[PS3 Review] Wonderbook: Book of Spells


Wonderbook: Book of Spells Review

Book of Spells is the new (and as of now, only game) for the Playstation Wonderbook hardware. This game has been developed by SCE London Studio and J.K. Rowling — Harry Potter’s series writer — and is part of the Pottermore experience (creating a Pottermore account is facultative though).

The Playstation Wonderbook is a book that uses augmented reality and Playstation Move to bring the book to life, and to see this in action is VERY impressive! Book of Spells is aimed for a younger audience, but I actually enjoyed it pretty much with my kids!

First Spells with Wonderbook™: Book of Spells

Book of Spells is the first title for Wonderbook, a unique single-player virtual reading/entertainment experience exclusive to PlayStation 3. The latest addition to the PlayStation augmented reality series, the Wonderbook system combines game software, and the Wonderbook peripheral (sold together as a bundle in the Book of Spells release), along with PlayStation Eye camera and PlayStation Move motion controller, to bring words to life for readers as never imagined. The story and interactive activities built into Book of Spells are steeped in the Harry Potter universe, and are designed to capture the imaginations of new and longtime fans alike.

Wonderbook: Book of Spells

The Wonderbook itself.

Context / Story
The story of Book of Spells revolves around you — literally — an apprentice wizard. You are given a magical book containing a training, and you’ll be following this training through the game in order to become a true wizard!

If you’ve seen the Harry Potter movies, you’ll fell at home with the spells because most are in the movies. For instance, you’ll start learning spells like Alohomora (which unlocks doors and treasure chests), Lumos (lights an area), and end up using 20 spells in order to clear story-related challenges.

Wonderbook: Book of Spells Img 01

Learning a new spell.

Gameplay
For the gameplay, the PS Move controller becomes a wizard wand in your hand and the book itself is beautifully transformed into a magical spell book. The PS Move gestures are kid-friendly (Book of Spells is on the easy side), and getting trophies for each action or challenge completed successfully is encouraging. Platinuming this game (expect 5 hours) is also easy because all trophies are story or challenge related and each chapter can be redone if you missed one.

Since a narrator controls the story advancement, you might think that gameplay would be rather passive. That hopefully is not totally the case because you’ll often need to interact in challenges or even in some story segments (and some of them are particularly well done).

However, once I had completed the game, it felt like I had seen everything Book of Spells had to offer and I couldn’t find any good reason to open the book again. This game doesn’t have any replay value but I hope a second game comes in the same setting!

Wonderbook: Book of Spells Img 02

It is THAT impressive in action!

Final Thoughts
The technology behind the Wonderbook and Book of Spells is an impressive technical achievement. The spells with the PS Move controller are easy to do which is great for kids, and the game itself was fun to play! Even though the game is short and there is no replay value, I would still recommand this game to fans of the Harry Potter universe or gamers who would like to see this technology in action!

Review

ProsCons
Very impressive technology
Harry Potter universe
PS Move gestures are kid-friendly
Short game
No replay value
Rating
78%

Cost: $39.99
You can purchase Wonderbook: Book of Spells from Amazon.com here.


Disclaimer

This review is based on a PS3 copy of the game purchased by the reviewer


Written by: Ceidz - Contributing Editor


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  1. #1 by hobbes on January 7th, 2013 [ 30071 Points ]

    got this on sale for 19.99, with the book, sounds like a fun 5hrs, just to get a plat :) great review, and looking forward to playing this with my nephews or kids in the future.

  2. #2 by wolfkin on January 7th, 2013 [ 6633 Points ]

    sounds tight. I just saw the book on sale for $10 and I kinda wish I had Ceidz’s number so I could call him and ask him if I should buy it. A very very strange sensation to have a burning desire to call strangers on the internet.

    Ehh it does sound like unless I have a mini-human who would be enraptured by it, it’s not for me. I like Harry Potter well enough but I never really got sucked into the world and universe like that. I don’t have a Pottermore account and have no interest in one.

  3. #3 by Ceidz on January 8th, 2013 [ 35975 Points ]

    lol @wolfkin ! :P
    For 10$, I think this game is a no-brainer and you would have had a lot of fun !

  4. #4 by Tosh on January 8th, 2013 [ 104823 Points ]

    It’s nice to see more unique uses of the PS move. But this isn’t something that would interest me unless I had kids come to the house.

  5. #5 by pedrolabate on January 9th, 2013 [ 39949 Points ]

    This looks like the kind of game that could grow into something a lot more interesting in the future, the kind of game that I’d be glad to show my kids :)

    Refreshing review @Ceidz, I’d say it’s a extremely different genre to the ones we’re used to.

  6. #6 by Ceidz on January 10th, 2013 [ 35975 Points ]

    Thanks @pedrolabate :)

  7. #7 by cherryrasulka on January 20th, 2013 [ 50 Points ]

    My kids would love this!


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