Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery

App review by
Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media
Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery App Poster Image
Wizarding adventure makes money magically disappear.

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 11 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 46 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Simple gameplay, but waiting for more energy to play the game is frustrating.

Violence & Scariness

Wizard duels and some bullying between kids. No gore/blood shown during play.

Sexy Stuff

After the first few minutes, players must spend money, wait for hours, or stop playing. Based on the extremely popular Harry Potter book/movie franchise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is a free-to-play single-player simulation/adventure game that lets kids become students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Potter-loving kids are bound to want to play, but the game has a cash-hungry model that requires players to spend money every couple of minutes in order to replenish their energy and keep going (the alternative is to wait for long periods, often multiple hours). Plus, an in-app shop pushes the purchase of vanity items like clothing and hairstyles. While there's some bullying and wizard dueling, no blood or gore is shown during the action. An internet connection is required to play. Note: This review is based on a preliminary experience with an early version of the game; further updates will be coming as warranted. The app's privacy policy details the kinds of information that's collected and shared. To read the privacy policy in full, visit developer Jam City's official website.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byLyraE July 25, 2020

Left my child in tears

This game is so frustrating that it left my 12 year old in tears. As I write this there is a dueling event where you get three tickets at a time and if you win... Continue reading
Adult Written byDoesnt matter August 20, 2018

Worst game ever

Less than 5 seconds in you have to spend money or wait for energy. The duel in the third year is definitely set up for you to loose. You always have to choose... Continue reading
Written byAnonymous July 4, 2018

Don't listen to the bad reviews, this is a great game

First of all, the energy is only there to give some challenge to the game. At no point do you have to pay at all! Of course, there is the option to give up... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old August 20, 2018

Could be a great game, but the energy for money ratio is horrible!

I could just be overreacting as someone who's not allowed to make in-app purchases but the fact that I spent two minutes playing this game (I timed it) bef... Continue reading

What's it about?

HARRY POTTER: HOGWARTS MYSTERY promises Harry Potter fans the chance to fulfill their long-held dreams of attending Hogwarts School. Set during the time when the legendary Harry Potter is still just a baby, it turns players into Potter-like heroes. Starting school in the shadow of a rebellious older brother who was expelled for bad behavior, gamers get sorted into a house and strive for good grades, all while dealing with rampant rumors, skeptical teachers, and bullying classmates. Players attend classes, learning all the iconic wizarding skills (potion-mixing, dueling, charms, etc.) and earn House points by building up their skills in three important areas: Courage, Empathy, and Knowledge. All actions, including attending classes and completing story missions, require the use of a limited energy store and two forms of in-app currency.

Is it any good?

This app based on one of the most popular franchises out there is bound to be divisive, especially among parents and kids, because of its gated play and money demands. Kids will enjoy Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery because of its faithfulness to the wizarding world, but parents are bound to resent the game's money-grubbing setup. It starts really well, and it's bound to excite fans by showing them iconic locations in Diagon Alley. It gets even better as you get to Hogwarts, get sorted into your House, and start seeing all your favorite Hogwarts people and locations. Then your first class starts, and abracadabra! The fun's over.

Activities like going to class require tapping on things a set number of times, and each tap requires energy. Your piddly little energy supply gets used up in seconds, and you're stuck with the bane of every freemium game: the energy timer. Given the advent of better models like "ads for energy," it's surprising that developer Jam City would employ such a blatant money-grabbing model, but alas, they have. The result is a disappointing tease of a game that lets you play for mere moments, then passes 'round the Sorting Hat, expecting you to throw money into it. Worse yet, it throttles the fun again by locking most of the locations and making you wait hours before the story can progress. There's a way around those things, of course: spending yet more money. The app's makers really made a mistake in going with the purchase-heavy energy model, which is a shame, because they've made a charmingly faithful depiction of the wizarding world. But Harry Potter fans won't get to see it unless they know how to conjure up a big pile of cash.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about consumerism and marketing. How much do you think is a reasonable amount to spend on one app, even a wildly popular one like Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery?

  • Talk about bullying. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery features some bullies that interact with your created wizards. But since you don't have magic in real life, what's the best way to deal with bullies?

  • Talk about screen time: This game requires you to wait between gameplay sessions. Is this the best way to enforce gaming session breaks?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Pricing structure: Free (Contains optional in-app purchases.)
  • Release date: April 26, 2018
  • Category: Adventure Games
  • Size: 161.60 MB
  • Publisher: Jam City
  • Version: 1.5.3
  • Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 10.0 or later; Android 4.4 and up
  • Last updated: November 27, 2019

Our editors recommend

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