At the beginning of this week Sony introduced a new video game in partnership with J.K. Rowling: Book of Spells. The game brings you inside a spell book with lots of new material written by Rowling.
Today VentureBeat released a review of the game after demoing it at E3, where it was initially introduced:
The Wonderbook itself feels like a solid-though-lightweight hardback book, with stiff cardboard pages inside. The PlayStation Eye camera tracks the augmented-reality tags placed throughout the book, then maps fantasy images on the Wonderbook’s rather plain pages, which you see in real time on your television. The book becomes a magical grimoire, complete with words and pictures that appear on each page as you turn to it. The PlayStation Move motion controller appears as your wizarding wand.
You’re supposed to lay the book on the floor in front of the TV, but you can pick it up and move it around anywhere within the Eye’s range. It also automatically zooms in when you’re interacting with the book, then goes wide to include you whenever you pull items and creatures off its enchanted pages.
Within moments of sitting down for my wizarding lessons, I drew Rowling’s words off the page and into the air above my head, animated birds and trained them on a lazy cat, and detonated a pumpkin. Some spells require a simply swish and flick, while others require tracing specific shapes in the air. Magical dueling also makes up a part of the curriculum.
But like any lesson plan, there’s a progression. Jenny Barbour, a producer on the project, calls it the spell journey. “You learn a little bit about the spell, how to say it, how to cast the gesture, and you have a little practice,” says Barbour. Each chapter contains about four spells. “At the end, you have a chapter test where you have to use all four spells to get through a challenge that’s placed before you.”
Sound interesting to you? Book of Spells as well as the Wonderbook device will be released in November. We’re eager to read the new spell information Rowling created for the game.
Click here to watch Sony’s introduction of Book of Spells.