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Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is more than just Pokémon Go with magic. It brings gameplay elements that you’ll know and love if you’re a Pokémon Go fan together with new and exciting features designed exclusively for this new game to bring the Wizarding World to life.
When the Pokémon Go phenomenon swept the globe back in the summer of 2023, Harry Potter fans around the world began to ponder: imagine if we had a game like this set in the Wizarding World? It looks developers Niantic and Warner Brothers Games were listening, because we are getting just that this year.
We spent about an hour playing the mobile game on the streets of London, accompanied by some of the game’s creators. We bombarded them with questions while we had the chance. We were strictly forbidden from taking any photos, screenshots or video as we played, so those you see here are assets provided by Niantic and WB Games themselves.
We can, however, share plenty of first-hand hands-on experience of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite to give you an idea of what to expect when the game lands in app stores. For more, take a look at our top Harry Potter: Wizards Unite tips and tricks.What is Harry Potter: Wizards Unite about?
When you first launch Wizards Unite, you’ll be introduced to the story that’ll propel you into the game. Set in the present, Witches and Wizards (that’s you) are being signed up to The Statute of Secrecy Task Force (SOS) to help save the Wizarding World from being exposed to Muggles.
SOS needs as much help as it can get, because a Calamity has caused magical people, artifacts, beasts and more to be scattered across the globe, discoverable by anyone, including Muggles. These various items have been dubbed ‘foundables’ in Wizards Unite, rather than collectables. That’s because you’ll need to dispel the Confoundable magic that surrounds them in order to send them back to the Wizarding World where they belong. So you don’t actually collect them at all.
You’ll bump into familiar characters such as Harry himself, who you’ll notice is an adult Auror in Wizards Unite to reaffirm the present day setting. WB Games has created additional characters just for Wizards Unite, too, including Constance Pickering and Gareth Greengrass.
There is more to the story than this, but that’s the basic premise. In fact, we don’t yet know what the rest of the story entails. There are ‘Mysteries’ throughout the game that players will need to uncover and delve into to find out more about how the Calamity happened in the first place. In the teaser, we saw mentions of the ‘London Five,’ who seem to be missing, but beyond that there have been no further clues about who the five are and the circumstances around their disappearance.
Niantic and WB Games describe the Mysteries as ‘multi-year narrative,’ and have suggested that Wizards Unite is a ‘forever game’ for Harry Potter fans.Harry Potter: Wizards Unite Gameplay
You’ll then be encouraged to get outside and begin discovering things in the environment around you. If you’ve ever played Pokémon Go, Wizards Unite is going to feel very familiar to you at first glance. If you haven’t, then a key point to make here is that Wizards Unite requires real world exploration. You’ll need to travel around in your neighbourhood and beyond to find new things to interact with.
While the map looks a lot like Pokémon Go’s map, there are plenty of things that set it apart. It has a bit more of a dark, gritty feel to it that fits the Wizarding World, and you’ll spot little items whizzing across the skies such as owls and interdepartmental memos that’ll remind you of its magic.
When you’re ready to explore, you’ll see that foundables appear as coloured icons across the map called Traces, with each colour representing a different collection such as Dark Arts, Ministry of Magic, Care of Magical Creatures, Quidditch and more.
At launch, there will be over 100 AR encounters available, but we expect this number will grow rapidly as the game develops over time.
You’ll then need energy in order to cast a spell that, if successful, will dispel the Confounding magic and return the magical item to its rightful place in the Wizarding World.
If you’re out of energy, you’ll need to visit an Inn to eat a tasty energy-giving meal. These are essentially the equivalent of Pokestops for Pokemon Go players. You can also add Dark Detectors to Inns, which are stackable up to three, and will cause more Traces to appear nearby.
But if you do have enough energy when you begin your encounter, it’s time to cast some spells. You’ll see a dial that’ll tell you the threat level of the encounter – green is more common and therefore easier, but if it lands in the red you’re about to face something rarer and more difficult.
If you choose to proceed, you’ll be faced with a fun glyph tracing game that can take some time to master. During the hour we spent with the game we noticed a definite improvement in our spell casting abilities, but we had far from mastered it.
In some cases, you’ll come up against a foe rather than a foundable, which means you’ll face slightly different gameplay in order to defeat it. During these combat encounters, you’ll need to line up your wand with the circular icons on the screen and react quickly to defend yourself.
During combat you can use potions to help defeat foes, or to heal yourself if your health is running low.
These potions can be brewed from ingredients you’ll collect whilst travelling across the map and from Greenhouses you’ll discover along the way. There will be ten potions available at launch.
