With the peak holiday shopping fast approaching, the Harry Potter: Wizards Unite Official Game Guide might catch your eye, either as something to put on your wish list or to purchase for someone else. The book was written by Stephen Stratton and published by Scholastic back in September of this year.
On the cover, it promises “magical secrets from the developers,” but does it deliver on that promise, and is the book worth getting for yourself or a loved one? Read on for our full review, including who the book is or isn’t for.
First of all, there are many different sorts of people who might be interested in this book. While the title suggests that the book is meant simply for any and all players of Wizards Unite, the book itself is sold as a children’s book and written as such.
However, as the game requires players to venture outside, often beyond quiet suburban neighborhoods, the typical Wizards Unite player might be significantly older than the intended audience for this book. Younger children, after all, cannot simply drive themselves downtown to walk around playing Wizards Unite.
Given that, the target audience for this book and the game itself differ from each other a bit, so simply being a Wizards Unite player might not mean you or your loved one will enjoy the book.
A "Definitive" Guide?
Before we get into who will enjoy this book, we first need to address who won’t like this book and why. Many of our regular readers might see the cover of this book—promising magical secrets and definitive guidance—and end up disappointed.
If you’re looking for another one of Lockhart’s books—pretty, makes bold claims on its expertise, might not actually know how to beat a Pixie—look no further. The guide is visually appealing, and it covers some very basic subjects well, but it’s not going to make you an expert on much.
(And hey, there’s nothing wrong with liking the five-time winner of Witch Weekly’s Most Charming Smile! Just, you know, maybe don’t hire him to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts, Dumbledore. Ahem.)
In fact, despite its claims to be the “definitive” guide to Wizards Unite, the book is so riddled with outdated or simply flat-out false information and tips that it’s likely to do more harm than good for those looking for anything beyond gameplay basics.
Of course, this shouldn’t be surprising. The publication process can take months or even years, and in all likelihood, this book was sent to the printers months before its release in September, likely even before global release in June.
For a mobile game with constant updates, this means that this guide will not be a particularly useful tool for players who are already familiar with the game, and it might leave new players misinformed.
In other words, this isn’t a guide for becoming an expert Wizards Unite player. For those looking for the most up-to-date tips, strategies, and news, there are several free, online resources, like this very site you’re on now.
That’s not to say the guide is pointless or a waste of money, however! It’s just not the best resource available when it comes to the finer details of the game.
Who Will Enjoy It?
Despite its flaws, there are actually many people, including long-time players, who might still enjoy this book for what it is.
First and foremost, this is indeed a children’s book. It’s colorful, full of images from the game, and covers the basics well. Whether you want to introduce a young witch or wizard to Wizards Unite or want to get a gift for a younger player who’s already enjoying the game, this book can be an excellent companion for younger witches and wizards.
While Scholastic’s site recommends the book for ages 8-18, we’d suggest about 8-13 as a more appropriate target age range, depending on the child. Keep in mind though that the language used by the game itself can be complicated or confusing, even for adults. Novice readers may want some support reading the book.
Do you or your loved one like collecting every single cover of the Harry Potter books, behind the scenes books, and other companion guides? Then this book will be a home run.
The book contains a full-color section of the Registry pages, which can be much nicer to look at printed rather than on your phone. (The Registry is the items and characters players are tasked with collecting in the game.)
While some newer Registry pages are missing, there are also some still unreleased pages that can give the curious player a sneak peak at what might still be to come in the game.
You can even review the dialog that goes with the Mysteries Foundables (though this is now also possible in the game itself) to read through everything with a bit more ease than taping through several menus in the game. (Or, of course, just read the dialog here on our site.)
People who just prefer paper
At the end of the day, all of the information and images in the guide are available for free online, whether on this site or others. And yet, while online resources can much better adapt to the rapid game updates, sometimes it’s just nice to have things on paper.
Plus, as much as we and other sites try our best to keep everything organized and easy to find, the internet is a big place, and it’s easy to get lost. For folks who just find printed resources easier, this guide is a great reference for game basics.
All in all, the guide is a cute companion book that might appeal to a wide range of players. It’s just not a very definitive source. If you just want to take a look at all of the completed Registry pages in full-colour printing glory though, it’s a great book.