Harry Potter: Wizards Unite has finally arrived–and it’s launched sooner than expected. The much-anticipated free-to-play game received an early launch, as mobile games often do, in the Australia and New Zealand markets earlier this year, but it’s arrived ahead of schedule in the United States and United Kingdom. It had been scheduled for release in these markets tomorrow, June 21, but it’s officially out now on Android (through Google Play) and iOS devices (App Store). The mobile game was developed by Pokemon Go maker Niantic and revolves around a similar style of augmented reality-based gameplay. As such, it requires an internet connection, and some players have reported intermittent issues throughout the day; if you can’t get in, keep trying.
Like the aforementioned AR game Pokemon Go–which it bears numerous similarities to–Wizards Unite is free to download and features optional microtransactions. You can spend money to purchase Gold, which can then be used to buy in-game items such as potions, Dark Detectors (which reveal special items), Runestones (which are required for Wizarding Challenges), and more.
The story of Wizards Unite revolves around an event known as the Calamity, which has caused Foundables–people, creatures, and artifacts from the Wizarding World–to appear in the Muggle World, thereby risking their discovery. Moreover, these Foundables are sealed by Confoundable magic. As a member of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force, it is your mission to break these Counfoundable spells and retrieve the Foundables. You’ll interact with Harry Potter and other familiar faces.
We recently went hands-on with Harry Potter: Wizards Unite thought it felt very much like a Harry Potter version of Pokemon Go, albeit with more content from the outset. Right from the start, the game offers a variety of quest objectives to complete, and you can add other players to your friends list (a feature that didn’t come to Pokemon Go until years after its launch). The game also features an RPG-style Profession system that allows you to unlock abilities in skill trees.
Wizards Unite launched in beta form in Australia and New Zealand last month. If you’re interested in getting a closer look at the game, you can watch nearly 15 minutes of gameplay footage of the beta version in the video above.