Just in time for school holidays, Harry Potter fans can play the new augmented reality game Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. It’s loads of fun for the whole family and will get you out exploring your neighbourhood.

Made by Niantec, the makers of Pokemon GO, this game immerses you in the world of Harry Potter along with all your favourite and not so favourite characters from the J.K. Rowling books. If you have Harry Potter fans in your family, they’ll love this. It’s packed with numerous Harry Potter references like hippogrifffs, hags, fire-breathing chickens and the amazing Newt Scamander. The game even features the Harry Potter theme song as you play.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is available as a free download in Australia and New Zealand, United States and United Kingdom and has now begun to roll out globally.

What is Harry Potter: Wizards Unite?

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is a location-based augmented reality game that you, a wizard play on your smartphone or tablet. It’s free to download for Android and iOS.

The game centres around the calamity that has affected the wizarding world. Foundables – magical artefacts, creatures, people and memories are mysteriously appearing in the Muggle world. These are things which have been stolen by Confoundables and whisked around the world.

Certain foundables are a threat to the International Statue Of Secrecy, the barrier that protects the wizarding world from the view of Muggles. As stated in the game, if too many bizarre and unexplainable pieces of the wizarding world become viewable to Muggles, the Statue Of Secrecy will topple, causing the wizarding world to be exposed to Muggles.

How do you play Harry Potter: Wizards Unite?

The aim of the game is to defeat the magic around the Foundables. To do this, you’ll need to cast spells to make the Foundables return to the wizarding world by defeating the Confoundables, an evil illusion shapeshifter which is guarding a Foundable. Choose your favourite house in Hogwarts whether that’s Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or even Slytherin! You can also customise your profile as shown below.

If you feel like working with a team, you can share your friend code and work with other witches and wizards around the world (or just your friends) to solve the Mystery of the Calamity and keep magic safe from Muggles.

How do you get started on Harry Potter: Wizards Unite?

To get started on Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, you’ll need to enter your date of birth. For minors, an email is sent to a parent’s email advising that “Since your child is under the age of digital consent, you need to review and approve your child’s request before they can play Harry Potter: Wizards Unite”.

You’ll also need to verify your identity by using a payment method such as credit card. A temporary charge of A$1.00 is made against the card to verify your identity and released in seven (7) days. The payment method is for those who wish to purchase items in the game.

How does the Harry Potter: Wizards Unite app work?

The app uses the GPS and camera on your smartphone and displays symbols and traces of the Calamity, (The overall name for the problem) the symbols being a paw medallion, a snitch medallion and a dark mark. (Lord Voldemort’s symbol. Oh, don’t cower in fear, the Dark Lord’s long gone)

When you tap on these symbols, an arrow appears pointing you in the direction of the trapped Foundable. When you find it, it will most likely take form of a bizarre and unbelievable scene, say a fire breathing chicken guarding a Kneazle (a wizarding version of a housecat). Your job is to line up a triple set of stars with the imprint on the screen, then use your memory to trace an incantation to make an attempt to free the Foundable.

If this doesn’t work, you continue trying. Some are quite difficult, some easy. When you vanquish the Confoundable, the Foundable returns to its proper place in the world, to go back to living a normal lifestyle.

What else is in the Harry Potter: Wizards Unite app?

These are some of the elements of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite that you’ll encounter in the game:

Ingredients – these are items that you can use to create potions. You can access your cauldron by clicking the small briefcase at the bottom of the page, then press the small cauldron labeled ‘POTIONS’ 

Structures – There are three different types of structures. 

  • Inns – places often little street markers where you can collect food by tracing a certain figure to obtain more energy.
  • A greenhouse is a structure where you can pick ingredients for potions that you use to defeat more difficult confoundables. You can also get energy from a greenhouse.
  • Fortresses are huge structures consisting of many different with more risky and dangerous confoundables. You’ll need a Runestone to enter and you can enlist the help of up to four other players to cast spells on magical predators like Death Eaters and Acromantulas (A highly intelligent and large breed of spider, capable of human speech)

We’ve been playing the game for the past week and have wandered to different locations such as King Edward Park, Anzac Memorial Walk and Nobbys Beach and encountered a few Foundables. Garside Gardens at King Edward Park is actually a Fortress as is Nesca Park. These places have inns and greenhouses which enable players to replenish their Spell Energy.

You can identify locations using the map on the game. Unfortunately, there’s no master list of locations around Newcastle & the Hunter. However, feel free to email Newy with Kids and we’ll start one.

There’s also a registry which contains a record of your exploration, challenges and mysteries.

As a parent, what do I need to know about the Harry Potter: Wizards Unite app?

Good question. As a parent, these are things you need to know about Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.

  1. Both you and your kids need to stay alert to your local surroundings and cross the road in a safe manner while you’re looking for Foundables. Yes, you need to look at your phone to play but always be aware of your surroundings to make sure you don’t walk into a tree or into traffic.
  2. If you’re not accompanying your kids, encourage them to look for Foundables in groups and not alone.
  3. Keep an eye on your data limit. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite requires your phone to constantly check and transmit your location using GPS so it is using data.
  4. There’s also in-app purchases so make sure you turn on parental controls before you receive bill shock.
  5. It’s a major drain on your phone battery so use a power source so that you don’t run out of juice.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is available as a free download in Australia and New Zealand, United States and United Kingdom and has now begun to roll out globally. It’s available to download in the App Store, Google Play and Samsung Galaxy Store.

Newy with Kids

Started in late 2012 by a local mum and newcomer to Newcastle, Newy with Kids has grown into a thriving go-to family guide for the Newcastle & Hunter region. Parents visit the Newy with Kids website to find things to do with babies, kids and teens. Whether it’s local attractions, upcoming events, kids eat free, school holiday activities or birthday party ideas, Newy with Kids is the best website for local parents to find local kid-friendly activities and information 24/7.
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