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YMMV / Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery

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  • Arc Fatigue: Year 5's release schedule lasted nearly a year in real time. Its sheer length, as well as the fact that updates only come periodically, meant that plot points dragged out for months and constantly came to a halt, with timed side quests being released instead of plot content half the time. In other words, Year 5 literally mirrored a real-time academic year.
    • 1984-1987 = Spring 2018
    • 1987-1988 = Summer 2018
    • 1988-1989 = 2018-2019
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Rowan is either a cute, lovable friend players are glad to have in their corner or an obnoxious, clingy dweeb players wish they could dump.
    • Merula. Some players think she's the memetic "Best Girl" in the game and want the player to befriend her, fawning over her design and personality or theorizing on her backstory. Others loathe her, finding her obnoxious and her Freudian Excuse not good enough for her bullying and past actions.
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  • Breather Level: It takes an ever-increasing number of points to gain Attribute levels 2-30, with level 30 requiring a mind-bending 17,275 points to achieve. After that, it only takes 1,890 per level to get 31-46. note 
  • Broken Base: Some players enjoy the game and plotline and find it in line with the expectations they had for a mobile game; others find it So Okay, It's Average but not engaging; and others were disappointed or downright pissed at the energy-demanding time-restricted point-and-click gameplay when the game was initially advertised as a more open-world RPG.
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  • Enjoy the Story, Skip the Game: Many critics point out about how the core gameplay is boringly tap the screen at best and manipulative greed game at worst, though as the tropes pages can show you, the story makes people come back for more.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Merula's popularity virtually exploded online, with many hoping that she'll eventually be a friendship or romance option for the player.
    • Penny became extremely popular after the game's debut due to her cute character design and kind personality, making some wonder if they could be her best friend instead of Rowan's.
    • Barnaby was one of the most popular male characters of the game before he was even introduced due to some wondering if he would be a Token Good Teammate for Slytherin. While some were disappointed with his Dumb Muscle characterization in his first introduction, the fact that he's more well-meaning and naive than antagonistic and befriends the player later in the game has made many warm up to him regardless.
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    • For a character who has never even been seen, Billingsley has quite a few fans eager to at least get a glimpse of him due to his notoriety.
    • Two background characters also managed to gather a following. One who is titled as "Clumsy Gryffindor" during Charm class (who is also the Slytherin girl with the sleepwalking problem in the infirmary) nicknamed Clumsy, and a boy also from the Charm class who has difficulty casting Wingardium Leviosa for 4 years straight now nicknamed Levy. The latter in particular became so popular he was specifically mentioned at the end of Year 4 when the player is using Wingardium Leviosa.
    • Liz, a Slytherin student you share your Care of Magical Creatures class with, is popular for both her kind and friendly attitude towards the player, and her unique character design.
    • Sickleworth, Rakepick's Niffler, and his cute dancing jig were immediately endearing to many players.
  • Epileptic Trees: Some fans are convinced that Ben and Rowan are secretly evil and will be the antagonist in later years, due to Ben's occasional unintentional creepy demeanor and occasional (glitched) Black Eyes of Evil, and Rowan for always needing your help with Lumos during class.
  • Fridge Brilliance: Lying to Snape is rarely a wise idea. Of course - he's a skilled Legilimens.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In year 4 there is a Aging Potion class and Snape says he doesn't want to do the same class when he is old and gray. Remember what happens in Deathly Hallows?
