RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Harry Potter Hogwarts Mystery

Crymson’s Top 10 Mobile Games

Let’s talk about mobile games a bit.

I’ve played a TON (and I mean a TON) of mobile games. Typically, for my mental health. They help my brain by distracting it. The whole using the tools we have thing. However, they are also a TON of fun. Gaming on your mobile device has evolved to epic levels, you can now play Fortnite, PUBG, Don’t Starve and so many others. So, here are a few of the ones I play.

10. Pokemon Go/The Walking Dead: Our World/Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery

I know a few of you are confused. Follow me. These are games made by Niantic and they are all “on the go” games, meaning you walk, find things and interact with them. So they are similar (not the same) games, but it depends on what you prefer. Want a game that helps you get out of the house? Something to do on your walks? These are the games for you! I’ve played all three because I love Pokemon, zombies and the world of Harry Potter.

9. Food Fantasy

This game is IN DEPTH and not a quick-play-while-you-are-in-line kinda game. You are a chef in a fantasy land and have food souls that help you with your dream to have the best restaurant in the land.

This game has it all. There is a story, as well as side stories, missions, battles, guilds, catacombs, a restaurant to decorate, collecting, leveling… You know… I can’t even list everything that it has. With a very anime feel to it, this game offers you so much to do, all in one amazing place.

8. Gardenscapes/Homescapes

Everyone has their “match three” game and this is mine. Gardenscapes was the first. You inherit a large estate and, along with your butler Austin, you decide to bring the gardens back to their former glory. In Homescapes, you follow Austin back to his parents’ house and help them fix up their deteriorating property. These are great games when you are stuck waiting somewhere. On top of that, you get to make choices about the look of things, which is all I really want.

7. Hole.io

Ah yes, remember when all the .io games came out and it was the craze for… maybe 3 months? Well hole.io is my favorite and looks nothing like the other .io games. You are a hole in the ground that moves and must eat everything (reminds me of a webtoon I recently read). You have three game modes and three maps. You can compete (and eat) other players in this two minute match to become the biggest hole there is (there is a joke there).

You can play alone and try to eat everything on the map in two minutes (I have yet to get 100%) OR you can go head to head and be the last hole standing. Really, these jokes write themselves. Also you have your city map, pirate map and future map. PLUS your hole (stifle laugh) has different skins. I glide around as a flaming bat. *laughs way to hard*

6. Cooking Diary

Remember way back in the CD-Rom days, when Diner Dash was all the rage and you scooted around delivering food? Well this is the more advanced version. Your character wants to be an amazing chef just like their grandfather and make it in the chef world! You open different restaurants for different types of food. A burger joint as pictured above, a bakery for cakes, sushi/ramen, steak, pasta, and even an English breakfast place. You change some scenery options, upgrade your ingredients, add things to relax your customers and rush your way through the levels. This one has lasted the longest on my phone.

5. Merge Dragons

We all have a game about Dragons on our phones, right? I’ve had millions it feels like but THIS ONE has stood the test of time. It’s a plethora of different dragons, of course there is the element of merging three of the same type together it evolving to the next tier item. This counts for eggs, dragons, tress, flowers, you name it. They have frequent events for special dragons and regularly release new content to keep me interested. However, I don’t feel the need to log in every day so if I miss a day, no big deal.

4. Survival

It’s no secret that I love survival games. This is one of the few games that actually works on mobile and I’ve played many. It’s simple yet complicated and I’ve beaten it on all but the hardest mode. You are stuck in the woods and need to find your way through to survive. You will need to find food, shelter, warmth and all while you continue moving to find help. I may uninstall it from my phone but this is frequently downloaded again. If you are remotely interested in survival games, I suggest you try this free game.

3. The Witch’s Isle

This is a wonderful point and click type adventure on mobile. I did pay for the full version of this game. I adore the story, the pixel graphics, the multiple endings and even the character details. There is even a second story in the game. I really don’t want to reveal much but… you are part of a community that is trapped on an island by a powerful witch and you must break her spell before your lose your life.

2. BTS World

Don’t even act surprised. I love BTS, I love K-Pop and their game is like an amazing visual novel. You are thrown back to 2012 and it’s your job to get the group together and make them the amazing band that we know and love in present day. Not only do you get adorable cards of the members, but you take part in a visual novel style telling of being their manager. You level up cards, take place in events, make friends, play side stories for each member and learn more about the members. Win/Win!

1. Love Nikki

I have played this game every single day for well over a year now. Love Nikki is a visual novel style dress up game. Because you cringe at the words ‘Dress Up Game’ hear me out, because I used to think the same thing. They cater to just about every style. Want to be a Ninja? How about a Goth in Lolita dresses? Join the Navy? Traditional Chinese? Androgynous? Vampire? Ghost? Fairy? Princess? Pirate? They have them all. Your own house to decorate, a story to read, regular events, outfits to make from other outfits. You have Associations (think guild), friends, style competitions and so much more. This game is far past the simple dress up game and is full of fun things to do. I should know, I’ve played every day for years.

Do you play any of these games? Is there a game that you are SHOCKED isn’t on this list? Maybe a game you’d like me to try to add to a list in the future? Let me know in the comments below!

Initial Thoughts on “Hogwarts Mystery”

landscape-1522930920-harry-potter-hogwarts-mystery

It took almost two decades, but I finally received my letter from Hogwarts. And if you download the app for Hogwarts Mystery, you can get yours too!

