On the length of seven books, eight movies, and countless other adaptations, Hogwarts Mystery Hack and his friends have defeated people who seek to utilize magic’s dark arts for villainy. So when the mobile game Hogwarts Mystery Hack was announced, touting the interesting hook of being able to create your personal character and carve out your own path within J.K. Rowling‘s beloved world, I was immediately on board. Sure, the graphics were a little clunky and outdated, the voice acting from principal cast members was quite limited despite press releases to the contrary, and the “tap this thing a bunch of times to perform your objective” approach was pretty weak, but those shortcomings were an easy task to brush aside while the story rolled on. But after more or less a 30 minutes of playtime today, microtransactions stopped my progress in its tracks.
Microtransactions in Hogwarts Mystery Hack (essentially, small “opportunities” for you to spend real money in a “free” or “freemium” game) are just as unavoidable as they are, when improperly implemented, inexcusable these days. There’s a place for mtx to make sure and they’re great ways for developers to recoup a few of the massive costs of producing games, particularly when the overall game itself is initially offered for free. They’re great ways to include 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 at that next level that they’ll happily purchase power-ups and upgrades in order to do just that. However, microtransactions shouldn’t be impediments to the game’s core story itself.
Are you aware that rest of the game itself, from what little I got to play of it, it was fine. There are certainly a decent amount of possibilities for customizing the appearance of your character; more are unlockable through, you guessed it, microtransactions–this really is one area where I’m totally fine with the model. The story adds some interesting twists as an older trouble-making sibling who moved missing and other students who will become friends or enemies based in your multiple choice responses and interactions. The magic elements themselves will also be fine; I basically got to understand one spell and one potion prior to the cooldown timer stopped me dead in the grip of a Devil’s Snare.