Niantic, the software company best known for the massive pop culture hit, Pokemon Go, is back with a play for the wannabe wizards in all of us.
The new franchise, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, makes use of similar gameplay mechanics Niantic already used for Pokemon Go.
Building on the success of their last hit, Niantic will have players recruited into what they're calling the "Statute of Secrecy Task Force."
Enter The World Of Harry Potter
In a make-believe world just like that of the Harry Potter books, players act as either wizards or witches and are tasked with playing dual roles of detective and hero. Their mission: To solve a crisis in the wizarding world known as "The Calamity."
"As you step outside and explore the world, the Map will reveal Traces of magic, highlighting the location of magical Foundables. While these Traces can be found all around you, certain Foundables may be more likely to appear at various types of real-world locations including parks, banks, municipal buildings, college campuses, libraries, monuments, zoos, art galleries, and more," Niantic describes.
Crisscrossing Realities Through AR
Much like the real-world interactions Pokemon Go Trainers had with their digital AR Pokemon, players of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will also be hunting down Foundables in AR form on their phones, too.
However, instead of capturing these Foundables like players had to do with Pokemon in Pokemon Go, wizards and witches will literally have to hunt down and take down Foundables with spells.
Moreover, instead of splitting players into teams, gameplay in Harry Potter: Wizards Unite requires players to choose between one of three classes: Magizoologist, the Professor, and the Auror. Each, of course, comes with a unique set of strengths, weaknesses, and special abilities.
One of the more impressive gameplay features Niantic has implemented into their latest game is the inclusion of AR portals. When players come across these "Portmanteaus "in the real world, their AR-enabled mobile devices will show them a doorway to "iconic wizarding world locations."
Better Than 'Pokemon Go'
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite being Niantic's second shot at another game blending both the real world and digital AR worlds together, the company has upped their graphics prowess. Everything in the world of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite looks more polished than the company's previous work.
By that criterion alone, Niantic might indeed just have another smash hit coming up, and it could be bigger than Pokemon Go.
Pre-registration for Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is live now for Harry Potter enthusiasts and AR fans alike. However, Android users get first dibs via the Google Play Store as the app isn't yet available for iOS. Nonetheless, Niantic plans to launch the game on both mobile platforms later this year.