Wonderbook: Book of Spells

September 23, 2013 Off By Laura TMOT

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Book of Spells was the first game that introduced the Wonderbook accessory for the PS3, making great use of augmented reality technology.  The game also found a new use for the PlayStation Move controller, which takes the appearance of a wand on your TV screen, so now you can cast spells with a simple flick of the wrist.

I’m a big fan of the Harry Potter series and I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve previously wondered what it would be like to be a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  With the Wonderbook: Book of Spells (and a little imagination) I was able to get a feel of what that would have been like.

The basic story behind the game is that as a student at Hogwarts, you enter the restricted section of the library and come across a 200 year old spell book written by a famous witch called Miranda Goshawk.  There’s an annoying narrator who helps you along the way and you both peruse the book learning well known Harry Potter spells.  With each spell there is an interactive story explaining the history behind the spell’s origin (I really liked these parts).  Players are taught how to make the right wand movements and say the incantations to cast their spells.  My girls sometimes struggled to follow these instructions on their own, so I had to sit with them and assist where needed.  I didn’t mind this though as it meant spending some quality time with them.  I think they really enjoyed the augmented reality technology because they couldn’t take their eyes off the TV screen.

In all the game is broken down into five chapters with about 4 spells to practise on each one.  All the well known spells are there, such as Lumos, Expelliarmus, Expecto Patronum.  I was really excited when I got a chance to play the game by myself.  The missus thought I was a big kid but nothing is new there.

If there are any Harry Potter fans in your household then I would highly recommend this game.  You may have seen that J.K. Rowling’s name appears on the front cover.  This is because she helped write the story so you can rest assured that the game is going to have an authentic feel unlike any other.  An added bonus is that you can link a “Pottermore” account to the game, which can share information from that game like your chosen house and wand achievements.

I see at the moment that the game and book are really cheap to purchase on Amazon at £9, which is an absolute bargain.  Just make sure that you have the PlayStation Move controller and camera before buying (you can find these priced at around £20 from CEX).

I think the Wonderbook is a fantastic platform for children to interact with video games and I look forward to the game’s sequel, Book of Potions (which should hopefully be released in time for Christmas).