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(Pocket-lint) - The first game from Warner Bros' new Harry Potter label - Portkey Games - is now available to download for Android and iOS

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is a role play game where you get your invitation letter to Hogwarts and have to create your character and attend the famous school of witchcraft and wizardry.

There is a second game - Harry Potter: Wizards Unite - which is due at some point in 2018.

How does Hogwarts Mystery fit into the Harry Potter timeline?

Developed by Jam City, the game is set before the Harry Potter films take place, but you will encounter some familiar characters, like Bill Weasley, for example, the eldest of the Weasley children and Nymphadora Tonks, both appearing in Harry Potter movies as members of the Order of the Phoenix.

WarnerHarry Potter Hogwarts Mystery image 7

Adding more richness to the experience is a familiar teaching staff: Dumbledore,  McGonagall, Snape, Flitwick and others all make an appearance, in a setting that's easily recognisable from the books and films.

How does the game unfold?

The game starts with you supplying important details, like your name and getting to design your character, so that you can go to Hogwarts. The early stages of the game introduce you to a new companion for your adventure in Diagon Alley, visiting important shops to get your essential supplies, followed by a trip on the Hogwarts Express.

Decision making is a key part of Hogwarts Mystery and the choices you make when responding to questions will have an impact later in the game. This provides a mechanism for developing some sort of personality for your character, while also introducing you to the gameplay mechanics.

WarnerHarry Potter Hogwarts Mystery image 10

As the game progresses, you learn about some of the plot lines - from an over-arching story - to smaller task and mysteries you'll encounter along way. As you progress through the game, you'll attend lessons and learn skills, you'll have the option to freely explore the school, attend after-school clubs and create a game experience that's unique to you.

In the short time that we spent playing the game we got to explore the Gryffindor common room and attend some lessons, learning how to cast the lumos spell, which is all good fun and technically not difficult.

You'll get to play through years 1-7 at Hogwarts and yes, you get to be sorted into your house - and if you've not already discovered your house on Pottermore, then that's treat for fans too. 

What ages is Hogwarts Mystery for?

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is a role play game where you tap to interact, with guidance through the early stages to help you figure out what you're supposed to be doing. That provides plenty of approachability for players of all ages.

The game is designed as a casual role-play game for all, but the main focus is on Harry Potter fans. It's a game designed to feed your Harry Potter love and give you the chance to create yourself in that world.

Are there any online elements to Hogwarts Mystery? 

In its launch guise there are no social elements to the game, although you will need a persistent connection to play it - there's no offline play. Login is provided via Facebook login, although you can play without logging in.

However, when talking to us about the game, developers Jam City told us that there will be social elements added in the future. Sangita Agrawal, director of product marketing at Jam City, wouldn't reveal what form they might take or when they might appear.

How much does Hogwarts Mystery cost?

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is free to play and you'll be able to play the entire game without having to pay anything, but there will be in-app purchases available. The reward system includes earning gems which can be exchanged for accessories - and you'll be able to spend real money to boost the gems to exchange for items, but that's not necessary for game progress. 

Having played some of the opening stages of Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery we're already hooked. It's a simple game to play, but richly steeped in Potter lore, supported by rich graphics on the iPad we tested it on.

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Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is available to download on Android and iOS from 25 April 2018.

Writing by Chris Hall. Originally published on 24 April 2018.