Fantastic Beasts: Cases of The Wizarding World – Review

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We’ve followed the missadventures of Harry Potter, but now it’s time to follow the Ministry of Magic. Does a detective game fit well with the wizarding world of J.K Rollings? Let’s find out. Here’s the review of Fantastic Beasts: Cases From The Wizarding World.

Cases From The Wizarding World is a game developed by Warner Brothers and Media Tonic which has you playing the role of a detective who’s new to the Ministry of Magic. Reports come in from people who have been attacked by certain creatures, and it’s your job to find out which creature did it. You’re joined by your partner Mathilda Grimblehawk. The style of gameplay here is one that’s been done time and time again, so this game’s main job is in adding its own unique flavor to the genre. Gameplay revolves around finding hidden objects strewn about certain areas called “scenes”. Some of the items are clues that advance the investigation and lead you closer to the suspect. It aims to emulate real life detective work by having you interrogating witnesses, collecting and examining evidence, and drawing conclusions. There are two mains screens that you interact with: the map and the case screen. The map screen shows you the cases that you can choose from. Below the map are three tabs: one where you view and purchase upgrades, one which shows the beasts that you’ve captured and one where you view and brew potions. After selecting a case, you’re taken to the case screen. The tabs on the case screen are for viewing and selecting scenes, viewing the evidence and for viewing your task list. Gameplay is a bit complex, but easy to get the hang of. You start off by going to a scene and searching for hidden objects. Doing this awards you stars. Stars are what you use to examine evidence and question people. Searching scenes cost energy, which replenished over time. Some tasks can’t be solved with stars, but by waiting an amount of time; for example, waiting on results from the lab. You have your standard two currency system: your main currency (gold) and your premium currency (Gems). When you’re searching for items and you’re having trouble finding objects, the game will automatically reveal the location of an object. If it’s any area where gameplay loses points, it the fact that this feature can’t be turned off, and some of us may not like that feature. An off button would have been nice. This game pulls off the detective genre well, giving us the usual, but adding its own flavor and added content, such as upgrades and potions.
Gameplay gets 9.8/10

There’s a lot of detail in this game’s graphics. It’s represented in the 2D space with everything being painted. Everything looks well put together and matches the theme of the game. The map screen, clever enough, is in the style of the Marauder’s map and the case screen looks like an actual manila folder you’d find on a detective’s desk. Characters are represented by painted stills with different poses based on their emotion, and they are very detailed and pleasing to look at. The loading screens are these funny posters of safety tips when dealing with certain beasts. Nothing is too flashy or dull,  and the presentation is professional.  The look of the game overall is fantastic (pun intended).

There are a few selections of music from the Harry Potter movies, which will appeal to all of the fans. These are famous selections at that. Sound effects fit right in with the game- none of them too loud, or intrusive. It would have been nice hearing recorded music from the series, but the company decided to use MIDI or synthetic instruments. Regardless they do sound nice
Sound gets 10/10

This is a mobile game, meaning that it has mobile game features ( in-app purchases, premium currency, energy system Etc.) How much do these hinder the experience? The answer is A LOT. First off, this is an energy based game, meaning that searching scenes cost energy. If you run out of energy, you can’t search scenes, and gameplay pretty much stops. You start off with a maximum of one hundred ten energy, and searching a scene costs twenty. It doesn’t take a math whiz to know that’s a bit much. Some games manage to pull off the energy system well without too much interruption in gameplay, but this is just not one of them. There are opportunities to earn more energy without waiting, but they are few and far apart. You get some when you level up and you get some after you examine evidence, but the amount you get is sad. Where things get more ridiculous is trading gems for energy. You can trade gems for energy, but gems are extremely hard to come by, and it takes a large amount of gems just to get one round’s worth of energy. Waiting on results to come from the lab take obscenely long , and the price tag to skip the wait is baffling. In fact, prices overall are ridiculous. Don’t expect to get far in this game without spending some actual money along the way.
Appiness gets: 3/10

TOTAL: 82/100

So how does it look for Fantastic Beasts? This is a good game for those who are into detective games. There’s enough gameplay to keep you occupied and it’s straight forward. It’s a great game to look at and listen to. It’s fatal flaw is in its poor implementation of those infamous app features. This is definitely NOT for those who don’t like mobile transactions. Prices for gems and energy are ridiculous  and there are very few opportunities to earn energy. Playing for free will amount to much more waiting than playing, and if you intend to play for free, Cases From The Wizarding World is hard to recommend. Those of you who are interested can download it HERE.



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