With Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells, Zynga has managed to do one thing slightly magical. I’m not the most important fan of Match-Three cellular video games, however I’m an enormous Harry Potter nerd (together with a lot of the world). I’m additionally two years into Jam Metropolis’s Harry Potter: Hogwarts Thriller, so I truthfully doubted I’d be taking part in this new sport for lengthy. May one other cellular title constructed on a sport model I don’t significantly like be sufficient to carry my consideration?
In a phrase: Yep. I’m addicted. The attract of the Wizarding World mythology paired with the feel-good matchy-matchy mechanics makes for a heckuva compelling sport that’s extremely straightforward to select up and almost unattainable to place again down. Zynga makes it straightforward to maintain taking part in, whilst the degrees climb increased and better and the challenges get more durable and more durable. New sport mechanics — each those who impede your progress in clearing puzzles and those who enable you accomplish that — are launched fairly recurrently, to the purpose that I’m already previous stage 80 and am nonetheless consistently studying new (and typically irritating) issues in regards to the sport and the way it works. That’s a good way to maintain gamers taking part in!
However Zynga additionally makes it very straightforward to drop real-world cash on this sport, and we’re not speaking Galleons, Sickles, and Knuts. You’ll be able to mainly purchase your approach to infinite gameplay must you select to take action. Nevertheless, this optionally available buy-in isn’t a lot of a paywall; you may nonetheless play the free sport with out ever spending a dime, you may simply should train a little bit of endurance and restraint whereas ready to your “Lives” — which allow you to play new puzzles — to regenerate.
Past these very fundamental limitations, Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells has a wealth of Wizarding World lore and mythology for gamers to take pleasure in alongside the best way. You’re tasked with matching otherwise coloured gems to clear the board, however, subtly so, these gems are stand-ins for every of the 4 Hogwarts homes. Scattered elsewhere on the board are “bubbles” (which additionally resemble Remembralls) that energy up your spell meter, winged keys that fly off and knock out a hard-to-reach gem or clear an obstruction, and varied lightning bolts and bombs which clear enormous swaths of the board at a time, whereas additionally charging up your particular pet meter (yup, pets!).
Complicating issues are gobstones which block your path, feathers which obscure the board and should be cleared, chocolate frogs (the bane of my existence), heaps upon heaps of Bertie Botts’ Each Taste Beans that muddle issues up, and the ever-frustrating blocks of ice that take a number of hits to be cleared. Often, allies like Hagrid, Hermione, or Harry himself will step in (or fly in) to assist type issues out, however you’ll wish to depend on matching gems, creating particular combos, and taking note of the dwindling turns as they depend down if you wish to save your treasured hearts.
Nevertheless, there’s no new story right here; not like Hogwarts Thriller, Puzzles & Spells mainly walks gamers again by means of the historical past of the Harry Potter books and films that everyone knows and love. Every iconic second in these tales is captured in a variety of puzzles that play out in “scenes” that should be accomplished earlier than progressing. These puzzles embrace likenesses of the flicks’ characters in addition to voice work and contours of dialogue from the actors themselves. It’s a pleasant contact, however fortunately the sport’s mechanics and inclusions of lore drops in significant methods are sturdy, elevating it past a easy tie-in.
Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells has confirmed unexpectedly addicting for yours really, although it stays to be seen how lengthy that may final. I’m round stage 80 and have simply now gotten to the shifting staircases in Hogwarts for the first time within the story. There’s a lot left to discover right here. Zynga might hold this one going for a protracted, lengthy time. And with new chapters introducing new characters, pets, mechanics, and plot factors, there’s a brilliant future forward for the intelligent minds behind Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells and the avid gamers who simply can’t put it down.
Disclaimer: The writer of this text, Dave Trumbore (That’s me, hello!), at present holds (precisely two) shares of Zynga inventory.