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New ‘Harry Potter’ app is enchanting

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The latest “Harry Potter” themed entertainment came in the form of an app, which was released April 25 for all smartphone users.

The app itself is free, though it includes an in-app purchases for things like energy, clothing, and accessories.

The app, enticingly named “Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery,” invites fans to become a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and discover the ins and outs of the Wizarding World.

The app is easy to navigate and makes many references to the original novels, despite being set a decade prior to Harry Potter making his way to the school.

Players can find their wand at Ollivander’s Wand Shop, buy books for the upcoming term at Flourish and Blotts, and meet new people while strolling down Diagon Alley.

Junior Mary Wheeler loves the opportunity the app gives her to understand what it would be like to actually live in the “Harry Potter” universe.

IMAGE / Autumn Prescott
The app allows you to customize your avatar before you start your magical adventure

“I like it (the app) because it gives me a chance to, in a way, see what it’s like to experience Hogwarts, which is something I’ve always wanted,” Wheeler said.

You start off the game by being told you’ve been accepted at Hogwarts by a handwritten letter, just like in the books.

After being accepted, you create an avatar. The choices to create the avatar are admittedly a bit scarce, but the app has only been available for a few days so, hopefully, its options will expand.

Once you create your avatar, you are sorted into a house which you choose (Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, or Slytherin) and from there you are set to learn spells, make friends, and go on magical adventures.

Throughout the game you see many familiar faces, including Professor Snape, groundskeeper Hagrid, and the school’s headmaster Albus Dumbledore.

While you play, you can also discover iconic settings from the books like the Great Hall, house common rooms, and classes for all the magical subjects, including potions and charms.

IMAGE / Autumn Prescott
Junior Mary Wheeler is entertained by the new “Harry Potter” app

It is revealed throughout the game that your brother was expelled from Hogwarts and has been missing ever since.

Your mission is to discover the truth behind your brother’s expulsion, which leads to mischief and trouble galore.

While the overall plot of the app is interesting, it sometimes feels like you get caught in a circle of the same tasks over and over again.

You’re either being bullied by a rude Slytherin student, trying to learn how to fly a broom, or attempting to learn spells from less than helpful professors (that was a direct attack on Professor Snape).

Other users also have complaints.

Though the plot and the graphics have fans asking for more, one thing many agree on is how much they dislike the energy feature.

In order to do tasks, users must spend their energy, which recharges over time.

Players start off with 25 counts of energy, which is very easy to empty when you get working on a specific task. The tasks can require up to eight hours to finish, which means more time to wait and less time to play.

It is possible to purchase more in-game money in order to keep playing the game, but many people are not willing to spend real money on fictional goods.

Claudia Moore, junior, dislikes the disruption of having to wait for her avatar to refuel.

IMAGE / Autumn Prescott
Paying extra for more energy is something some players are not willing to do.

“I dislike the energy charge because I just want to keep going, but then I have to wait,” Moore said.

Moore also wishes she could interact with more of the well-known characters of the series.

“I find it really cool that they placed it all before Harry Potter showed up to school, but I wish it would have more characters from the movie in it like Hermione or Ron,” Moore said.

While it has it’s setbacks, the game’s debut was successful and pleased many fans who have been craving more “Harry Potter” themed entertainment since the end of the cinematic installments in 2011.

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New ‘Harry Potter’ app is enchanting