Review of Wonderbook: Book of Spells, the new PS3 game bringing Harry Potter's world to life.
Written by: Liat Hughes Joshi
Wonderbook: Book of Spells
Date published: 11/18/2012
8 / 10 stars
If your kids dream of jumping aboard the Hogwarts' Express and enrolling in the famous wizarding school where Harry Potter, Ron and Hermione learnt their trade and defeated You Know Who, the new Playstation 3 game, Wonderbook: Book of Spells, needs a place in your living room.
Featuring new writing from J.K Rowling herself, and set in the mysterious 'restricted section of the Hogwarts library', Book of Spells is a rather natty interactive textbook for wannabe wizard Harry Potter fans, very much brought to life with the latest gaming technology.
The seemingly unappealing large book is placed on the floor in front your TV. When it's connected to the Playstation Camera, the book comes to life on the TV, with whoever's playing appearing right behind it on the big screen (smile, please!).
The PlayStation Move acts as the magic wand, and once you've chosen your house (Gryffindor an obvious choice for Potter fans) and wand, you enter the Hogwarts Library.
Following a quick tutorial on how to use your wand, you're taught a spell through specific wand movements and correct pronunciation. At the end of each chapter you put your new wand-waving skills to the test, and complete tasks for house points, all of which will ring bells (or should that be brooms?) with Potter fans from the books and films.
Fancy technology aside, the detail really makes this game. You're asked to brush off the dust (this book does live in the restricted section, let's not forget), and from extensive stories and magical tales about each spell, to a photo taken of the player when a task is completed (your photo even moves like they do in the wizard paper, the Daily Prophet), there is so much to marvel over and be wowed by. Giant paper dragons fly above you, a pumpkin gets bigger and bigger until it's fit to burst, and spells from the book jump off the pages right into your lounge.
Here's what our young reviewers had to say when they had the privilege of being among the first to give it a go.
Louis, 12, 'The sensitivity was amazing from the wand remote to the screen. It's a really innovative game. I think the idea is spectacular and kids will come swarming to the stores wanting it. I think it's ideal for seven to 10-year-olds.'
Ollie, 12: 'It was very realistic.'
Liz, eight: 'I loved the tasks and the images. It's impressive when you turn the book and the images become 3D. I loved learning the spells and moving my wand. I liked the detail of picking what wand you want. I'm a big Harry Potter fan but even if I wasn't, I think I'd love this game.
Luca, seven, said 'I love Harry Potter and it was very good to play this because there were lots of entertaining things like flicking the wand and making the creatures disappear!'
Wonderbook: Book of Spells, is out now, and costs £24.99, or is sold in a bundle with PS Move for £59.99 or plus a PS3 for £229.99.