    • Tonks, while trying to handle unleashed Fanged Frisbees, says she had imagined dying while doing something more heroic.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Merula has had some cursed luck. First, both of her parents were incarcerated in Azkaban for their support of Voldemort when she was just 7 or 8. Likely because of that, she's hinted to be poor (her boots are noticeably over-sized compared to the dress shoes everyone else wears, her leggings are ripped, the uneven cut of her hairline makes it look like she couldn't afford a haircut so tried to cut her own hair and gave up on it, and she has an overall ragged appearance). It's revealed by Tulip that she had a lack of real adult supervision or care after their arrest, so she grew used to having to be aggressive to get her way. On top of her background scaring others away from her, her extremely competitive and unpleasant personality combined with her bullying ensures that she has no friends. Tulip, the one person who she did trust and befriend used and betrayed her. And finally, the protagonist always manages to effortlessly outdo or foil her in everything she tries to do. Even when she wins, she loses, such as the case where the player crowns her the "Face of Hogwarts" in Rita Skeeter's popularity contest. Overwhelmed with happiness at first, Merula learns the hard way what type of journalist Rita is as she proceeds to write a scathing article in the Daily Prophet about how the child of Death Eaters is loose in Hogwarts. Is it any wonder there's a segment of the fanbase hoping that you'll get to befriend her later?
      • Gets even worse for her in Year 5, where she ends up being tortured via the Cruciatus Curse, by Rakepick, a woman whom Merula had idolized.
    • Ismelda shows signs of this in one quest. The quest line involves Merula and the main character working together to get ingredients for Professor Snape and, remarkably, the two actually seem to get along during this. Ismelda sees this and confronts the MC, accusing them of trying to steal her only friend away from her. This is the first time where people can really sympathise with Ismelda, as it shows that she's actually very lonely and fears losing Merula as a friend. She also has her own sidequest where she’s bullied and ends up getting her heart broken over her crush on Barnaby. During the quest you find out she has a beautiful, popular, talented older sister that her parents clearly favour. If you choose to talk to her to borrow her broom and visit the Red Cap, you can also detect Ismelda’s backstory may not be a happy one.
  • Memetic Loser:
    • Rowan. Needs tutoring assistance for casting Lumos in Charms class as late as Year 6. In Flying class, they join Merula in being struck by their brooms when trying to summon them up. Their uniform tie is always in disarray.
    • The "Leviosa Kid." There's a young Gryffindor student in Charms class who constantly needs your encouragement just to perform Wingardium Leviosa. He's still struggling years into the game. Since this character exists for this scene and as a Living Prop outside of class, he has no notable characteristics outside of his failure.
  • Narm
    • The huge smiles made by your avatar and whomever they're talking to when you complete a quicktime event. Rowan, in particular, looks like they just got away with murder when you accomplish their note-passing events.
    • In general, the number of animations that characters share, no matter their age or personality. It's especially jarring to see the laidback Bill dance on his feet like an excited child, or a magical suit of armor hunched forward and pouting once you defeat him. And despite the glorious feasts you witness at the Dining Hall, you and your friend will never eat anything besides really big sandwiches.
    • Ismelda's constant crazy talk. Every single time she has a line it's something along the lines of "I want to torture everyone!" or "I hope someone dies in class today". It stops being creepy very quickly and just ends up seeming like the writers couldn't come up with any character traits for her besides being sadistic.
  • Never Live It Down: Whatever reputation this game has is ignored thanks in part to the Devil's Snare scene and the image of the player's avatar being strangled being a great picture to show the horrors of micro-transactions.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Choosing Ben for the mission late in Year 2 shows his Hidden Depths and allows the player to get away without losing house points, which warmed a few players up to him.
    • Ismelda was a widely unpopular character, seen as something of a Flat Character with little dialogue and characterization other than being cruel and sadistic. Many came around to her, however, after her side quest showed her Jerkass Woobie Hidden Depths, as well as her study session for the O.W.L.s being the most genuinely helpful sessions in the sidequest and giving her the surprising trait of sincerely loving the oft-mocked History of Magic class.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Ben was panned on the initial release due to his cowardly personality and rather unflattering character design, as well as the fact that the game basically forces the character to be good friends with him.
      • The game takes it Up to Eleven in Year 6, when Ben's experiences at the end of Year 5 push him straight into being a reckless, obnoxious edgelord. So, he goes from being unlikeable because he's a one-note coward to being unlikeable because he's a one-note Jerkass.
