Harry Potter: Wizards Unite Out Now, But Leaves Some Players in the Lurch

Wizards Unite includes more content than Pokemon GO did at launch, but not all players get to enjoy it.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, Niantic's follow-up to Pokemon GO, is out now on Android and iOS in the U.S. and U.K. Technically, it released yesterday, a day earlier than expected. 

Wizards Unite employs a structure very similar to Pokemon GO. It's an AR-based game with special Inns and Fortresses at notable landmarks, but instead of capturing magical creatures, players are tasked with locating certain people or items stuck between the Muggle and magical worlds.

Inns and Fortresses are all based on real-world locations; the more landmarks or places of interest in a given area, the more content the game will feature for players in said area.

Of course, like Pokemon GO, that means some rural players are left feeling like Muggles waiting for their Hogwarts letter. Less populous areas naturally don't have as many sites of greater interest, which leads to fewer opportunities to engage with the game's content.

Multiple Reddit users report having few or only one Inn near their locations, saying they'd have to drive at least 30 minutes to an hour to actually enjoy the game.

WB Games San Francisco's Mary Casey spoke to Eurogamer about the issue and said the developers are working to ensure a healthy balance between urban and rural areas. As far as how this balance would be created, Casey only referred to the landmark feature and said the game is built around the idea of going out to explore surroundings.

Some aspects like potion making can be done at home, but users are already pointing to problems with time mechanics and grinding required to make any progress. Potion making, in particular, is a central feature of the game, making use of various items that can be found and eventually offering benefits to the player once it's finished brewing. However, it takes a long time to finish brewing — unless players pay to rent a better cauldron.

Whether coin grinding, waiting on potions, and staring at empty space for miles around in the AR wizarding world end up getting addressed in later patches is uncertain.

Still, the game only just exited its beta testing, so the build we have now isn't going to be the same build we see later this year or even by the end of the summer. After all, Pokemon GO itself went from barebones experience to featuring multiple new mechanics and hosting worldwide events in a very short time.

Looking for tips on Wizards Unite? We've got you covered with our growing guides page, where you can find out how to change your codename, as well as how to recharge spell energy and what professions are the best. 

Contributor

Josh Broadwell's gaming career began early--1993, to be exact--when he was introduced to the Super Nintendo and Super Mario World. Despite all the magnificent games the SNES and, later, the original PlayStation had to offer, it wasn't until the GameBoy Advance era that he finally discovered RPGs, which quickly became a favorite genre. He holds a BA in history, an MA in history, and is currently pursuing an MA in strategic communication.

Published Jun. 25th 2019

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