Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells Is a Match-3 Puzzle Game

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Zynga and Portkey Games have announced Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells, a new Potter-themed Match-3 puzzle game for iOS, Android, and Amazon mobile devices, as well as Facebook.

“We are incredibly proud to bring Harry Potter to Zynga’s portfolio and are dedicated to creating a game that’s worthy of the Wizarding World and its legions of fans,” said Bernard Kim, President of Publishing, Zynga. “By combining the ubiquity of mobile and the expertise of Zynga’s development team in partnership with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, we are crafting a game that will delight fans of all ages around the globe.”

Puzzles & Spells is the first Match-3 puzzle game set within the Harry Potter universe. Players will be able to create their own witch or wizard and progress through interactive puzzle and daily events to earn experience and unlock new spells, brew potions, and upgrade their skills.

Puzzles & Spells will also feature a multiplayer component. Players can form clubs and join in special cooperative activities.

As an officially licensed Harry Potter game, expect to see lots of iconic moments and familiar characters.

Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells has begun soft launching in select areas, with the full worldwide launch coming soon. Pre-registration is available at the official website.

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Zynga Is Adding Playable Ads to Its Games

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Zynga, publisher of a slew of free-to-play Facebook games (like FarmVille), is putting playable advertisements in its games. Players will be able to play ads for companies like Progressive Insurance in order to win in-game cash and other rewards. Basically if you’re playing FarmVille, you might get a Progressive Insurance pop-up mini-game; if you play the mini-game, you’ll be rewarded with some FarmVille crystals. However, not all mini-games will give rewards. It’s unclear at this point whether or not it will be obvious which mini-games offer the rewards.

This probably sounds like a nightmare to parents, and understandably so. While adults may be subtly influenced by advertising over time, kids are a lot more susceptible to it—and a lot more likely to give in to the desire for things like crystals. This is probably a good opportunity to go over some media literacy 101 with  your kids. The good news is it doesn’t seem like these mini-games will offer the opportunity to spend actual money, but they will be hooked up to social media accounts.

Zynga was formed in 2007. The company has a large roster of games. You might want to check if you or your kids are playing any of these, just so you’re aware of the new ad policy: