Just how obnoxious is 'Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery'?: Apple Arcade episode 7

More like 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Microtransactions,' am I right?

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We didn’t have an Apple Arcade video last week due to a couple of scheduling conflicts, but I took the time to hop in with Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery for iOS and post my thoughts about it. I, ahem, didn’t like it. There’s a clear love of J.K. Rowling’s universe in developer Portkey’s new game, but it’s walled behind an obnoxious free-to-play design that repeatedly asks you to plunk down money to advance unless you want to wait a couple of hours to keep playing.

This, of course, is standard fare with free-to-play games on iOS, but Hogwarts Mystery feels particularly punishing. Once I got past the introduction, I’d barely start playing for a few minutes on the train to work before I’d be slapped with a request for more gems to advance the story further without waiting for the energy to recharge. Worse, the gems are pretty expensive, which means you could easily end up spending more money on this than you would on a so-called “AAA” game with a single $60 price like the new God of War.

For today’s show, I’ll be livestreaming Hogwarts Mystery on our 9.7-inch iPad from scratch. Along the way, we’ll talk about the advantages of a buying a game with this model over one that asks for a single charge to unlock everything, and I’d love to hear if any of you have had a better experience with Hogwarts Mystery. We’ll see you in an hour!

Here's a link to download the game itself:

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Apple Arcade broadcasts live on the internet on Tuesdays at 11 a.m. Pacific. You can watch on the Macworld Twitter via Periscope or on YouTube.

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