Wizards Unite: A Review of the New AR Game Turning Muggles into Wizards

By June 25, 2019 Inspired by Literature, News

After a wait that seemed to last forever since the game was first announced, Wizards Unite was finally launched last week, and the Wizarding World’s answer to Pokemon Go is said to have been an instant success, raking in $300,000 on its first day alone.

As a huge Harry Potter fan, I immediately downloaded the game and after playing over the weekend, I’m up to level 12. This by no means makes me an expert but it does mean I’ve had time to venture around the game so today I’m going to share with you all my Wizards Unite discoveries and walk you through the game play and some of the features!

Collecting Foundables

Defeating Confoundables to collect Foundables is the main aim of the game. As you walk around, you’ll see symbols on the map relating to different parts of the collection, click these to instigate a battle with Confoundables. Once the battle screen is open, cast the spell as best you can, release the Foundable and add it to your collection as shown below. You’ll know how good your spell casting is by the bar at the top of the screen, this bar also indicates how difficult your opponent is, green for easy, through to red for more difficult. You can use potions to defeat more difficult opponents, more about those in a moment!

When you first start playing, you’re going to use AR mode, which is impressive and knocks sock off what Pokemon Go offers, but if I’m honest, you’re going to switch it off pretty quickly for ease of play!

A Confoundable battle in AR mode

A Confoundable battle with AR switched off

Once saved, items can be added to the registry in your collection

In Game Battles

As well as Confoundables, you’re going to encounter real villains as you travel through the game. If you come across one, trace the ground for traces of magic then fight whatever magical creature you’re faced with. To fight you’ll need to line up the target and cast your spell, but you’ll also need Protego to protect yourself from the return spells.

So far I’ve encountered Vampires, Death Eaters, Serpeants, and others, and I’m sure there’s more to be discovered!

A werewolf battle in AR mode

A death eater battle in AR mode

Spells

Of course to do any of this, you’re going to need to be able to cast spells! To get you started, head to Diagon Alley and collect your free gift, there’s 50 spells up for grabs and this should get you started.

After this, head into any inns you pass to top up your spells. Just enter the inn and cast your spell to choose a platter. When you have left the inn, a smoking chimney will indicate that it’s getting ready for your first visit. It’s also worth noting that you can also place dark detectors at inns, these will attract more activity to the inn for thirty minutes.  Combine a dark detector with Baruffio’s Brain Elixir for extra XP to help you level up!

When you first launch the game you’ll have room for 75 spells, but you can expand your space as you collect or buy gold coins. Coins are given out for completing challenges, and when you level up.

You need to be this close to an Inn to enter

Cast the spell to collect more spells

Or set a dark detector to attract more Confoundables

Level Up

As you play the game you will collect XP and work your way through the levels. Each time you level up you’ll collect gold, potions and other items for your suitcase. Once you get to level 5 you can choose between professions, I choose Professor but you get to select your own. This opens up a new part of the game as you collect spellbooks to learn your profession. Various other levels open up new potions, and increase your strength to battle stronger opponents.

Potions

When you come across a particularly hard to defeat opponent, or when you’re completing a wizarding challenge, you’re sure to need potions to increase the potency of your spells and increase your energy. You can make these by using the ingredients you collect as you travel around the game. Single ingredients can be found lying around, or you can collect seed packets to grow in the greenhouses you’ll encounter during your travels. If you’re growing seeds, make sure you use a greenhouse close to home, as you’ll need to return once they are grown. You can access your cauldrons, potions and ingredients via the suitcase at the bottom of the game screen.

Try and keep potions brewing at all times or your ingredients bag will get full pretty quickly. It takes a while for potions to brew so it’s a good idea to line them up ready.

Also, top tip, you can speed up brew times by using Master Notes. Tap the spoon of your cauldron to learn the spells to reduce your potion brewing time by 15%.

Brewing Potions

Potions in the vault ready for use

Greenhouses

As well as finding ingredients as you walk around, you’ll also see greenhouses where you can collect ingredients, and plant any seeds you have collected. Be aware, you’ll want to choose a greenhouse close to your home for growing, as you’ll need to head back there later to collect what you have grown!

Greenhouses are communal, so what you grow others may take, and if someone else is growing something, you won’t be able to plant your own seeds.

A greenhouse circled in the distance

Swipe a pot upwards for potion ingredients

Plant seeds to grow more rare ingredients

Portmanteaus

As you travel around you’ll collect Portmanteaus and these can be turned into Portkeys by entering a key and then walking the required distance. You’ll receive one gold key, which you can use over and over again, and you can also collect silver keys throughout the game. We advise you use the silver keys for 10km portmanteaus to make the most out of your single use keys.

Portkeys

In my experience, it’s better to save your portkeys for home once they are ready. It allows you to carry on your playing experience from home. Open the portkey, trace the ground for signs of magic and once you have your portkey (a boot), place it on the ground to open up a whole new wizarding world. Porteys can be a little tricky, if you point your phone at the ground to place it, you’ll create a world you can’t get into, the same if you place your portkey too close to a wall (I’ve done both!) Don’t worry if this happens, just cancel the action and start again.

Once you’ve walked through your portkey, you’ll find yourself in a magical inn, or shop where you’ll need to collect wrackspurts to unlock a bonus. This feature is where the game’s AR mode really comes into its own and shows its superiority to what is on offer in Niantic’s Pokemon Go.

A portkey ready for use

Once activated place your portkey where you have plenty of space

A portkey room with two wrackspurts in view

Wizarding Challenges

As you walk around the game you’ll see tall fortresses on the map, these are battle grounds and allow you to battle magical creatures and dark magic to earn XP. Start at level one, and as you beat each opponent, you can increase through the levels battling more and more difficult opponents. When you select each level, you’ll need to choose a rune to decide which creatures to battle. If you were collecting these and wondering what they are for, you now have your answer.

Potions are definitely your friend in the wizarding challenges, but once you get to level 6, it’s friends you need not potions, as the challenges become very difficult!

One of my favourite features of Pokemon Go is the ability to track all the gyms I have visited on a map, as I do travel quite a bit, I’ve racked up several hundred gyms. So far, there’s no such feature on Wizards Unite I the fortresses but I hope it’s to follow!

Two fortresses flank a river

Once you enter, you can work your way through the levels

Select an opponent and fight in AR mode

So that is a rundown of all the best features of the game, but how good is it and how does it compare to the Pokemon game it’s based on? Well, Wizards Unite makes incredibly good use of AR technology, blowing Pokemon right out of the park.

The AR mode is incredibly fun but if you’re in a crowded location, you might feel a little silly scanning the ground for traces of magic. It’s fun, but it’s likely you’ll turn it off pretty quickly, which also saves your battery life!

Just like Pokemon Go, this game is not kind to your smartphone battery and if you want to play seriously, you may want to invest in a charging bank!

Overall, we found the game is complex and requires a fair bit of attention. There are also lots of elements and when you first play it can be a little overwhelming and confusing. If in doubt, follow the little red dot notifications to ensure you’re completing all the parts of the game and getting the full game experience.

Let us know your thoughts, but we love it! Most of the team from FRA is playing and we’ve included our player codes below, feel free to add us as friends. ☺

Kath – 7904 6696 1901
Rosie – 8784 3757 9139
Shan – 8900 0435 5401



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