Book of Spells
|Book of Spells|
European cover art
|Developer(s)||SCE London Studio|
Book of Spells (also known as Wonderbook: Book of Spells) is a title for the Wonderbook on the PlayStation 3 video game console. It is developed by SCE London Studio in conjunction with J. K. Rowling as a companion to the Harry Potter series. It was introduced at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in June 2012 and is the first release for the Wonderbook. It is based on Book of Spells, a fictional book by Miranda Goshawk released about 200 years from the event date. It was released in the United States on 13 November, 15 November in Australia and 16 November in Europe.  The game received mostly positive reviews from critics, praising the use of Augmented Reality and the PlayStation Move, while criticising the game's short length. It is rated "E10+" (Everyone 10+) by the ESRB for Crude Humour, an Alcohol Reference and Fantasy Violence. It has been announced that another book will be released called Wonderbook: Book of Potions which is set to be released around December 2013.
The user casts spells by drawing shapes with the PlayStation Move controller, while the book itself uses augmented reality technology to appear on screen via the PlayStation Eye. The Move controller itself appears on screen as a wand, and may draw patterns on screen to launch spells. Players are allowed to interact with elements appearing on screen, such as dragons.
The game is designed to be an interpretation of learning spells at Hogwarts School in the Harry Potter universe, with the "book" itself having been written in the Harry Potter universe over 200 years ago by Miranda Goshawk. At the end of each chapter, a poem will describe a failed Hogwarts student in order to teach the user a lesson in the manner of Aesop's fables.
List of covered spells
- Levitation Charm (Wingardium Leviosa)
- Water-Making Spell (Aguamenti)
- Wand-Lighting Charm (Lumos)
- Unlocking Charm (Alohomora)
- Fire-Making Spell (Incendio)
- Bird-Conjuring Charm (Avis)
- Revealing Charm (Aparecium)
- Engorgement Charm (Engorgio)
- Shrinking Charm (Reducio)
- Summoning Charm (Accio)
- Severing Charm (Diffindo)
- Impediment Jinx (Impedimenta)
- Hardening Charm (Duro)
- Disarming Charm (Expelliarmus)
- Reductor Curse (Reducto)
- Stunning Spell (Stupefy)
- Patronus Charm (Expecto Patronum)
To develop the game the Sony Computer Entertainment team worked with Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling, who described it as "the closest a Muggle can come to a real spellbook". Rowling had previously worked with Sony on her Pottermore website, and the company at one point had an exclusive contract to release Harry Potter e-books. The game was launched as the first title for the Wonderbook on the PlayStation 3 at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in June 2012.
Wonderbook: Book Of Spells received mixed to positive reviews from game critics. It holds a 72 on Metacritic, indicating "Mixed or Average reviews." Critics praised the use of the Wonderbook technology by the use of both the PlayStation Move and Augmented Reality, while criticizing the game's short replay value.
Behind the scenes
- Players may freely choose their House by selecting either Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw or Salazar Slytherin and may also choose from three types of wands. If, however, the player chooses to link the game to a Pottermore account, both will automatically be customised to match those of the player's Pottermore account.
- Pottermore released a series of minigames online wherein players take a short quiz on the Wizarding World. Afterwards, they can learn Aguamenti, Incendio, and Aparecium by first tracing a spell symbol, and then casting the newly equipped spell to complete a short task. After completing each activity, the player is able to download a certificate of their achievement. The games can be found here.
- In addition to the specific spells covered by each chapter, the player is sometimes given the opportunity to briefly make use of other spells, such as the Oppugno Jinx. The player, however, does not actually learn the gestures for these spells and thus is not tested over this material.
- Sherwin, Adam (5 June 2012). "J.K. Rowling to revive Harry Potter as Sony launches Book of Spells game for PlayStation 3". The Independent. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
- "Vita to be used further in play with PlayStation 3; JK Rowling teams up on Wonderbook". Washington Post. 5 June 2012. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
- "Wizard training for Muggles: Sony creates new Book of Spells game to keep Harry Potter fans happy". Daily Mail. 5 June 2012. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
- Hoggins, Tom (5 June 2012). "E3 2012: JK Rowling working with Sony on interactive storybook". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
- Greenwald, Will (5 June 2012). "Sony Unveils PS3 Wonderbook Accessory With Harry Potter Title". PC Magazine. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
- "Harry Potter Launches New Sony Wonderbook". Forbes. 4 June 2012. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
- Robertson, Andy (15 June 2012). "E3 2012: Wonderbook preview". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 20 June 2012.