Potions take some time to brew, but you can use Galleons to speed up this process. These can be earned whilst playing the game, but are also available to purchase using In-App purchases. The good news is they’re not essential, so if you’d prefer not to spend any of your hard-earned cash you’ll still be able to play Wizards Unite for free.
It’s a shame there’s not a fun minigame involved in brewing potions – the challenge is simply collecting the ingredients as you travel. We found a huge number of ingredients as we played the game, the more common ingredients can be found dotted all around the map and it’s as simple as tapping on them to collect them.
The types of ingredients you come across will also change in line with natural phenomenon, which have been integrated into the game to make it feel more in tune with what’s happening in the real world. For example, they may change depending on the time of day, the weather and even the moon phase.
Others ingredients are found in a minigame within Greenhouses, which are found around the map but are much more spread out. And in some cases, Greenhouses will give you other items beyond ingredients – we got extra energy whilst trying the game, for example.
Less regularly but rather excitingly, you’ll also come across Fortresses while you’re on your travels. These introduce a multiplayer element to the game that we think players will love. Up to five players can join forces to take on a Fortress, in which they’ll face a series of combat encounters as described previously. But this time, your team is relying on you to be successful as they each take on enemies of their own.
Some players within the team may choose not to take on an enemy and instead standby in the arena to heal players in battle, for example. Abilities won’t be available at the beginning of the game but as you play and level up, you’ll unlock new skills that you can equip to help you within Fortresses.
Something we didn’t get to try or find out much about during our hands-on with Wizards Unite is Landmarks, which are cloaked in mystery so far. We know that Landmarks will appear on the map, presumably actually at landmark locations across the globe, and that these are specific areas touched by the Calamity. But beyond that, we don’t know exactly what they’re for and what will happen when we come across them.
Perhaps they’ll unlock new Mysteries or tell us more about the narrative, but we’ll have to wait to hear more from WB Games and Niantic about these.
We also didn’t get much of a chance to explore professions, but upon launch you’ll find that there are three to choose from: Auror, Magizoologist and Professor.
There appears to be quite a complex tree for each Profession, which brings an RPG element into the game. It’s something we imagine will encourage players to continue to come back to the game, in order to make their characters as powerful as possible.
Also adding to the addictiveness of Wizards Unite are Daily Challenges that will reward you with Galleons.
And to encourage you to get walking, from time to time you’ll get Portmanteaus and Keys, which when combined require you to walk a set distance (2km, 5km or 10km) in order to transform into a Portkey. Portkeys are then used at any time to be transported into an iconic Wizarding World location rendered in a rather immersive VR-like experience.
During our time with the game we found ourselves in Ollivanders after using a Portkey, which was a lot of fun to see. We didn’t quite understand the point of being there aside from how pretty it was, but there were a couple of collectable ingredients available to find there which are perhaps exclusive to that location.Harry Potter: Wizards Unite Early Verdict
Wow, that’s quite a lot of stuff, isn’t it? And we’re fairly sure we’ve only scraped the surface of the features and gameplay of Wizards Unite.
As huge Harry Potter fans, we were a little dubious about whether or not this game would live up to expectations. Would it be trying too hard to shoehorn the Wizarding World into Pokémon Go’s gameplay and style, or would it be a great game in its own right?
We’re pleased to report that, based on first impressions, this feels like its own game that both superfans and casual witches and wizards will enjoy. Many of the same underlying mechanics are there, with the added benefit of having learned from two years of tweaks and improvements to Pokémon Go, but the magic and mystery that’s been layered on top of that takes this game far beyond a reskin.
While we can’t imagine Wizards Unite having quite the same effect Pokémon Go did when it first launched, we do think it’ll be played by millions and that it’s going to be hugely addictive once you get started. We already miss it and are massively looking forward to its release later in the year.
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Jam City launched its new Harry Potter game — ‘Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery’ globally yesterday, and of course I checked it out. How could I not, being a Harry Potter fan for as long as I can remember?
The game started off well enough, with a cutscene showing Minerva McGonagall sitting in her office, while a voiceover read out a Hogwarts acceptance letter. Post that, I found myself in Diagon Alley, with a boy named Rowan who then guided me through purchasing my books and wand. That’s where I realized the game wasn’t as good as I had hoped it’d be.
Even as a game that’s not truly open-world, I had hoped that I’d at least be able to look around and explore on my own in the few places that I’ve been put in. Instead, the game gave me properly marked areas to tap on, and well-defined objectives to complete in order to proceed to the next chapter.
