Within the length 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 when the mobile game Hogwarts Mystery Hack was announced, touting the interesting hook of to be able to create your own 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 Sure, the graphics were a little clunky and outdated, the voice acting from principal cast members was quite limited despite press releases to the contrary, and the “tap this thing a number of times to accomplish your objective” approach was pretty weak, but those shortcomings were simple to brush aside while the story rolled on. But after more or less 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 exists a area for mtx to be sure and they’re great ways for developers to recoup a few 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 like cosmetic changes or other customizable options. They’re even perfectly fine for those players, flush with cash, who are impatient enough to access 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 was fine. There are certainly a decent amount of options available for customizing the look of one’s character; more are unlockable through, you guessed it, microtransactions–that is one area where I’m totally fine with the model. The story adds some interesting twists such as an older trouble-making sibling who went missing and other students who’ll become friends or enemies based in your multiple choice responses and interactions. The magic elements themselves are also fine; I basically got to master one spell and one potion before the cooldown timer stopped me dead in the grip of a Devil’s Snare.