On the span of seven books, eight movies, and countless other adaptations, Hogwarts Mystery Hack and his friends have defeated people who seek to make use of magic’s dark arts for villainy. So once the mobile game Hogwarts Mystery Hack was announced, touting the interesting hook of being able to create your own personal character and carve out your own personal path within J.K. Rowling‘s beloved world, I was immediately on board. Sure, the graphics were a little clunky and outdated, the voice acting from principal cast members was quite limited despite press releases to the contrary, and the “tap this thing a bunch of times to perform your objective” approach was pretty weak, but those shortcomings were easy to brush aside while the story rolled on. But after nearly a 30 minutes of playtime today, microtransactions stopped my progress in its tracks.
Microtransactions in Harry Potter Hogwarts Mystery Hack (essentially, small “opportunities” for you really to spend real money in a “free” or “freemium” game) are just as unavoidable since they are, when improperly implemented, inexcusable these days. There is a area for mtx to be certain and they’re great ways for developers to recoup some of the massive costs of producing games, especially when the overall game itself is initially offered for free. They’re great ways to incorporate fun elements to a game title like cosmetic changes or other customizable options. They’re even perfectly fine for anyone players, flush with cash, who are impatient enough to get at that next level that they’ll happily purchase power-ups and upgrades to be able to do just that. However, microtransactions shouldn’t be impediments to the game’s core story itself.
As for the rest of the game itself, from what little I got to play of it, it had been fine. There are a decent number of solutions for customizing the appearance of one’s character; more are unlockable through, you guessed it, microtransactions–this is one area where I’m totally fine with the model. The story adds some interesting twists like an older trouble-making sibling who has gone missing and other students who’ll become friends or enemies based on your own multiple choice responses and interactions. The magic elements themselves are also fine; I basically got to master one spell and one potion prior to the cooldown timer stopped me dead in the grip of a Devil’s Snare.