The game lets you choose your Hogwarts house, which led me right into Ravenclaw; but other than that, everything else in the game seems like a lost opportunity.
Everything you do in the game is more of a tap-tap experience than anything else. Conversations? Tap on the dialogue you want to say. In the middle of a lesson? Tap on various highlighted objects to complete certain tasks and, by extension, the lesson. In Charms class, I had to spend a minute or two just tapping to fill up the star meter and finish the lesson.
Then there’s the energy meter. Everything you do inside Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery requires energy, and while the meter refills with time, it’s really meant to drive people to purchase extra energy and move forward in the game. It’s all the more annoying, because if you’re in the middle of a class, or in the clutches of a Devil’s Snare (believe me, you are, at one point), and you run out of energy, you’ll either have to buy it, or just close the game and wait for the energy meter to fill up before continuing.
Believe it or not, it gets boring really quickly. Unless, of course, you shell out money to buy energy, which is just a very bad way of implementing microtransactions in a game.
Then there’s the simple fact that people’s reactions to particular dialogues are just not what they should be. In my first ever Charms class with Flitwick, he asked me if I intended to follow the rules, and being the sassy little kid that I am, I went ahead and promptly said “No.” His reply to that? Something along the lines of “I see, very well, take your seat.” I mean, really? A first-year student has the cheek to say that to you, and that’s the best you got? But that’s not even it.
In Potions, my cauldron exploded because a Slytherin sabotaged me, and when Snape enquired about my failure, I chose the third option that said: “It’s your fault.” Believe me, I literally told Severus Snape, that my potion exploding was his fault, and he took 10 points from Ravenclaw and that was it.
That’s just laughable. Severus Snape doesn’t take cheek, most definitely not from the first year who has just proven that he can’t brew a simple cure for boils. If this is a game based on choices, it does not do that very well. Maybe once I’ve unlocked most of Hogwarts I can roam around the castle freely, but I’m not willing to spend my time on the game just hoping that it’ll get better. Gameplay-wise, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery completely falls flat, and while there are better things you can do with your time, if you’re a Harry Potter fan, I’m sure you can’t resist yourself from playing. In which case, the game is available on both Android and iOS, so go ahead and check it out if you still want to.
Download Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery on Android or iOS (Free)
Karbonn Titanium S99 Quick Specs
Display Size: 4 Inches IPS LCD touch screen with 800 x 480 resolution, 233 PPI
Processor: 1.3 GHz MT6582 Quad Core with Mali 400 MP2
RAM: 512 MB
Software Version: Android 4.4 KitKat
Primary Camera: 5 MP camera with LED flash
Secondary Camera: 0.3 MP
Internal Storage: 4 GB
External Storage: 32 GB MicroSD
Battery: 1400 mAh battery Lithium Ion, Removable
Connectivity: 3G, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth with A2DP, aGPS, 3.5mm audio jack, FM Radio
Others: OTG Support – No, Dual SIM – Yes (Both Normal SIM),
Dimensions: 136.50 x 68.00 x 7.90 mm
Sensors: Proximity, AccelerometerKarbonn Titanium S99 Unboxing, Full Review, Features, Camera, Benchmarks, Gaming, Price and Overview[Video] Design, Build and Display
Karbonn Titanium S99 comes with beefed up bezels and glossy back cover which catches lots of finger grease and scratches. The phone feels light, sturdy yet cheap, but the feel won’t be a deal breaker. Micro USB port and power key are on the right edge and audio jack is housed at the top. Overall, the build quality is quite conventional. Karbonn has also bundled a protecting silicon case in the box.Processor and RAM
The phone runs on 1.3 GHz Quad core MT6582 Chipset with Mali 400 MP2 GPU. The processor is backed by 512 MB RAM which will limit the performance in long run. The phone scored 17260 on Antutu and 64 Fps on Nenamarks 2 which is really good score in this price rage.
Despite the processing prowess memory and battery limitations keeps it from becoming a recommended device for high end gaming, but you can definitely play games now and then. UI transitions were smooth in our initial time with the device.Camera and Internal Storage
Internal storage is paltry 4 GB out of which 0.89 is available for apps and around 1.5 GB is available for app data and other data. Apps can be transferred to MicroSD card (up to 32 GB). With several OEMs resorting to 8 GB storage even in budget android department, the storage department can be again rated as average. USB OTG is not supported.User Interface and Battery
Software is Android 4.4 KitKat and Karbonn has loaded lots of preloaded apps on the device which we don’t like. It would be better if you can root and remove bloat ware. The interface is stock android without any customization.
