First Impressions: Hogwarts Mystery

Double Jump Kris MiiI always adored the Harry Potter series growing up — they were a stable of my childhood. Even now, I enjoy rereading a book or two of the series every so often. When Pottermore came out, I was excited to take the quizzes detailing my Hogwarts house and wand, as well as my patronus and Ilvermorny House when they became a thing as well. With the app game Hogwarts Mystery finally released a couple of days ago, I got the chance to start it up and try it out.

 

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I don’t play too many app games. I’m one of those few people who don’t have a tablet so, if I wanted to play app or mobile games, I’m stuck using my phone. Don’t get me wrong, my phone is nice and I don’t have too many mobile games that I’m interested in playing, but it can still be a little annoying on the smaller screen. I have Fire Emblem Heroes and, now, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery on my device.

The idea of becoming a Hogwarts student was always a fun fantasy for me as a lover of the books and the world that J.K. Rowling had cooked up. I’ll admit, I was a little skeptical about how Hogwarts Mystery would be able to pull it off, but I’m enjoying it so far.

You start the game with a little introduction that is narrated by the great Maggie Smith herself, reprising the role of Professor McGonagall. After a brief moment of customizing your character (seriously, there’s not much customization unlocked) your character is meeting a new friend in Diagon Alley, where you obtain your books and wand in a tutorial of the few controls before heading to Hogwarts and choosing your house.

The simple controls include tapping and swiping a finger across the screen. That’s really it. The tasks are generally using energy by tapping on objects, such as books to “read through” or your broom to “summon.” When learning spells or brewing potions, you may have to swipe your finger in a small shape, usually a spiral or arch of some sort, in order to perfect the spell or potion.

The story itself is okay so far. I’m not too deep into it, but apparently your character’s brother had gotten expelled and disappeared at some point before you were accepted into Hogwarts. Therefore, you already have a besmirched reputation, thanks to whatever your brother had done. Your personality is based on three attributes — courage, empathy, and knowledge — that will supposedly affect your relationships with other characters in the game. These attributes may give you different response choices with speaking with characters and, depending on which choices you choose, may or may not help better your family name in the school.

I presume, going deeper into the game, that the Hogwarts Mystery is all about what happened with your brother. I’m already interested in the writing, and I’m impressed with the graphics of the game even on my phone screen, so we shall see how everything works out.

Being a mobile game, it’s “free to play,” but there are of course in-app purchases, where you can use real money to buy game currency, gems for longer story missions, and pieces of energy to keep the game moving. The currency and gems also unlock more clothing items to customize your characters. The customization is something I’m disappointed in — you gain levels as you go about the story, and certain clothing options are “unlocked” at certain levels, but many you still need to spend currency or gems on to actually wear them.

Other than that, I’m amused at the game so far, able to play it in a few minute intervals before losing all my energy and needing to wait for that to replenish. As long as the story is intriguing, I’ll probably keep the game around for a while.

Did you download Hogwarts Mystery? How are you enjoying the game?

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Friday Favorites: Mobile Games

Double Jump Kris MiiAnother week down, one more full week to go in October!

Mobile gaming has definitely spiked recently, with all sorts of genres being played right at the tips of your fingers. From Angry Birds to Pokemon GO, there’s tons of downloadable games that you can spend your money on (even if the base game itself is free). Although some don’t consider mobile games to truly be “video games,” they’re making strides, especially with the plans to bring Super Mario onto the iPhones! Here are a few of my favorite mobile games from over the years.

3. High School Story by Pixelberry

I know, a game about high school? I’m a bit old for that, aren’t I? While I don’t play the game anymore, hear me out on it. I had downloaded this game years ago when my younger cousins started playing it, mainly because I wasn’t sure what they were getting into. Neither of the two were in high school yet, and their father wasn’t very cell phone or Internet savvy to figure out what they were doing, so I played the game with them to be sure it was appropriate.

Honestly, it’s a very tasteful, fun game. Although it categorizes characters into “cliques,” like jocks, artists, and nerds, it promotes inclusion and nonjudgmental friendship, something that could be promoted more in schools today. A few of the story lines even focus on more serious subjects such as anorexia (but it’s also completely optional in case it’s triggering), and I found them to be well-written and sensitive. The characters are all well-rounded and, even if the event waiting times can be long, it was a pretty enjoyable game.

2. Archie Saves Riverdale

Anyone else read Archie comics? Besides Batman and X-Men, I grew up on Archie comics and still read them from time-to-time. They’re clean, tasteful, and usually hilarious with the antics that the characters get into. They had a mobile game called Archie Saves Riverdale that, unfortunately, isn’t available any longer, but it was fun to someone like me who grew up with the characters. The main goal was, more or less, to do tasks that “cleaned up” Riverdale while also being able to raise relationships between the characters. The dialogue sounded as if they came straight out of the comics, and playing the game was just like being at home.

1. Pokemon GO

Although I’m not addicted to the game, Pokemon GO is still on my list. The augmented reality game helped keep my excitement for the Pokemon franchise, and it was a refreshing new take on the game, even if there were tons of bugs in the program. Being able to search for Pokemon in real world locations is pretty fun, and I’m excited to see where the new updates will take the game.

 

What are some of your favorite mobile games?

What’s With the Mobile Apps?

Rachel Mii Double JumpHappy Thursday!

I love video games as much as the next person, but when I play I usually play on my consoles or handhelds.

When I think of video games, I don’t normally think of my phone.

Super Mario Run Mobile App

I’m not sure if this is something that’s been in the works for a while, or if this is all Pokemon Go’s fault.

However, I’m sure most of you have heard by now that they’re coming out with a new Mario game as a mobile app on your phone or iPad.

Super Mario Run actually doesn’t look that bad. It looks just like the New Super Mario Bros games for the Wii U. Except it’s on a smaller screen and you play with your finger.

I was surprised it looked so good because I can’t picture a Mario game on my phone, let alone a Mario game that looks exactly like the console Mario games. Because it looks like the console games, I’m not entirely sure how easy it will be to play with just your finger. Though I’m sure they’ve figured something out.

Either way, I think I may give it a try. There’s no harm in it and it does look like it will be pretty good. I’m not sure how much the game will be, though. I assume it’s free with in-app purchases, but we’ll find out soon enough as it comes out in December.

In addition to Mario coming out as a mobile app, however, they’re also coming out with Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing.

I apologize if I sound like I’m complaining, but… Why?

Mario is the face of Nintendo, so if they’re going to make a mobile app, by all means, make Mario. But I don’t see the point of a Mario app, so I really don’t see a point to making Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing.

I mean, I can kind of see Fire Emblem because they have similar(ish) games such as Clash of Clans in the app store. But Animal Crossing? I’m very curious to see how these two games will turn out.

Of course, the release date for those games aren’t set in stone. We just know they’ll be out “before the end of March 2017.” There are no trailers or pictures.

While I don’t get it, I’ll still probably try Super Mario Run. And while I don’t get Fire Emblem or Animal Crossing even more, I’ll probably still try those games if they look as good as Super Mario Run.

What do you think about all the mobile apps lately? Will you be trying any of these games?