Sunday, May 13, 2012

Site Review: Pottermore

Have you visited Pottermore yet? I just got the email this morning that it was open. I'm not entirely clear if it opened today or if they're doing a staggered release, but in any case, today was MY first day there. If you're on there (and you're not a crazy stalker), send me your user name and I'll add you!

If you're an avid Harry Potter fan, this website probably needs no introduction, but for the rest of you, here's the deal: J. K. Rowling created elaborate backstories for every character, place, and situation for the Potter world, many of which did not make it into the books. So... Pottermore was conceived to let fans explore the Potter world and to learn about it more extensively!

The site plays out kind of like an exploring game. You enter a scene for each chapter of the books and then you meet characters there, find objects, buy your school textbooks, etc. So far, I think Diagon Alley has been my favorite spot to explore. It's pretty exciting to get to go inside and buy stuff. You start out with 500 Galleons to spend; I'm not yet sure how you earn more, but books, supplies, and owls don't seem to be very expensive, so that amount will probably last me awhile.

Anyway, if you're not on there yet, here are a couple screenshots to whet your whistle:

My very own magical wand!

I'm about to board the Hogwarts Express!! :D
{UPDATE}: Apparently only the first book has been added to this site yet. The second book is due to come out this year sometime... no release date known yet. I'm both slightly annoyed and slightly excited that they didn't release everything at once. On the one hand, I want it NOW! and on the other hand, this does bring back some of the excitement and anticipation of waiting for the books to be released. Ahh... those were the days...

Now for an actual review of the site/game. It's quite unclear to me what the POINT of it all is. You go around collecting wizard cards and library books but I haven't yet figured out why I'm collecting these things other than to get house points for my house. There are a couple tests/riddles to solve as you go along, but they have nothing to do with anything you've collected or learned thus far.

Oh yeah, I'm Ravenclaw, by the way. It was quite exciting being sorted by the official Sorting Hat! There's no re-taking this test either (unlike any of the plethora of "Which Harry Potter House Do You Belong In?" online quizzes that I'm sure you've taken and re-taken). Once you've been sorted here, that's it... you're sorted. I'm okay with where I was placed though. Sure it would've been cool to be Gryffindor, but at least I'm not Slytherin or Hufflepuff. ;)

Over all, despite the lack of a point, I still think this site/game is pretty cool. Every scene you explore is complete with sound effects / background noises that are appropriate to the scene (cats purring, engines roaring, students talking, etc). It makes a fun effect that helps you feel almost like you were exploring the Harry Potter world for yourself. It is pretty directed though. It would've been more awesome to just wonder around freely as if I were an actual student there, but... for what it is, it's still pretty cool. And it's fun learning some of the back stories of how J. K. Rowling came up with names, places, etc (you learn about Prof. McGonagall's family life when she was growing up, for example).


  1. I got my invite too! Add me as a friend. PurpleHolly2229

    I have made it through the first book, but I am going to go back and explore more because I feel like I've missed something.


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