Battery capacity is 1400 mAh which drains fast with active usage. We didn’t observe unexpected battery drain in standby conditions. Overall, the phone will struggle to last one day for active users. From wall charger it takes around 4 hours to charge the device. The battery charger that comes in the box has 650mA current rating and not 1 Ampere.Sound, Video Playback and Connectivity
The headphones which come bundled in the box are ok in quality but don’t appear very durable. The loud speaker is average and sound gets muffled when the phone is resting on its back. The phone supports GPS via AGPS and GPS locking took time and wasn’t very reliable on Karbonn Titanium S99.Karbonn Titanium S99 Photo Gallery Conclusion and Price
Karbonn Titanium S99 is a powerful quad core device capable of some heavy lifting, but that alone won’t suffice for a great user experience. For 1K extra, you can get better budget performers like Moto E, Unite 2 and Asus Zenfone 4, but if you are not willing to spend any extra cash, Karbonn Titanium S99 will be good enough for first time users considering the price you pay.
HTC One M8 Quick Specs
Display Size: 5 Inch Full HD IPS LCD, 1920 x 1080 resolution, 441 PPI, Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Processor: 2.3 GHz Quad Core MSM8974AB Snapdragon 801 processor with Adreno 330 GPU clocked at 578 MHz
RAM: 2 GB
Software Version: Android 4.4 KitKat with HTC Sense 6.0 on top
Camera: 4 MP Ultra pixel duo cam,dual true tone LED flash, 1080p video Recording at 30 fps, 720p @ 60fps
Secondary Camera: 5.0 MP, 1080p recording at 30 fps
Internal Storage: 16 GB, 32 GB
External Storage: MicroSD support up to 128 GB
Battery: 2600 mAh
Sensors: proximity, Compass, Barometer, Accelerometer
Connectivity: 4G LTE, HSPA+, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP, aGPS, GLONASS, NFC, USB OTG2014 HTC One M8 Hands on Review, Camera, Features, Price, Comparison, Software and Full Overview[Video] Design and Build Quality
HTC One M8 does borrow from the design language of its predecessor but with closer look, you will notice several differences. The phone is 90 percent metal and has more rounded edges compared to its predecessor which gives it a polished and comfortable look and feel. The back is mostly similar to the predecessor and the metallic back carries forward to the front with a very smooth bend, making it look even more premium than its predecessor. The dual front stereo speakers which we loved in HTC One M7 are also present in HTC One M8Camera and Internal Storage
The duo cam feature is quite interesting and is something we could see as a day to day part of smartphone photography experience. Though all flagship phones after Nokia Lumia 1520 incorporate this feature, HTC One M8 has integrated it better than most others.
The ultra pixel technology uses fewer but larger (2 Micrometer) pixels for better low light performance. Low light pictures from last generation HTC One were pretty good but the camera lacked in details in full light condition. We didn’t get to test the full light performance extensively but low light shots looked great on the HTC One M8 5 inch full HD display. The front 5 MP camera can be used for high definition video chat.
The internal storage is 16 GB or 32 GB according to the variant you choose and MicroSD support is also present for up to 128 GB, so it will suffice for basic and power users alike. For those who like to live on cloud, HTC will offer 65 GB Google drive storage as well.Battery, OS and Chipset
The software is Android 4.4.2 KitKat with HTC Sense UI on top. The App drawer can be customized and can display recent apps or can follow alphabetical order. The new Blink feed 2.0 is also more customizable.HTC One M8 Photo Gallery
HTC One was a sturdy aluminum body smartphone and HTC One M8 is better. HTC has improved on all the shortcoming and the camera department has especially improved a lot. The phone was really impressive and premium and will provide you with snappy first class android experience. 4K recording is missing and so is the finger print sensor, but honestly we don’t see that to be a deal breaker at all, since 4K displays are still rare phenomenon. If HTC Manage to price it right (Specially when Galaxy S5 is expected to be priced lower than S4 launch price), this phone has the potential to prove its metal among this generation flagships like Samsung Galaxy S5 and Sony Xperia Z2. HTC One M8 will be available in India starting from third week of April 2014.
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The highly anticipated BeatsX are the latest pair of wireless earphones to feature Apple’s W1 wireless chip, which makes it easy to pair and switch between eligible iOS devices.
First revealed at Apple’s fall iPhone event, the BeatsX have experienced a few delays on their way to last Friday’s release. The white and black versions are currently available for in store pickup and shipping, while the newly-revealed grey and blue versions are scheduled to ship in 2-3 weeks.
