‘Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery’ feels like it was designed by Voldemort

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery for iOS reminds me of my grad school. It’s not just because of the gothic spires or the intellectual combativeness of the students, and it’s not even because our dining hall was modeled on the same Oxford dining hall that served as the Great Hall in the films. No, instead it’s because I’m reminded at every turn that the place wants me to cough up some cash.

Developer Portkey’s new game is a free-to-play adventure that Death Eaters would be proud of. It’s free-to-play of the old, money-grubbing variety; the kind that makes you suffer through hours of waiting if you don’t drop five bucks or more to bypass it all. Had I succumbed to Hogwarts Mystery‘s every single request for cash to further the adventure, I doubtless would have already spent enough cash to buy a proper blockbuster game like the new God of War for the PS4. Had I played through the upcoming weekend that way, I probably could have spent enough to cover a student loan payment.

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