Molly Thomson
April 25, 2018 9:51 am

As a generation that grew up on Harry Potter (and whose 11th birthdays passed without fanfare), we were all-too-ready to play “Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery.”

The iOS game, released on iPhone and Android on April 25th, is designed to make you feel like you’re actually attending Hogwarts as a student. AKA it’s a dream for anyone who spent their childhood sorting their friends into Hogwarts houses and going to midnight book release parties. The game has the same format as many point-and-click games (which unfortunately involves waiting for enough energy to complete tasks), but also manages to capture much of what Muggles love so dearly about Hogwarts, as well as many of its beloved characters.

The game is, at its core, a delightful celebration of both the series and its dedicated fanbase, and its many features help make the game feel personalized, authentic, and magical. We’ve compiled some of the game’s most spellbinding features that definitely make Hogwarts worth returning to after all this time.

1Choosing an avatar.

In a process much like “The Sims,” users are able to customize their avatar’s skin color, face shape, hair color, nose, and eyes. There aren’t a slew of options for clothing or hairstyles without shelling out a few Galleons or unlocking more lewks, but there are enough to make each character feel personalized.

Testing wands with Ollivander.

The wand chooses the wizard…and just like Harry, your character will need to try a few before finding the right fit. Finding THE wand and watching your witch or wizard glow with recognition is inexplicably satisfying, even on-screen.

3Shaping your personality.

The way your character handles different situations will enhance difference aspects of their personality. Choosing to stand up to bullies (Merula, girl, who hurt you?), practice spells, or foster friendships will increase courage, empathy, or knowledge — and affect your character’s path down the road.

4Choosing a Hogwarts house.

The game lets you choose your Hogwarts house, so you won’t be forced into a full-on identity crisis after taking the Pottermore sorting quiz 60 times. (All my Slytherins, get in formation.)

5Mastering spells and charms.

Just like in the books, the “Harry Potter” game teaches first-year students spells slowly, and they can only apply what they’ve mastered. (Apparently dueling when you only know “Lumos” isn’t a good idea?)

6Interacting with professors.

The game takes place in the ’80s, before Harry, Hermione, and Ron ever stepped foot in the castle, but it still features a number of recognizable professors. McGonagall, Hagrid, Snape, Madame Hooch, Flitwick and more make appearances, and you’ll  recognize the faces and voices in the game. Since Dame Maggie Smith, Zoë Wanamaker, Michael Gambon and more lent their voices to the game, it’s easier than ever to convince yourself that you’re actually at Hogwarts (and not stealthily playing this game under your desk at work).

After two hours of neglecting work to play this game, we can say with Hermione Granger levels of certainty that these are some of the most extraordinary features of the new app. If you don’t have time to download the game until later today, you can hold yourself over by watching the trailer for the highly-anticipated app below.

Now excuse us — we need to get back to flying practice.

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