Playing Pottermore

I’m guessing most people have heard of Harry Potter. You know, boy wizard. Hogwarts. Fighting He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Well, the Muggle community has been hotly anticipating the full public release of Pottermore, an online edition of the incredibly popular book series and movie series from author J.K. Rowling. It was announced last year and was available in beta to a first wave of users, but for many months, no one else could access it.

That is, until a spell was cast this weekend and it opened for the public. I missed out on the beta but got my first crack at it and it’s good. I was maybe expecting more of a game and was perhaps a little disappointed that there isn’t more to do. But as a fan of the books, I was really happy to get a chance to go through the world as though I was in it instead of merely reading it. And there is a lot of really cool background material from J.K. Rowling that goes into great detail on how the books and characters came together. If you’re a Harry Potter nerd like me, you’ll probably love it regardless.

The main part of the experience is going through all the Chapters and Scenes (which are called “Moments” in Pottermore). They mirror the original book closely so you’ll probably know what to expect. You need to find items and unlock content along the way. If you get stuck, there are plenty of Pottermore guides on the Web to help you out.

The best parts happen early on. In Chapter 5, you get your own wand at Ollivanders in Diagon Alley. Then in Chapter 7, you get sorted into a house at Hogwarts after wearing the sorting hat. Both of these events work by asking you a series of questions and your responses help determine the result.

After you finish all seventeen chapters, you can participate in wizards duels and brew potions to earn house points for your house at Hogwarts. Other than that, there’s not much to do besides wait for Book 2, The Chamber of Secrets to be released.

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