Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery

Bring Your Pet to School in Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery

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Harry Potter fans may disagree about some things, but everybody loves pets. Especially Hagrid. Jam City and Portkey Games have announced the first major update to mobile RPG Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery. The update lets players take a pet to the magical school of witchcraft and wizardry.

Players can own up to four pets based on the most popular pets at Hogwarts: Owl, Rat, Cat, and Toad. You can have up to one of each kind. Your pets will hang out in your dormitory, and you can equip one at a time to join you on your quests around the school. Equipped pets provide an energy boost when they’re awoken.

Hogwarts Mystery released earlier this year on iOS and Android. It’s set in the 1980s, about a decade or so before the events of the first Harry Potter book (or movie).

Players can customize their own budding witch or wizard and join one of the four houses. Students attend classes, make friends (and enemies), brew potions, and cast spells. Familiar faces are in the faculty, including several actors and actresses from the movies reprising their roles such as Michael Gambon (Dumbledore) and Dame Maggie Smith (McGonagall).

While its production values are impressive, the game has been heavily criticized for a particularly egregious energy mechanic, taking a long time to do any task unless you pony up real cash.

The pets update is available now. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery can be downloaded for free on the App and Google stores. It’s rated 12+ for Intense Fantasy Violence and Mild Horror Themes.

earth atlantis

Side-Scrolling Shooter Earth Atlantis Headed to Mobile

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Earth Atlantis released last fall on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Switch. This week developer Pixel Perfex announced that the sepia-toned side-scrolling shooter is coming to iOS in July. Pre-orders are available now on the App store ($4.99).

Earth Atlantis takes place in a post-apocalyptic world consumed by the rising ocean due to climate change. Deadly machines have adopted the form of marine creatures. You play as a hunter, tasked with seeking out and destroying these underwater behemoths.

The game features side-scrolling shooting within underwater environments, all drawn in a sketchbook art style. Hunt 25 giant boss monsters with four playable ships, each with upgradeable weapons.

The iOS version will feature the same console-quality gameplay and graphics, along with three new difficulty settings. The new difficulties range from casual to hardcore. The mobile port also adds two new game modes, Quest and Hunter as well as remapped controls.

Earth Atlantis has received a number of international awards. It won Best in Show at BitSummitt in Japan and Excellence in Art at the BIC Festival in Korea.

Earth Atlantis will be available on both iPhone and iPad. At minimum it will require an iPhone 5S, or iPad Mini 2 or Air 1. It recommends at least an iPhone 6 and iPad Air 2 or Mini 4.

Earth Atlantis will require iOS 8.0. It’s rated 9+ for Mild Cartoon or Fantasy Violence. The estimated release date is July 11.

pokémon go

Pokémon GO Finally Adding Trading this Week

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The basic Pokémon tenet of trading Pokémon has been noticeably absent from Pokémon GO. Now, nearly two years after launch, Niantic Inc has finally announced that trading, gifting, and an actual friends list are being added to Pokémon GO later this week.

To add friends you’ll need to exchange Trainer Codes, not unlike how Nintendo operates their friends lists. Plug in the code and you can send a friend request and add them to your new friends list.

To trade Pokémon you must be physically near someone you’ve added to your friends list, both Trainers must be at least level 10. Trading Pokémon requires Stardust, but the traded Pokémon earns Candy in the process. The amount of Candy depends on how far away the two Pokémon were caught from each other. You can lower the Stardust trading requirements by building your friendship level.

Each friend has a friendship level that can be increased through gifting or cooperative battles. Gifts are received through PokéStops, and can’t be opened normally. Instead you have to trade them to friends, which they can open for a showering of loot, and a postcard of the PokéStop location.

Rare Pokémon such as Legendaries require a Special Trade. A Special Trade is limited to once per day, and only between a Great or Best Friend with high enough friendship level. It’ll also cost a bunch of Stardust.

Trading has been a highly requested feature for Pokémon GO since launch. Niantic had promised it was a forthcoming feature. Pokémon GO originally launched in Summer 2016 and went on to become a global phenomena, and introducing much of the world to the magic of an AR mobile game.

The trading and friends update should hit later this week.