So recently, I’ve been on this app called Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery.
So far, it really hasn’t been terrible. In fact, there’s some cool aspects of it (learning wand movements, picking up random bits of trivia from other characters’ dialogues) and a fairly engaging storyline, but sadly, it wasn’t what I expected, either. I really like the graphics and the fact that you can create a personalised avatar, plus the quests are usually quite interesting. Also, the fact that you can sometimes find ways to interact with background objects in the environment is pretty cute. I appreciate that they put a lot of effort into creating this whole thing, and since it’s only a Beta version for now I’m sure a lot of improvements will be made.
Its main drawback (and probably main moneymaking point) is that it requires you to spend energy to complete tasks. I’m sure a lot of us are familiar with that style of game. Complete just 1 quest and you’ll be totally drained, meaning you’re basically powerless to take any other meaningful action for a long time after. Currently my energy replenishes at a rate of 0.25 units/min (meaning it takes 4 min to replenish 1 full unit), so you can imagine the wait time to get just 10 units back. And I’m sorry, but even with my current lifestyle (unemployed and doing nothing but waiting for the results of my Uni applications) I just don’t have the time or patience to wander around a digital castle for hours. Honestly, that’s the most off-putting bit of an otherwise pretty good game.
Unfortunately, however, I haven’t yet come across a Harry Potter game on either the computer or the phone (which are the only two platforms I have to access games on) that really tickles my fancy.
Actually, scratch that. I did, years ago, when Pottermore was still in its original form. Back when you could chat with your fellow housemates, get points for your house, buy a pet, duel, collect ingredients to brew potions, kind of attend lessons… that was as close to my ideal as I have ever gotten.
I guess J.K. Rowling had a good reason for revamping it so much, and yes, the whole thing with the Patronus and Ilvermorny houses is cool, but I really miss that feeling of actually being an active student of Hogwarts.
My ideal Harry Potter game is something of a cross between the old Pottermore, the current Hogwarts Mystery and- now hear me out– Yandere Simulator.
I would love to be able to create a personalised avatar complete with name, which is something we couldn’t do on old Pottermore. Instead of a point-and-click style adventure, I’d like to be able to wander around in first person perspective, collecting items and speaking to NPCs.
Am I just describing every first person adventure game at this point
I also really liked being able to visit Diagon Alley and purchase all my school supplies, including a pet (which I would like to name) and a wand. The wand quiz is brilliant, but if there were something afterwards that allowed us to wave the wand around that would be really cool.
After being assigned to our houses via Sorting Hat, I’d love to be able to chat with other players, perhaps in the Common Room. Having a bed and bedside drawer to store items we find could be cool too. Also, a common notice board on which one could pin notices or pictures would be cool.
I would also like to not see the usual troupe of “Oh, Snape hates me I am special student blah blah” because it’s just everywhere. I think a more refreshing storyline would be that you come into the school as a normal student, then distinguish yourself by the actions you take throughout the school years (which seems to be the way Hogwarts Mystery is set up). If there was an option to choose whether you were from a wizarding family or a Muggle family at the start, that could somehow affect the way the game went, who you met, what you learnt etc.
I’d also like to be able to join clubs, especially if they could make the Duelling Club a thing again. Students could duel either against the computers or other players and level up their skills/earn House Points from there. As one goes through the game and collects spells, the duelling could be arranged such that each wizard has to recall and draw certain wand movements on the screen to cast the spell. The greater the difficulty, the more complicated the wand movement. There could be different levels of duelling:
Player can simply click on the names of spells to cast them.
Player must make the wand movements from memory of with the help of an encyclopedia which they can refer to if they have time during the duel.
I’m pretty sure some kind of duelling gaming subculture would develop if this were a thing, with actual world championships and such.
If the library could have digital copies of the textbooks mentioned in the series, that would be a dream come true (well, they could at least have abridged versions). Students could choose to study and take tests to boost certain skills they have or their reputation with teachers. This could be a way of allowing a student to develop a “talent” for certain subjects, which could be useful as the game progresses and also affect the way the game progresses.
Speaking of “reputation”, this is why I mentioned Yandere Simulator which has a similar mechanic. The way a player’s story unfolds could be affected by their “standing” in the school, which teachers like them, which students like them, and which people don’t.
That’s probably most of what I wanted to say, and it’s 0126 right now, so goodnight!
EDIT: Also if students were each given a personalisable notebook at the start where entries appeared whenever the student witnessed something happening/did something important (Outlast camcorder style) it would be a good way of injecting both trivia and essential information into the game.