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Wonderbook: Miranda Goshawk’s Book Of Spells (PlayStation 3)
Reviewed On: Reviewed On
Available For: Available For
Age: Age (PEGI)
Price: £35 for the book and game, £60 for the game, book, and Move kit.
Sony are massively hungry to crack the augmented reality world on the PlayStation 3. First there was the Eye of Judgement, then came the EyePet. Now Wonderbook has turned up on the digital scene, and with it a new tale unfolds.
A blue hardback book, Wonderbook doesn’t look like much, just a bunch of pages adorned with unrecognisable and indecipherable shapes and squiggles. But it’s not what this unassuming book looks like that’s important – it's what it can be.
Using the PlayStation Eye camera and a Move controller, the book is magically transformed on-screen into an interactive and immersive storybook to be played with a variety of games.
The first title to be released for this new experience is Book of Spells, an adventure which sees amateur wizards whisked away to Harry Potter’s Hogwarts for an education in spell casting.
The action begins when the player is mirrored onscreen and the Wonderbook magically turns into the Book of Spells. The Move controller also makes an incredible transformation – it becomes the all important wand.
The story, written by J. K. Rowling is spread over five chapters and is told on-screen by using the book as a digital pop-up book. Players have the task of learning spells before using them in a variety of mini-games, zapping and popping at all manner of object and creature.
If children are big Harry Potter fans, and if they’re fairly new to the world of gaming, they’re bound to enjoy it massively. If they’ve already enjoyed the spoils of more technical and challenging games, there’s a good chance kids may find it a little simple.
With a lack of books and films recently, I couldn’t imagine a young Potter fan who wouldn’t want this on their Christmas list. It’s technically impressive, and incredibly well written.
There’s not much to keep teenagers or adults captivated, but that’s clearly not the market it’s aimed at. With other franchises planned to make use of the book, including Walking with Dinosaurs, some Disney titles, and currently undisclosed educational games – there’s plenty of scope for broader ages at a later point.
For people who already have the Move, the book and game will set them back by just £35. If however the Move needs to also be purchased, a pack is available for just £60.
SCORE: 7 / 10