Hogwarts Mystery is one of two mobile games set in the Harry Potter universe. The other, Wizards Unite, has not yet been released. While the latter appears to be similar to Pokémon Go, the former focuses more on the story and the chance to see yourself as a wizard in whatever House you choose.

After selecting a look for your avatar, you set off for Diagon Alley, as Harry did, make new friends and enemies, practice spells, and brew potions. You get to choose what rewards you earn for completing certain objectives in class. Every avatar has opportunities to level up in three ways: Courage, Empathy, and Knowledge. How you respond to various questions determines how fast you level up in each category, and sometimes an answer will be locked because you don’t have enough Courage/Empathy/Knowledge to say it.

You’ll also discover that your avatar has a mysterious family past: his/her brother got expelled from Hogwarts and disappeared. It looks like this will be the story arc that carries over for all seven years at Hogwarts. Luckily, your avatar finds a best friend in Rowan Khanna, who supports you in your quest for answers and defends you from anyone who tries to mess with you.

IMG_1817

I love her.

Rowan has been my favorite part of Hogwarts Mystery (outside of the wish fulfillment of going to Hogwarts). His/her gender changes depending on what gender you select, but I’ll refer to her as “she” for this review since that’s what I picked. She’s kind, funny, and loyal, and there’s something about her that just reminds me so much of the friends that I have in real life.

Unfortunately, I can’t hang out with my friends in real life while playing Hogwarts Mystery. I’d hoped that there would be some kind of multiplayer feature that allowed my avatar to interact with others. But so far, that doesn’t appear to be an option. Hopefully, it will come with an upgrade somewhere down the line, because I don’t want to imagine going to Hogwarts without my real friends by my side.

Hogwarts Mystery looks great, with fun, colorful graphics that remind me of the old Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets games that I used to play on my GameCube. There are times when my avatar’s facial expressions look awkward, but it’s not a deal breaker.

And speaking of those other video games, Hogwarts Mystery has some nice shout-outs to them as well. Your avatar will eventually learn the Flipendo spell, which never appeared in the books or movies, but was the go-to spell for just about everything in the video games. You’ll also learn how to brew Wiggenweld Potion, which Harry used to heal himself. It makes for a nice blend of the canon established by the books, movies, and video games, with something for every fan to love, regardless of how they were introduced to Harry Potter’s world. (Now, if they could just throw in a reference to A Very Potter Musical, I’ll be set.)

I’m enjoying the story so far. At first, I felt disappointed by the choice in setting because I wanted my avatar to be a random Hufflepuff having adventures during Harry’s years at Hogwarts. Now that I’ve actually started playing the game, I can admit that it was a good idea to place it in the time period between Voldemort’s initial defeat and Harry’s school years. This choice allows for an original story about your avatar and their friends, and we still get to interact with most of the teachers from the books, i.e. Professor Snape and Flitwick. Our avatar’s backstory has only been revealed in bits and pieces so far, but it’s intriguing.

I also like how we get to choose our House, rather than take another quiz. Granted, I never had a preference until Pottermore’s quiz put me in Hufflepuff. And if you like taking quizzes, you’ll find the Sorting Ceremony a little anticlimactic. But then again, doesn’t this tie into one of the themes from the books?  As Professor Dumbledore says in Chamber of Secrets: “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

So, the story’s great, the characters are wonderful, and the visuals look good. It’s a Hogwarts fan’s dream!

Except when it isn’t.

With a free-to-play mobile app, there will always be issues with micro transactions. After all, the developers have to make money somehow, and I don’t take issue with that. I do take issue with how the game prevents you from doing very much at any given time before you either wait for your energy bar to refill, or start paying.

Your avatar has an energy bar, and mine currently has a maximum of 25 points. Whenever you take lessons, your character spends energy doing things like studying, talking to Rowan, collecting potions ingredients, etc. And these are all things that you have to do in order to complete the lesson and move forward. More than once, I have run out of energy mid-lesson and needed to put the game on hold until the bar refilled. It’s also not very exciting or fun to tap away at your phone while your character “does” things and nothing’s really happening.

The game becomes more fun when you get to do things that don’t cost energy, like bonding with Rowan over a game of Gobstones and trying to guess the right responses to heighten your friendship. I’ve only just learned how to duel, but that looks promising as well. You need to pick whether to assume an Aggressive, Sneaky, or Defensive stance against your opponent, and then select spells or healing potions to use.

There’s one other major issue that I have with Hogwarts Mystery: the lack of customizable options for your avatar. Although you can adjust the shape of the face, nose, and eyes, all avatars have the same body type. You only get a handful of options for hairstyles and such when you first start the game, and everything else needs to be unlocked by spending gems and coins. This includes glasses. Why do we need to pay money to unlock glasses? Lots of people wear glasses. Harry Freakin’ Potter wears glasses. It’s not going to matter to most people, but it’s one of my pet peeves when a game doesn’t give you that option right from the start.

Given time, I’m hoping that the developers of Hogwarts Mystery will iron out the issues with the gameplay and find other ways to profit off of micro transactions. The game has a lot of promise with good characters, an interesting story, and shout outs to the Harry Potter franchise in all of its forms. If you’re a diehard fan, you will have fun here. But it requires either a lot of patience or a lot of Galleons to get the most out of the experience.