Gather your wands and take a first look at Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

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Pokémon Go developer Niantic has been hard at work on its next augmented reality (AR) game, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. While details on the project have been scarce, Platform 9 ¾ has been opened up, giving future wizards a chance to see how the game will work.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is similar in structure to Pokémon Go, and it will feature characters from the original books and movie series, as well as the two Fantastic Beasts films. Your goal is to prevent “The Calamity” from revealing wizarding secrets to the world, and you’ll have plenty of help from your fellow wizards.

You’ll begin Wizards Unite as a recruit in the “Statute of Secrecy Task Force,” and will need to find different magical creatures and people located in the muggle (a non-magical person) world and remove them before they expose their secrets.

The comparisons with Pokémon Go become clearer when you learn about the basics of Wizards Unite‘s gameplay. As you travel across the real world in search of these magical elements, you’ll encounter them and attempt to capture them by casting different spells. They’re more likely to appear in populated areas like zoos or libraries, and casting spells will consume “spell energy.” Similar to the Poké Balls in Pokémon Go, you have to replenish spell energy by visiting local spots.

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You’ll also encounter “Fortresses,” which are Wizards Unite‘s version of raids. These can be completed by multiple people and pit wizards against Death Eaters and Dementors. There are three specializations — Aurors, Magizoologists, and Professors — which have their own skills, and you can pick players from other specializations to help you get an edge.

Not everything in the game has an easy corollary in Pokémon Go, however. The Harry Potter universe has some iconic locations, and from time to time you’ll encounter portmanteaus that contain portkeys. If you use them, you can be taken to places like Ollivander’s Wand Shop and view a special 360-degree AR experience.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite doesn’t have a launch day yet, but you can preregister for the game on Google Play right now; iOS registration will come at a later time.

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