How do the BeatsX stack up to the similarly-priced AirPods? Are they a good option for users looking for a pair of Bluetooth earbuds? In this hands-on video walkthrough, we’ll take a look at some of the top BeatsX features in our quest to answer those questions.Top BeatsX features W1 Wireless chip for easy pairing
The W1 chip is no longer new, but it’s just as convenient. This chip allows the BeatsX to seamlessly pair and switch between iOS devices, the Apple Watch, and sync pairing information across iCloud-connected Macs. As someone who predominantly uses products in the Apple ecosystem, this is one of my favorite new Apple innovations of the last few years.Easy charging with Lightning port and included cable
Unlike the Beats Solo3 or the Powerbeats3, the BeatsX are the only headphones of the bunch to feature a Lightning port for easy charging. This allows iOS users to use any of the Lightning cables meant for the iPhone or iPad with these earphones. It also means not having to deal with annoying, non-reversible micro USB cables.Hands-on with BeatsX
Subscribe to 9to5Mac on YouTube for more videos8 hours of battery life on a single charge
It’s nowhere near the whopping 40 hours of battery life of the Beats Solo3 Wireless Headphones, but 8 hours is decent, and probably enough power to make it through the day.Fast fuel charging – 2 hours of battery life for a 5 minute charge
…and if 8 hours isn’t enough, there’s always Fast Fuel charging, which lends you up to 2 hours of battery life in exchange for a brief 5-minute charge.Four different colors
If you find the AirPods’ single white color to be too sterile for your taste, then the BeatsX have you covered. As with most audio hardware in the Beats lineup, there are several colors to choose from, including newly revealed grey and blue options.Cheapest pair of W1-enabled headphones that you can buy at $149.95
The BeatsX are the least expensive W1-enabled headphones on the market, beating out the AirPods by a mere $9.05.Flex-form cable
The BeatsX aren’t truly wireless like the AirPods, but the Flex-form cable that rests on the back of your neck is flexible enough to bend, which allows the earphones to be stored in a small case.Carrying case
It just so happens that Apple includes a rubber carrying case inside the box. The case, which is open-ended and made out of a rubber-like material, isn’t as nice as the cases include with other Beats headphones, but it’s better than nothing.Magnetic earbuds
The back of each BeatsX earbud is magnetic, allowing them to stick together securely when they aren’t in your ears.Less prone to loss due to connected design
Some may not like the fact that the BeatsX aren’t truly wireless, and after experiencing the wireless freedom made possible by the AirPods, that’s certainly understandable. On the plus side, the presence of a wire connecting the two earbuds means that the BeatsX are probably less prone to loss.Removable eartips with four size options
Although I can wear the AirPods with no problem when walking around, I find that any sudden movements tend to dislodge them from my ears. They fit, but they don’t fit well. Apple’s inclusion of four pairs of different-sized eartips helps to ensure that the BeatsX fit a wider variety of ear types.Removable secure-fit wingtips
…and if the removable eartips aren’t enough, Apple has included two pairs of wingtips for an even more secure fit.Music playback controls and call management/Siri 3-months of free Apple Music
Apple includes a free 3-month gift card for Apple Music in the box — a $30 value. But you don’t have to use the gift card for Apple Music if you don’t want to. Instead, you can use the funds to make purchases in the iTunes Store or App Store.Better sound quality at lower volumes when compared to AirPods
In my opinion the BeatsX sound much better than the AirPods when listening at lower volumes. To hear the low end when listening to AirPods, I find that you really have to crank the sound, whereas low end frequencies can be enjoyed with the BeatsX at much more comfortable listening levels.Conclusion
The BeatsX are a very good value at $149.95, especially when you factor in the free $30 iTunes/App Store/Apple Music gift card. While the sound quality won’t blow you away, I find that it’s better-sounding than the AirPods are, and this is especially discernible when listening at low to medium volume levels. The fact that these earbuds aren’t truly cord-free is a definite downside, as it feels quite restrictive after coming from the AirPods, but conveniences like an inline remote control help to make up for some of that.
If you’re all about convenience, then the AirPods are almost impossible to beat. The charging case, and true wire-free nature of the AirPods make them one of Apple’s most amazing products of the last five years. That said, the AirPods won’t be for everyone, especially if they don’t fit your ears well. Try the AirPods first, and if they don’t fit well, return them for the BeatsX. If sound quality is at the absolute top of your list, and you want a W1-enabled pair of headphones, then go for the Beats Solo3 Wireless Headphones.
BeatsX are available right now from B & H Photo Video.Watch our other videos
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