Harry Potter: Wizards Unite takes the wizarding world of Harry Potter and “brings it to our world” using augmented reality style gaming. The premise is that magic items and creatures are showing up in places where non-wizards might see them. Wizards don’t want this to happen, so have asked the player to help get them back where they belong.
To do this, the player will cast spells (by tracing them on screen), brew potions, and complete quests. Casting spells can happen either in the everyday world or in a fortress. The player must trace a spell in order to cast it. The tracing line is only visible for a second or two, then the player must do their best to match it even though it is gone. The faster and more accurately they trace the line, the stronger the spell.
The player must travel to specific locations to enter a fortress and do battle, encouraging the player to be active and go for walks. There are also greenhouses and inns that the player must travel to in order to gather potion ingredients and spell energy.
The player also gets to select their Hogwarts house, their wand components, and a profession, As they go through the world casting spells, they will collect fragments of magical items and creatures, and uncover the mystery of why magic suddenly wants to reveal itself.
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite has in-app purchases. The ESRB rated it Everyone 10+ for infrequent or mild cartoon or fantasy violence. LW4K stands by this rating.
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite helps kids practice and improve the following skills:
Getting started and then maintaining attention and effort to tasks.
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite involves a great deal of interactive "spell-casting," which requires the player to react to spells that are being cast by the opposing creature or wizard. When this happens, the player must be able to use his or her focus skills, or they will get hit by spells and quickly run out of health.
First, during one of these battles, things are moving quickly. This means the player must be able to initiate a task without procrastinating. If the player wants to cast the protection spell "protego", they must do it within seconds of the symbol popping up on the screen or they won't get to. Secondly, the player must also be able to switch tasks between protection spells and attack spells. If they can't focus well enough to switch back and forth, they will miss spells and either take damage or fail to give damage. Finally, these spells are short and fast, which means the player is practicing their short-term focus, but it also means that if they cannot ignore internal and external distractions, the player will easily miss out on casting a spell and defeating an enemy.
Recalling and retaining information in our minds while working.
Another thinking skill that is used across the game is the working memory. In Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, the player will find there is a lot they have to remember to be optimally successful at the game. Visually, the tracing guide for any given spell only stays on screen about one second. The player is expected to remember what the trace mark was and match it as closely as possible. The better (and faster) they match the trace line, the better their spell will be.
Having a rather limited vault space also means that the player needs to be careful about which potion ingredients they are picking up and stocking up on. If they carry too many items that aren't useful, they will run out of space in their vault and be unable to pick up the ingredients they do need. Consequently, they need to remember which potion they are wanting to make next, which ingredients are needed, and what those ingredients look like.
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