1. The graphics and sounds are amazing! From Maggie Smith herself admitting you to Hogwarts to the infamous Harry Potter music playing while you explore the castle, this game’s sound creates a ~magical~ mood. Too, the animation renders recognizable places and characters with remarkable detail! The game takes place in the 80s, between Harry’s defeating Voldemort and his arrival at Hogwarts, but some of the older Weasley brothers, Tonks, and lots of the professors from the original series show up to interact with.
2. You can play for free, but only slowly. As a die-hard HP fan, I looked forward to playing this game and worried that it might cost money to download (aka I wouldn’t buy it and would disappointedly retreat into my own Hogwarts dreams), but that’s not the case! You can get and use the game for free but will have to wait for your “energy bar” to fill up between tasks. There are options to buy lots of energy at once, using real money, but… Also, there aren’t too many options for your character’s hair, clothes, etc. without spending some “galleons”, which you earn gradually by succeeding at tasks in the game but can get a whole lot more of through, you guessed it, buying them.
(Spoiler Alert: you might have to casually hang out in Devil’s Snare while waiting for energy. You know, just chilling.)
3. You might be cursed. I’d honestly be happy with just play-attending Hogwarts, but a plot begins about your character from the first scene in Diagon Alley. Long story short, your brother was expelled from the school then mysteriously disappeared after becoming obsessed with a “cursed vault” he believed lay somewhere in the castle, and now you’re having visions that make you think he might not have been crazy after all.
4. You choose your house. Unlike Pottermore or its ilk, there’s no personality quiz to determine whether you go to Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, or Slytherin. You select which you prefer, and that’s that. Some people feel disappointed about this, but it does make sure you get the house you want. In the books, the Sorting Hat takes the opinions of first years into significant account, so it isn’t totally inaccurate, either.
5. Merula Snyde needs to chill out. What would Hogwarts be without some privileged kid who irrationally hates the protagonist? Your personal Draco Malfoy is a girl named Merula, who proclaims herself the most powerful witch/wizard around and will literally fight you to prove it. It’s disappointing that the token mean kid is a Slytherin, once again perpetuating the stereotype of evil Snakes.
To conclude, Hogwarts Mystery is worth downloading for anyone who loves Harry Potter, and are there actually people who don’t? The game has its defects, but not enough to stop players from embodying your magic school dreams!
If you are interested in writing an article for Her Campus Davidson, contact us at [email protected] or come to our weekly meeting Tuesday at 8 p.m. in the Morcott Room.