Harry Potter is one of the most beloved and successful franchises in the world, spanning books, movies, theme parks, merchandise, and of course, video games. The Harry Potter video games are a series of games based on the magical world created by J.K. Rowling, where players can experience life as a Hogwarts student, learn spells, brew potions, explore locations, and fight enemies. We will take a look at how the Harry Potter games started and how they have evolved over time.
The Beginning: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
The first Harry Potter game came out in 2001, the same year as the first movie based on the book. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (or Sorcerer’s Stone) was made by five different teams, for different consoles. Players controlled Harry and explored Hogwarts, learned spells, collected items, solved puzzles, and fought enemies and bosses.”
Some people loved the game for sticking to the book and movie and being fun to play, but others hated it for having crappy graphics, voice acting, controls, and difficulty. The game was also kind of boring and samey, with not much to do or see. But hey, it still sold like crazy and became one of the top games of 2001.
The Evolution: Chamber of Secrets to Deathly Hallows
The success of the first game led to a series of sequels that followed the subsequent books and movies in the franchise. Each game introduced new features, improvements, and changes to the gameplay and presentation. Some of the notable developments include:
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) let you explore Hogwarts and other places. The game had more spells, items, mini-games, quests, and secrets. The game had better graphics, sound, gameplay, and replay value.
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) introduced the ability to play as Harry’s friends. The game also added a cooperative mode where players could switch between characters or play with a friend. The game also featured more diverse environments, such as the Forbidden Forest and Hogsmeade Village. The game was praised for its variety, atmosphere, story, and multiplayer mode.
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) let you experience the exciting events of the book and movie. You could also team up with up to three friends and have fun together. The game focused on the Triwizard Tournament, which was full of challenges and surprises. It was a short but sweet game that kept you on your toes.
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007) let you explore Hogwarts and talk to people and things. The game had a spell-casting system with motion controls. The game had a mode with wizarding games like Gobstones, Exploding Snap, and Wizard Chess. The game made Hogwarts look and feel real, and had better graphics and sound.
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009) continued the open-world style of the previous game. The game also featured more Quidditch matches, potion-making classes, and dueling clubs. The game also added a multiplayer mode where players could compete in duels, Quidditch matches, and potion-making contests. The game was praised for its fun gameplay, its faithful adaptation of the story, and its improved graphics and sound.
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2010-2011) came out in two parts, just like the last two movies. The game turned into a shooter game, where Harry had to blast his way through bad guys and places using spells. The game also had some sneaky parts, where Harry had to hide or dress up. The game also had some new stuff, like a cover system, a sprint button, and a health bar. The game sucked because it was nothing like the old games, it was boring and samey, it looked and sounded awful, and it had no new ideas.
The Present: Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
The Harry Potter games did not end with the Deathly Hallows series. In 2018, we got two new Harry Potter games for our phones: Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.
Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is a role-playing game that allows players to create their own character and experience life as a Hogwarts student in the 1980s, before the events of the main series. The game features an original story that involves mystery, magic, friendship, and adventure.
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is a game that lets you play as a wizard or witch in the real world. You have to go around and find magical stuff and creatures that are hiding from muggles. You also have to fight bad guys who want to mess up the wizarding world. It’s pretty cool. The game uses the GPS and camera of the device to overlay digital content onto the real world, such as magical creatures, artifacts, and traces of magic. The game allows players to cast spells, brew potions, collect items, battle enemies, and team up with other players.
Both games have received mixed reviews from critics and fans, with some praising their originality, interactivity, and immersion, while others criticizing their monetization, gameplay, and story.
The Future: Hogwarts Legacy and Beyond
The Harry Potter games are not over yet. In 2021, a new game was announced for PC and consoles: Hogwarts Legacy. Hogwarts Legacy is an open-world role-playing game that will allow players to create their own character and explore the wizarding world in the late 1800s. You’ll get to explore a huge and awesome Hogwarts and its surroundings, like Hogsmeade and the Forbidden Forest. You’ll also get to make your own choices and actions that will affect how the story goes. The game is coming out in 2023, hopefully.
Hogwarts Legacy is not the only Harry Potter game in development. There are also rumors of other games based on the Fantastic Beasts spin-off series, as well as games that will explore other aspects of the wizarding world, such as Quidditch, Aurors, or the Marauders. There is also a possibility of remakes or remasters of the older games, as well as new adaptations of the original books and movies.
The Harry Potter games have come a long way since their humble beginnings in 2001. They have evolved and improved over time, offering different gameplay styles, features, and experiences for fans of the franchise. They have also faced some challenges and criticisms along the way, as they tried to balance fidelity to the source material with innovation and creativity. The Harry Potter games have been a part of many people’s lives for over two decades, and they will continue to be so for many more years to come.