This role-playing game invites you into the magical world of Harry Potter.
Grab your wand and throw on your robe -- it’s time to venture once more into the wizarding world of Harry Potter on your mobile phone or tablet.
Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is a free download on iOS and Android devices. The game lets aspiring witches and wizards become a new student at Hogwarts, years before Harry Potter attended the school.
Gamers can customize their character’s appearance, and then dive into an original story that lets them explore Hogwarts, take classes, meet new friends (and enemies) and interact with familiar characters from the franchise, all while searching for their missing brother.
The story unfolds through quests and timed events, and along the way, players will make choices that impact the way their witch or wizard develops, the relationships they form and how the overall story unfolds.
The iTunes App Store says this game is for players ages 4 and up, but there’s a lot of text to read and choices to make, so younger kids may need help following along with the story.
The game is free-to-play, which means it’s free -- until it’s not -- and Hogwarts Mystery has one of the most aggressive free-to-play setups we’ve seen. You’re required to use ‘energy’ to complete timed quests, and this resource runs out fast. You can either wait for the energy to replenish over time or pay real money for an instant fill-up. You’re also asked to pay -- or wait -- to progress through certain parts of the game’s main storyline.
If you choose to wait for the game's timers to tick down (or for your energy to refill), there's typically nothing else to do to occupy your time. That means if your kids get hooked on this game, it’s likely they will ask you to pay to help speed things along (Pleeease! Just this one time!). Whatever you do next is up to you -- just make sure you require a password for in-app purchases so your money doesn’t magically disappear.