Over the course of seven literature, eight movies, and many other adaptations, Harry Potter and his friends have defeated those who seek to use magic’s dark arts for villainy. So when the mobile game Harry Potter Hogwarts Mystery Cheats was announced, touting the interesting hook of being able to create your own persona and carve out your own path within J.K. Rowling’s loved world, I was immediately on board. Sure, the graphics were a little clunky and out-of-date, the voice acting from principal ensemble people was quite limited despite pr announcements to the in contrast, and the “tap this thing a bunch of times to complete your objective” strategy was pretty weakened, but those shortcomings were easy to brush aside as the storyplot rolled on. But after just about a half an hour of playtime today, microtransactions ceased my improvement in its paths.
Microtransactions (essentially, small “opportunities” that you should spend real money in a “free” or “freemium” game) are just like unavoidable as they are, when improperly implemented, inexcusable these days. There’s a location for mtx to be sure and they are great ways for coders to recoup some of the massive costs of producing games, especially when the game itself is initially offered free of charge. They’re great ways to add fun elements to a game like plastic changes or other customizable options. They’re even correctly fine for those players, flush with cash, who are impatient enough to access that next level that they’ll happily purchase power-ups and improvements in order to do just that. However, microtransactions should never be impediments to the game’s main story itself.
Picture the mtx model in any other form of entertainment, say going to the films or dining out. Imagine heading to see your favorite Harry Potter Hogwarts Mystery Cheats movie in the theatre and learning that the screening process was free! That’d be great. But, when you can that first climactic minute where Harry, Ron, and Hermione end up in somewhat of trouble, the projection can stop inactive until everyone in the movie theater ponies up some cash. Slightly, actually, a buck or two, here and there. Or, since this theater is not a money-grubber by any means, no of course not, you and your friends can just sit down for a quarter-hour as the cooldown timer resets and allows the movie to keep playing on. Doesn’t that sound like fun? No, not at all. It’s today’s incarnation of the ol’ nickel-and-dime technique to little by little leach more and more money out of patrons duped into thinking they had signed up for a classic time.
As for all of those other game itself, from what little I got eventually to play from it, it was fine. There are always a good amount of options available for customizing the look of your figure; more are unlockable through, you guessed it, microtransactions-this is one area where I’m totally fine with the model. The storyplot gives some interesting twists like an aged trouble-making sibling who has gone missing and other students who will become friends or foes based on your multiple choice responses and relationships. The magic elements themselves are also fine; I fundamentally got to learn one spell and one potion before the cooldown timer halted me lifeless in the grasp of any Devil’s Snare. (By the time you’re done reading this, I would have “earned” enough energy to get out…)
The story takes place when Harry Potter Hogwarts Mystery Hack himself was simply a baby, recently found to be quite definitely alive and today in safe keeping; allowing Dumbledore and the initial coaching team preside on the storytelling. You get to choose your Hogwarts House without much interrogation from the Sorting Hat, which seems a neglected opportunity for a fun little bit of personality-building through questions and answers, but I digress. And the look of Hogwarts itself is fun, if a little limited, displaying other students, familiar faces and voices of professors, and cool, interactive elements in the backgrounds, like paintings you can touch to trigger or a creeping house elf here or there.
Unfortunately, that’s about the magnitude of my experience. When jogging out of energy to perform certain tasks (that there’s a large timer to be able to have them completed even without buying extra energy), you can purchase more with gems, which of course may also be purchased with coins. It won’t delight you to learn that you can purchase both cash and gems with your real-world currency of choice. It’s regrettable that Jam City, Portkey Game titles, and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment have opted going this road, but eventually it’s your decision, dear player, if you need to shell out your hard-won Knuts, Sickles, and Galleons. For me, the magic’s already run dried out.