{Review} Wonderbook: Book of Spells

We were lucky enough to be invited to the launch of the PS3 game ‘Wonderbook – Book of Spells’ by JK Rowling.  It’s based on one of the Hogwarts textbooks written by Miranda Goshawk and in the restricted section of the Hogwarts Library – yeah you can imagine how much Miss L loves this!  Here’s the official blurb about the game and what the children can do with it:

“This advanced textbook will assist students on their journey to becoming an accomplished witch or wizard. Read, discover, learn and practice spells such as Incendio, Wingardium Leviosa and Expelliarmus, as well as discover mischievous notes, spells and humorous anecdotal facts scribbled into the margins by previous Hogwarts students. J.K. Rowling has written a conundrum that leads you through the experience, providing insight into the values a witch or wizard has to learn, and inviting you to journey through the book to unlock new content, rewarding successful students along the way.”

How much fun does that sound? Well we didn’t have a PS3 so Sony kindly gave us one and the game to try out – which made Miss L’s day, she’s thrilled with it.  The whole thing was pretty easy to set up, and you don’t need masses of space for the interactive gaming, which is handy!.

The game itself is pretty impressive, you’ll need the Playstation move and eye add ons to play it – doesn’t work without them. The controller is turned into a wand on the screen and there is a book that comes with it.  The book on the face of it without the game just looks bizzare it’s full of blocks and nothing in it to read, but then put it with the game.  It is amazing, like something you would have played on at Disney 10 years ago, but it’s now in your lounge.  The book becomes a 3D augmented reality book which takes the children through the game teaching them spellings and earning them house points like they were at Hogwarts.

You can also link the game up to Pottermore, and your child’s account there so it’s all interactive with that world too.  There’s also quite a lot of reading involved – I like that kind of sneakiness in a game and it very much brings the Harry Potter world to life.   The only downside to it is that only one person can play it at a time, so if you have more than one child it’s going to have to be a team effort playing it and they will have to take turns.

Here’s Miss L’s verdict on the game:

‘This is a fun game for all the family, it’s an enjoyable game with amazing graphics.  You can create spells from a bubble head charm to a mythical animal.  My favourite part is the bubble head charm and I like spraying Mummy with water when I cast the Aguamenti spell (ed- that’s the water casting spell – she get’s to virtually spray me with water).’

And then she ran off to play it! But she’s invited most of her friends to come over and try it out, so she must be impressed.  I really hope there will be more downloadable content for it further down the line as it’s been such a hit with Miss L, it’ll be nice to carry on the adventure.

It’s available on Amazon from the 16th November – the basic game is £22.99 and the Starter Kit with the Move and Camera and Game is £59.99. And obviously in all other good shops that carry computer games 🙂



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