Well, it looks like Niantic jumped the gun. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, the newest augmented reality game from the studio behind Pokémon Go, was scheduled to be released tomorrow, Friday June 21. It’s out today, though, on both iOS and Android. So if you want to run around your neighborhood casting spells and doing wizard-y things instead of scramping up some goofy little critters, here’s your chance. Your phone’s a wand and your local deli’s got like little flying troll guys in it or something and I guess your dad is Voldemort now? We haven’t played it yet—this is a real job we’re doing here—but I think that’s pretty much what happens. The real world becomes the wizarding world through the modern-day magic of mobile phones and in-app purchases.
There’s a trailer for the game at the bottom of this post, although it doesn’t really give much of an idea of how it’s played. I guess we’ll all just have to find out together after we download the thing.
This is a big summer for Harry Potter stuff, of course. Just last week Universal opened the latest ride at The Wizarding World section of Islands of Adventure in Orlando. Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is a roller coaster that’ll take you on a thrilling ride through the Forbidden Forest on Hagrid’s motorcycle; you’ll spot some mythical beasts, plunge through an ancient castle, and, if you’re a theme park journalist, also have to remember the most unnecessarily long name for a ride ever. Between that coaster and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, Potter fans are in store for an amazing year, no matter what craziness J.K. Rowling tweets next.