'Harry Potter: Wizards Unite' opens up to public beta in Australia and New Zealand

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Niantic and WB Games is starting to allow iOS users to play 'Harry Potter: Wizards Unite,' the 'Pokemon Go' follow-up based on the JK Rowling book franchise, with open betas in Australia and New Zealand allowing fans of the series to try out the AR game on their iPhone.

People who signed up to take part in the 'Harry Potter: Wizards Unite' beta have started to receive invites to download the game from the App Store, with the aim of testing the game and to provide feedback to the developers. The open beta for the two countries follows a brief closed beta period that took place over the second half of April, and applied only to those living in New Zealand.

The official website advises potential players in other markets to sign up for updates for when it will go live in other territories, but does not advise of when an expansion of availability will occur. While Android users are able to pre-register via Google Play, iPhone users do not have that option, and instead are best served with the updates.

Portkey Games, the label Niantic and WB Games are working under for the app, warns the beta version may be buggy and unstable, with features, languages, design, and the overall appearance potentially able to be changed before a full release.

A follow-up to the wildly successful 'Pokemon Go,' 'Harry Potter: Wizards Unite' follows a similar concept in requiring players to find traces of magic via their mobile devices by traveling to various destinations. Aiming to cover up the existence of the wizarding world for "Muggles," the player serves as a recruit of the "Statute of Secrecy Task Force," investigating the events of "The Calamity."

As they visit places and find traces of magic, players can experience explorable 360-degree AR environments such as Olivander's Wand Shop, explorable by location-based portals. Food, drinks, and ingredients can be acquired to recover Spell Energy and to brew Potions for various benefits, similar to how Pokestops and Gyms operate.

Players can also take part in Wizarding Challenges, real-time multiplayer battles against powerful foes for extra rewards.

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