Over the course of seven books, eight movies, and countless other adaptations, Harry Potter Hogwarts Mystery Hack and his friends have defeated people who seek to utilize magic’s dark arts for villainy. So when the mobile game Harry Potter Hogwarts Mystery Hack was announced, touting the interesting hook of being able to create your own personal character and carve out your own personal path within J.K. Rowling‘s beloved world, I was immediately on board. Sure, the graphics were only a little clunky and outdated, the voice acting from principal cast members was quite limited despite press releases to the contrary, and the “tap this thing a bunch of times to accomplish your objective” approach was pretty weak, but those shortcomings were simple to brush aside since the story rolled on. But after almost a 30 minutes of playtime today, microtransactions stopped my progress in its tracks.
Microtransactions in Hogwarts Mystery Hack (essentially, small “opportunities” for you yourself to spend real money in a “free” or “freemium” game) are only as unavoidable since they are, when improperly implemented, inexcusable these days. There is a area for mtx to be sure and they’re great ways for developers to recoup a few of the massive costs of producing games, especially when the overall game itself is initially offered for free. They’re great ways to add fun elements to a game like cosmetic changes and other customizable options. They’re even perfectly fine for those players, flush with cash, who are impatient enough to get to that next level that they’ll happily purchase power-ups and upgrades to be able to do just that. However, microtransactions should not be impediments to the game’s core story itself.
When it comes to rest of the game itself, from what little I acquired to play of it, it was fine. There are a decent quantity of solutions for customizing the appearance of one’s character; more are unlockable through, you guessed it, microtransactions–this is one area where I’m totally fine with the model. The story adds some interesting twists like an older trouble-making sibling who went missing and other students who will become friends or enemies based on your multiple choice responses and interactions. The magic elements themselves may also be fine; I basically got to master one spell and one potion before the cooldown timer stopped me dead in the grip of a Devil’s Snare.