    • Jane, the Hufflepuff prefect, garnered the reputation of being the most hated prefect in the game; though her abrasive and henpecking dialogue is no different from the other prefects', the fact that she's supposed to be in the nicest house made it even worse, especially as the Hufflepuff house sidequests leave her without some of the more entertaining dialogue that other prefects such as Felix enjoy.
      • Jam City appear to realise how much Jane is disliked; not only does Bill forget her name in a later sidequest, it's revealed that while all of the other prefects have led successful lives post-Hogwarts, Jane had a short stint in Azkaban for unknown reasons.
      • It could also be due to the Eldritch Abomination theme some fandoms associate her with. She wasn't locked with the Dementors. The Dementors were locked with her. She rather looks healthy and her usual self for someone who was in Azkaban.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • The energy system requires players to pay real money to speed up gameplay, lest they have to wait hours to get through a simple class; this is especially frustrating for players who aren't able to play their game intermittently at their leisure, leading to some failed requirements. It's the most frequent criticism of this game.
      • In the first few months after the app was released, the player was practically forced to waste energy by completing tasks that required more energy than necessary to complete a star requirement (points would carry over for story-related actions, such as searching a room, but not for stars during class lessons), such as only giving the option for a task requiring 5 energy points when the player only need one or two more to gain the star, which is problematic when the timer begins to run out. A later update eased this by "refunding" the player energy when expending energy that goes past the points requirement, though you'll need the energy to complete the task in the first place to get such a refund, meaning you'll still be screwed if you have 10 minutes left in a class with empty energy and the only option is a 5-energy task.
      • There's also the fact that these segments of spending 1-8 hours using energy and reloading it come at some points in the game that are clearly just fodder. At the very least, you can choose how long a class period takes, with longer times getting higher rewards. But there are several points in the game where something mundane—talking with a friend, looking for something, etc.—for some reason takes a three-to-eight-hour period.
    • During the first few days of gameplay, the game would occasionally prompt the player to buy more energy with gems; some players who were tapping the screen merely to turn it back on found themselves drained of gems with an absurd amount of energy they didn't mean to purchase. This was fixed with an update, which still offers energy to buy but gives players a chance to see the screen before purchasing.
    • In some parts of the game, you can only choose a dialogue option if you have a high enough level in empathy, courage, or intelligence. If your level is not high enough, you're left with a much less interesting/kind response. Few players choose to grind for higher levels due to the aforementioned screen-tapping boredom of doing so. One can get a nasty Player Punch when you have to insult or hurt another character simply because it was your only option.
    • Almost all players fall into Enjoy the Story, Skip the Game since, well, there's very little game at hand. The different objectives in a chapter (go do this, go do that, etc.) sometimes require a waiting period. So it's pretty annoying when you just want to get to the next part of the story, but you either have to wait several hours or pay 30-100 gems.
      • Year 6 is just plain insulting with its waiting times as they now occur between virtually every single quest. The Quidditch quests, however, are the biggest slap in the face of all. Eventually you have to play "friendly" matches between actual quests and there's a seven hour wait between these matches for those not willing to pay for them.
    • When the game was officially released, Years 1, 2, and the beginning of 3 were already available, with the latter released in large portions within a month (each year relatively short with 10-11 chapters). In June 2018, Year 4 was released with 1-2 chapters per week, lasting throughout the summer, with 17 chapters. While this forced players (most who have caught up by now) to keep hitting a wall and wait every week for more, the process was at least consistent. When Year 5 was released in September, the chapter a week plan slowed down dramatically because of events and timed side quests being released AS OPPOSED to chapters instead of alongside them. Year 5 was finally completed in July 2019, lasting over 10 months with 34 chapters. Year 6 is currently moving just as slow.
      • The game is moving at such a slow pace, that players are starting to forget the main story altogether.
