"Harry Potter: Wizards Unite" takes the lessons learned from the developer's previous augmented reality mobile experience and uses them to craft an even more engaging follow-up - combining the addictive nature of "Pokemon Go" and the lore of "Harry Potter" for what could be another summer-defining furor.

Set years after the events of the "Harry Potter" book series and the "Battle of Hogwarts," magic is appearing in the world of muggles and no-majs - a distinct contradiction to the International Statute of Secrecy, which protects magic users following the persecution of witches and wizards in the 17th century. "Wizards Unite" does exactly what its title states - it calls upon magic users across the globe - the players - to come together to stamp out these magic incursions, wherever they may appear - including in your own house.

The story is pretty weak and only serves as a justification to chase magical beasts, spells and other strange happenings across your surrounding area. Like "Pokemon Go," this new game prompts players to get out and about, using a Google Maps style overlay for location-based gameplay. Instead of seeing Poke-stops and gyms at landmarks and other locations around town, "Wizards Unite" features greenhouses, inns and fortresses - each of which has its own minigame to play that offers benefits and rewards for players. Greenhouses help grow potions and inns pass out food that replenish spell energy. Players can find potion-making materials scattered around the map at landmarks and other places - in a similar manner to collecting items at Pokestops.

To collect items or defeat enemies, players must cast spells by tracing their fingers on screens in certain patterns. Do it fast enough and you have a better chance of earning additional items or experience.

game can be played in singleplayer fashion, much like how players roam around the area, collecting Pokemon in "Pokemon Go." It's a somewhat shallow experience, but it still provides fun and entertainment for "Harry Potter" fans. But for players that want to become more involved and engaged in the game, there are fortresses set up at different landmarks. These venues, much like gyms, require coordinated efforts among multiple players to conquer the evil within.

Horcruxes and other rare magical elements are found in fortresses. To conquer a fortress, players must battle waves of enemies. It's possible to play by yourself, but it will be extremely difficult. Additional players can help in offensive, defensive or support roles. One player can attack, while another serves as healer. A third player could provide support by buffing attack stats. Each player can select a title that has a skill tree to further specialize their playstyle - not unlike a more traditional RPG.

Developer Niantic has taken the feedback and lessons learned from "Pokemon Go" to make a deeper, move involved "Wizards Unite." The biggest holdup is still players who live in more rural areas. One of the biggest complaints at the height of "Pokemon Go" three years ago was how limited the options were for players who aren't located in larger municipalities. Pokestops were more sparse, Pokemon themselves were less populated and good luck trying to find anything rare. Even here in Lawton, the original wave of Poke-stops and gyms was limited before Niantic expanded on it months after the summer of 2016. "Wizards Unite" seems to go down a similar path, with cities and larger communities offering much more in the way of activities and engagement. This should have been a problem that would be remedied, but it hasn't and it doesn't appear Niantic is in any hurry to do so.

"Wizards Unite" won't be the smash hit that was "Pokemon Go" for a number of reasons, but it still should offer some fun for "Harry Potter" fans - at least those that haven't been put off by author J.K. Rowling's constant retcons and overly-explained aspects of the wizarding world that no one needed, nor wanted to know. It's more of a minor iteration of what came before with a new coat of paint and a different theme, but "Wizards Unite" will be offer a little distraction from the real world - and a glimpse into the wizarding world - at least for a short time during the slow days of summer.

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