Innovative interactive book opens new door to Harry Potter.
Common Sense Media
26 November 2012
Summary: Parents need to know that Wonderbook: Book of Spells is a less a game than a collection of Harry Potter-themed stories and activities. It requires a Wonderbook -- a paper and cardboard storybook that comes with the game -- as well as a PlayStation Move controller and PlayStation Eye camera. You can purchase the game and Wonderbook, or a bundle that also includes the Move and Eye camera.
Excerpt: Wonderbook: Book of Spells is an innovative and engaging augmented reality (AR) title for PlayStation Move that successfully paves the way for future entries in the Wonderbook series. Written in collaboration with Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and developed by AR pioneers SCE London Studio (EyeToy, EyePet), this interactive spell book is primarily aimed at children who can’t get enough of all the fantastic charms and hexes featured in the Harry Potter books and...
Excerpt: When it comes to capturing the imagination, few franchises do it better than Harry Potter. The idea of a magical subculture existing in our world, one that you might catch a glimpse of at any moment, is immensely intriguing. And being plucked out of your normal life and told you have magical powers? Well, who wouldn't want that?
Pros: Augmented reality makes great use of the Move, Captures the magic and wonder of Harry Potter
Cons: Little in the way of replay value, Disappointing ending
Excerpt: Book of Spells is the first game to come out that supports Sony’s Wonderbook peripheral which was first introduced at E3 this year. Despite a demo that dragged on for too long and that was plagued by technical issues, I really warmed to the idea of Wonderbook after spending some hands on time with it (the mock living room with carpet and fireplace in Sony’s booth didn’t hurt either). The first game to support Wonderbook comes from the Harry Potter universe and was...
Summary: It’s impossible to approach Sony’s cross-media Wonderbook as you would a ‘normal’ video game. To cynical, adult eyes, it’s more of an independent peripheral, and a fairly odd one at that. A large, padded book full of Augmented Reality markers that, when matched with a PlayStation Move wand and a PS Eye camera, brings its contents to life on screen. The technology and concept behind it is brilliantly... basic, almost.
Conclusion: An impressive first outing for Wonderbook and a genuinely magical experience for younger Potterphiles. However, it’s one best enjoyed in small doses, and you're left wishing that there was more room to wield magic, think, solve puzzles and just play. Book of Spells might convince you you're a wizard, but it hardly ever lets you explore the part. Wonderbook will keep the kids enchanted on Christmas Day, but their enthusiasm may pall before Boxing Day is over.
Pros: Inspired use of Augmented Reality technology, Sky-high production values, Effective and entertaining spell-casting
Cons: Mundane spell-casting exercises, Gives the reader little chance to think or play
Wonderbook: Book of Spells Review | Accio Peripherals!
14 November 2012
Conclusion: The Short Version: Book of Spells brings Harry Potter's world of witchcraft and wizardry to life in fine fashion, but it runs out of ideas a little too quickly and spends rather too much time telling players how to be a wizard or a witch, without really letting them become one in satisfying fashion. It does, however, potentially point towards a bright future for Wonderbook in terms of execution and originality.
Pros: Cracking use of AR and motion control, Potterverse is brought to life in charming fashion, Moments f magic hint at a special future for Wonderbook
Cons: But there's not enough substance, Not enough variety, Not enough freedom to ever think for yourself
Excerpt: We have to be honest, when we first clapped eyes on the new official accessory for the Sony PlayStation 3, the Wonderbook, at E3 in June we weren’t immediately blown away. It is, after all, simply a 12-page hardback board book with a sequence of slightly different patterns on each leaf.
Pros: Essential for Harry Potter fans, great example of augmented reality being used in the home, high production values, great fun to play through whether child or adult
Cons: Of limited appeal to those who don’t like the Potter universe, needs some room to play