads where applicable.