Pottermore, since its release in early April, has been generally well received by die-hard fans and casual readers alike. It boasts several features and generally covers the bases (in respect to book details and such), but it does contain some flaws.
Exploring the Book(s)- Though the experience is enhanced when you read the novels along with it, the exploration aspect of Pottermore is phenomenal. Though only Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone are currently available online, the feature recreates key moments from the book series, such as Harry’s trip to the Zoo and the infamous Sorting Ceremony. Pottermore’s exploration appeals to new and old fans, mixing the nostalgia of the first book with newly rendered scenes and animations.
Potions Making- Making potions in Pottermore is probably one of the most arduous, hair-pulling activity on the site. For each individual potion, you must collect ingredients, a lot of which can be found throughout the chapters but are mostly found in Diagon Alley. The problem: you only have one potion book with six recipes and most of the materials you collect throughout the chapter are not even for the potions you can make. You also have to wait a minimum of 30 minutes, though the time can fluctuate from potion to potion and cauldron to cauldron, for a brew to “mature” then must return to it. Otherwise, the potion will explode or just go horribly wrong and you would have wasted the time you spent on it. As it stands, the potions don’t serve a function in-game.
Spell Casting/Wizard Dueling- Just as in the novels, the Houses of Hogwarts (Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin) compete for the coveted House Cup by getting house points. As it’s currently inconveniencing to make potions for points, most people turn to spell casting. Spell casting is loosely incorporated into the “storyline” of Pottermore, but the bulk of the fun comes in a feature called “Wizard Dueling.” You can battle other houses for points or you can practice against your own house to hone your skills. Essentially, you have a number of spells to use and have to do a circle clicky game. I honestly can’t really explain it without sounding ridiculous, but rest assure, it’s pretty fantastic.
User Interface- Just. Awful. Honestly, if there had been anymore backtracking through content because of mal- presented objects and tasks, this would be Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire.
Overall Rating- 5.7. A definite meh.