Niantic Surprises Us: Harry Potter Wizards Unite Available NOW

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Niantic has decided to surprise us. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is available to download now, with the original launch date being tomorrow, June 21. I’ve spent a couple of minutes playing and reached level 2. Certain aspects of the game are slow, like UI-wise, like when you level up. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is set in J.K. Rowling’s fictional universe where players help protect the wizarding world from exposure to muggles. Players will use their smartphones to capture magical creatures running loose, hunt potion ingredients, and use portkeys to travel to popular locations in the wizarding world. Download it hereApp Store: Free

'Harry Potter Wizards Unite' Trailer Offers New Hints at AR Gameplay

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Niantic and Warner Brothers released a new trailer for their upcoming augmented reality game, Harry Potter Wizards Unite. I am super stoked about this game, as long-time listeners and readers will know, and this new trailer offers hints about what the game play might look like. The theme of the trailer is that magic has been intruding into the muggle world, risking exposure of the magically-secret wizarding world. The imagery and voiceover suggest that the job of players will be to handle these intrusions. But there’s also a good-wizard versus dark-wizard element to the game, too, which is even more enticing. That said—and as I noted in Monday’s Daily Observations—what the crap is wrong with someone choosing to play as a dark wizard! SMH…Anyhoo, the trailer is amazing, and it has me very excited. And I am now hoping even more that there will be a wand accessory players can use to cast spells. Come on Niantic! Don’t let us down! You can sign up for updates at the game’s website. Unfortunately, someone involved in this franchise made the unfortunate choice to allow pre-registration for the game itself to Android, a weird choice considering Apple’s lead in AR. Hopefully the kickback money was worth it, hey?

Year 5 Update Comes to Harry Potter Hogwarts Mystery Game

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In the Hogwarts Mystery game, you go on an adventure set in the wizarding world, years before Harry Potter received his Hogwarts letter. Explore never-before-seen rooms of Hogwarts Castle and investigate ancient mysteries. Learn powerful magic and knowledge from Professors Dumbledore, Snape, and more. Duel against your rivals and forge alliances with new friends to help you on your adventures. As part of WBIE’s Portkey Games label, this game puts you at the center of an all-new story in the wizarding world. The new update, called the Year 5 update, adds characters, places, and new adventures. Year Five is a pivotal year for any student at Hogwarts, with the O.W.L. exams looming, new professors to navigate, and for some, a prefect badge on their robes,” said Amanda Heaton, Executive Producer at Jam City.

Year 5 Update Comes to Harry Potter Hogwarts Mystery Game

Build Your Own Magic Wand with the Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit

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I’m a big fan of Kano’s coding kits like Pixel programmable light board and the Computer Kit Complete, so of course their new Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit looks pretty awesome to me. You get to build your own magic wand that interacts with the apps you make on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Kano’s coding tools are easy to learn, too. You can order your kit now for US$99.99 and deliveries will start on October 1st. Did I mention you get to build your own magic wand?

The LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle is Awesome and Huge

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Hold on to your sorting hat because LEGO just announced one of its largest kits ever: Hogwarts Castle from the Harry Potter series. The kit includes a whopping 6,020 pieces with four mini figures and 27 microfigures. The castle is amazingly detailed with rotating staircases, the Great Hall, Chamber or Secrets, Room of Requirement, the library, Hagrid’s hut, stained glass windows, the Whomping Willow, and more. The LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle kit is priced at US$399.99 and will be available on September 1st. LEGO VIP members, however, can get it on August 15th.

The LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle is Awesome and Huge

The Trailer for 'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald' Dropped - Watch It Here

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The trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald—the next film from the Harry Potter universe—has dropped. And it looks great! The sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the new film continues the adventures of Newt Scamander, who is in the services of the handsome young Hogwarts headmaster, Albus Dumbledore (played by Jude Law). This is all happening in the 1920s, remember. The trailer indicates the film will more deeply focus on the anti-fascist themes that have always been part of the Potter universe, and seem all the more relevant today. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is set to debut on November 16th, 2018, and I can’t wait!