Reviews of Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery don’t agree whether it’s a good iOS game, but all say it’s vastly too expensive. It’s actually free to download, but playing the game essentially requires buying expensive power-ups.
But now developer Jam City may have changed course because reports are coming in that the cost of power-ups has dropped by up to 80 percent.
In many free games, buying buyer-ups is an option that speeds up play. This is acceptable to most people, as long as the game is still playable without them.
Why Hogwarts Mystery costs so much
The process goes like this. The player wants to go on a sidequest, or gets into a fix where they need to use a spell. Doing either requires more energy than they have.
Energy automatically replenishes at a rate of 1 point every 4 minutes, so waiting for enough energy to build takes hours. Or the user can buy gems that can be turned into the necessary power.
And the user has just an 8 hour window to get back to the game. Stay away longer than that and the buildup of energy starts over.
This process starts just a few minutes into the game, and then happens frequently thereafter.
And the power-ups aren’t cheap. In the U.S., $4.99 gets 130 gems that can be turned into 90 energy points. A typical spell or sidequest takes 55 energy points.
Lowering Hogwart’s tuition
In what might be a change in business strategy, some players are being offered gems for less, according to Eurogamer. The £4.99 set of 130 gems is now 99p, for example. In the U.S., unconfirmed reports say 575 gems are selling for as little as $4.99.
Not everyone is seeing the discounts. And the people that do get them are being told the deals are only good for 48 hours.
Speculation is that the game’s developer Jam City is exploring what prices result in the most gem sales.
Some people love Hogwarts Mystery
Apparently ignoring all the complaints, there are plenty of people who love Hogwarts Mystery. The game scored a 4.7 out of 5 on the App Store, with over 187,000 ratings.
There are thousands of positive reviews from players. A player with the olive24066 username said “I know the energy is an issue as you can only do one lesson at a time and then you have to wait for it to refill. As long as your patient though, the recharge time doesn’t seem like much.”
Purduedude97 said “I love this game!!!! The gameplay is great, the story is great, and the graphics in my opinion are great.”
It’s possible these comments are coming from hard-core fans of the wizarding world who are willing to put up with extra hassle or expense to play a game set at Hogwarts. Capturing people who are just a bit less enamored with J. K. Rowling’s creation might take some changes.