A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
What's it about?
FANTASTIC BEASTS: CASES FROM THE WIZARDING WORLD starts with a great premise: letting players become wizard-detectives on the hunt for magical creatures. The game contains a series of cases involving bad behavior from the more unruly beasts from the Harry Potter books, things like mountain trolls and fairies. With the help of various officials, players investigate crime scenes and analyze evidence, ultimately identifying and capturing magical perpetrators. Searching scenes costs energy, and players must earn stars to progress the story. Players who don't want to wait up to 12 hours for evidence timers to count down must frequently spend real money.
Is it any good?
Though the love of Rowling's world and the app's premise are strong, a good chunk of the magical fun is sapped by poor design choices and/or the publisher's aggressive money-making scheme. Things start well enough with you joining a team of wizarding detectives whose job it is to investigate disturbances caused, presumably, by magical beasts. What could be more fun for fans already in love with things like unicorns, hippogriffs, and pixies? Much like Muggle detectives, investigations require examining crime scenes, gathering evidence, and interviewing witnesses. Unlike Muggle cases, they also require spell casting and potion brewing. Even better, the soaring Harry Potter music and gorgeous graphics have the potential to bring non-magicals right into the wizarding world. Sadly, it doesn't happen because of a stingy energy-based setup. Crime scene searches require energy, and the paltry energy pool you're given runs out in mere minutes. After that, you're forced to either tap into your bank account or put the app aside for hours. On top of that, evidence analysis requires either more in-game purchases or sitting through timers that take up to 12 hours to tick down. In the end, the magic spell of Fantastic Beasts: Cases from the Wizarding World is broken by consumerism.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what makes J.K. Rowling's wizarding world so popular. Is it the characters, the settings, the use of magic? How well does Fantastic Beasts: Cases from the Wizarding World fit into the greater story?
Discuss how movie companies use apps to promote their films. Has seeing a movie ever made you download an app?
Think about how Fantastic Beasts differs from Harry Potter. Is it as much fun without Harry and friends?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free (with optional in-app purchases.)
- Release date: November 17, 2016
- Category: Adventure Games
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures
- Size: 300.00 MB
- Version: 2.1.7239
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 8.0 or later; Android 4.2 and up
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.