    • The events in general are normally panned by players. For example...
      • The dueling system is essentially Rock-Paper-Scissors, which means that it's often based on pure luck rather than skill. The duels that happen in the story aren't so bad, as the player can simply grind to improve their stats if they're having too much trouble, but the duels in the infamous Dueling Club event were very different. Not only were the first half-dozen Dueling Club events marred by bugs, poorly balanced matches and criticism of the ever-changing ticket refresh system, many were critical of the structure of the duels itself: the opponents are obviously bots (there is never any lag for any opponent, regardless of how fast you select your choice), meaning that you fight a computer that knows your choice immediately. Players slammed the event for being based entirely on luck and RNG, another push for players to buy and spend gems to end waiting times early so they can hope to get higher-tier prizes on time.
      • House Pride events quickly became this. Some players faced glitched opponents, where rival houses' point totals were in the tens of thousands, leaving no way for them to win, while many suspected botted allies and resented teammates who didn't score any points towards the winning spot. After the first House Pride event, the points required to get the second half of the prizes (including the coveted Notebooks, which weren't obtainable by any other method and were required to buy the new pets and newer pet skins) were raised exponentially, leading many to realize that it would be impossible to earn the required points and getting a full night's sleep. The devs attempted to make the event "fairer" by forcing the player to get 20 House Points before joining a team, though this helped most players little, as your team has almost no effect on your prizes or likelihood of winning the event, and teammates could just score 20 points and then stop, not that this even matters when players confirmed the bot theory when many different players' teams had "players" with identical names, and some real users who weren't even participating in the game showed up on teams with point totals that didn't exist in their own save file.
    • Being forced to complete classes in order to advance the story further. This is annoying as very few of these classes reward you with anything you'll ever use after learning it. The Flying, Herbology, Care of Magical Creatures, and most of the Potions classes are completely pointless and really only exist to try to get players to pay for more gems so they can refill their energy bars. It's an even bigger kick in the head if you complete all your classes and are rewarded with the dreaded eight hour wait for the next story quest.
    • Speaking of classes, mandatory lessons attended through the plot itself no longer award House Points or Crests like they used to, making them totally useless for the already frustrating House Pride and the less frustrating Crest events.
    • The currency in the game, with special mention to the Notebooks, which have become this due to being so hard to obtain unless you pay real money or lose sleep, spending on the provided method- the Shop or House Pride, and the Galleons, which by mid-Year 4 you run out of things to buy, leaving many players with 50,000 of them (the Cap). Players by Fifth Year beg Jam City to let them use coins to buy notebooks off the smuggler, Jae Kim, just to get rid of surplus coins which are the exact opposite of Notebooks- very easy to obtain as they’re awarded for every action you take that uses Energy and are the first prize in every single event, often in large sums.
      • However, Jam City then released an update that allowed players to play Duelling Club tourneys on demand, a decision lambasted by fans as the staggering cost to win the tourney (a high cost for one match, and the player must win an average of 10 games) is rarely worth the randomly chosen prizes (a small amount of gems, notebooks or creature food, emphasis on "small"); furthermore, large coin rewards disappeared overnight and the coin cost of friendship activities increased... And no new outfits were released to purchase for coins, a sore spot for many as the demand was high. To many, it was another example of Jam City herding players towards using real currency to buy more coins.
    • While attributes were raised at a fairly steady level in early years, it quickly becomes frustrating to level them up in Years 4 and 5. It takes thousands upon thousands of points to level up, yet rewards from classes remain extremely low (usually 5 or 10 points, the max reward remaining a rare, stingy 40 points). You can buy clothes to get a big boost in points, but as Jam City only recently (as of August 2019) released a new slate of clothing options (the clothes themselves are a Scrappy Mechanic, with almost all of them being considered universally unflattering, and the best outfits reserved for end prizes in House Pride and Crest events), many have already maxed out these options. Imagine an RPG where, halfway through the game, the player can only grind to the next level via the low-level monsters defeated in the very first level.
