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TDS exclusive - Wonderbook: Book of Spells review

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Wonderbook: Book of Spells review by Melissa (for TDS exclusive):
When I first started up Sony's new AR game, Wonderbook: Book of Spells, I pondered how well exactly the Wonderbook would work with the Playstation Eye since my last experience with webcam gaming was back when the Playstation Eye was first released for the Playstation 2.  
 
In comparison the Wonderbook is a revolutionary improvement, the webcam no longer jitters around or fails to pick up something vital to the game. This is compounded by the Playstation Move controller that transforms into your wand on-screen, which looks chunky and cumbersome at first but feels like an extension of your body once you lose yourself in J.K Rowling's new interactive adventure. The book itself is also very easy to navigate through by turning the pages as if it was an actual book.  
 
Once the Eye, Move and Wonderbook are all calibrated, your journey into the Hogwarts Library Restricted Section can begin. You are given a chance to choose both your house and your wand, and even link your game up to the internet and Pottermore in order to earn house points for your house online. After the introductions and initial setups (of which there are quite a few), then you are given free range over the Book of Spells to move forwards or backwards at your own pace. The ability to hold the Wonderbook prop up in my own living room and see the pages sparkle with the moving pictures from Harry Potter lore on the screen was particularly exciting and I can remember forgetting that I wasn't actually a young Ravenclaw student trying to master the swish and flick of Wingardium Leviosa fairly often. 
 
Jumbled in there between wand waving classes and tasks of protecting your classroom from attacking wizards, there are lots of brand new information from J.K Rowling such as the origins of spells which can be viewed from multiple angles depending on how the Wonderbook is positioned in comparison to the Playstation Eye. 
 
Once you start to find your legs in this new but distinctly nostalgic world you find yourself at the end of the very first chapter and given your first big challenge of the game: end of chapter tests where you must apply all you have learnt in the last 12 pages practically in the world of magic. 
 
It's quite clear that Sony are aiming this new product at the younger range of Harry Potter fans with the aspects of edutainment liberally sprinkled between the AR pages of the Wonderbook, but many parents and siblings will find themselves impressed at the technology behind it, and take it from me, waving a wand and exclaiming "Aguamenti!" is a lot of fun! Wonderbook is sure to transform lots of young muggles into experienced and capable wizards this Christmas.
 

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