    • Raising Hagrid's friendship is reliant upon periodically released sidequests which force you to purchase a particular magical creature to advance. If you've been using notebooks to acquire ones he doesn't need to see, you're stuck unless you either luck into winning some notebooks or cough up the cash for them (assuming the ones you need are even being offered for sale).
    • What should have been a pretty awesome moment for the game — Quidditch finally being added as an activity — was mired by the fact that advancing its sidequests is absolutely swimming in timers, whether it's waiting for the relevant character telling you to wait to talk to them or waiting for the option for a Friendly match to open up again.
  • Signature Scene: The Devil's Snare strangling the player's avatar, followed by the game demanding a payment of real-life money to set them free quickly, is commonly cited in video reviews as a fitting allegory for the micro-transaction system that plagues the game (along with other free-to-play games).
  • Take That, Scrappy!: After Jane, the most hated of the prefects, graduates, a dialogue option shows that nobody misses her. When she reappears in a prefect side quest in Year 5, Bill can't remember her name and she's revealed to have gone through a stint in Azkaban for an unspecified crime.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • The Slytherin prefect Felix Rosier. We see the name Rosier many times in the series as a family affiliated with Voldemort, however he doesn't have any separate characterization from the other prefects.
    • Many were intrigued by Talbott and Chiara, two characters from different timed sidequests the player meets and befriends. Though Talbott very briefly appears in a Year 5 chapter, and both appeared for the OWLs sidequest, many were disappointed when they didn't appear in the friends list after the quest, with no apparent further plans to develop them. Talbott was eventually released as a friend via a timed sidequest, while Chiara didn't become available until Halloween 2019.
  • That One Boss: The Acromantula who's guarding the Cursed Vault in the Forbidden Forest. Its attack pattern is quite unpredictable and it hits hard, with its Aggressive attack that will consume half your health bar and its Sneaky attack that will constantly drain your health for 8 turns straight (if you even lasted that long). You're most likely going to spend a long while (or big cash) trying to beat it. Your best bet is to pummel it with Aggressive as often as possible.
  • That One Level: You'll quickly come to dread any quest taking place in Dumbledore's office since they nearly always have the eight hour time limit. And if you don't want to spend any money to refill your energy bar, then you're in for a long wait with a pretty disappointing payoff.
    • Indeed almost anything to do with Dumbledore will take 8 hours.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Being sorted into your house is just a matter of picking the one you want. No attempt at replicating any of the myriad personality tests which could calculate which house you might actually fit into best, after which point the game could still let you choose the house you truly wish to be in if you didn't get the result you wanted.
    • Though the mobile game format limits the amount of true customization involved, many were frustrated that the character's personality and gameplay has no real variation from house to house, making some accuse that the game assumed you would choose to be a Gryffindor and treated the plot as such. Several side-quests allow you to act more like your respective house, but it mostly doesn't translate over to main gameplay.
  • Uncanny Valley: Some of the character models look... off, such as when you're eating lunch with Ben.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: The game treats the Prefects as though you're supposed to be extremely fond of them, and during the conversation where they point out they'll be leaving Hogwarts forever at the end of the school year, the obvious right dialogue choice is something along the lines of "I'll miss you when you're gone". Unfortunately, the only Prefect that seems to be genuinely liked by the fandom is Felix (Slytherin), because the Gameplay and Story Segregation hits hard with the other three, constantly nagging at you about having to earn more house points regardless of how many you have.
    • Jane (Hufflepuff) seems to be hit worst by this, because in addition to the points thing, she lacks the entertaining dialogue the other Prefects have and also instigates a revenge action against a few Slytherins who (to the best of the player's knowledge) haven't really done anything, instead of just telling a teacher and docking points from them.
  • Unpopular Popular Character: Merula. Ostracized and hated in story, beloved by a chunk of the fandom.


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