Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe To Empire!
Get 12 issues from just £25
Must-Have Movie Collectibles
Bid on some classic memorabilia
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

PACKSHOT
Wonderbook: Book Of Spells

GAME DETAILS
Released
07 November 2012
Format
PS3
Developer
Sony

LATEST GAME REVIEWS
DragonBall XenoVerse
3 Star Empire Rating
Order 1886 , The
3 Star Empire Rating
Evolve
3 Star Empire Rating
Grim Fandango Remastered
4 Star Empire Rating
Dying Light
4 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Legend Of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Elite: Dangerous
5 Star Empire Rating
World Of Warcraft: Warlords Of Draenor
5 Star Empire Rating
Super Smash Bros. Wii U
5 Star Empire Rating
Grand Theft Auto V Reissue
5 Star Empire Rating

Wonderbook: Book Of Spells


submit to reddit

Wonderbook: Book Of Spells (2012)
Review
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.

Wonderbook isn’t meant for those cynical, adult eyes though – it’s deliberately, unashamedly intended for kids and families. The launch software, Harry Potter spin-off Book of Spells, is a genuinely enchanting effort. Cast as a book found in J.K. Rowling’s fictional universe (and functioning as a part of the wider cross-media Pottermore project), you’ll make your way through the tome as a Hogwart’s student, learning the same memorable spells of the novels and films. Supernatural beasts leap from the page, players are transported to familiar locations, and interactive stories that delve into the lore and history of Harry’s world play out as you progress. The way you interact with the physical book, manipulating it to peer down wells or brush off dust, adds a fantastic tactile element that, for younger fans, will really make it a – sorry – magical experience.

However, it’s not perfect. Finding an angle to set the camera at that fits both the Wonderbook and the would-be wizard in view is a trick in itself, with all but the smallest child likely to be digitally decapitated. Performing certain spells, particularly the levitating Wingardium Leviosa, can become frustrating, the camera often struggling to pick up the characteristic “swish.... and flick!” The overly-friendly, endlessly-repeated admonishments of the narrator when the gesture isn’t detected is likely to drive at least a few parents to drink, too. Conjurations not requiring such finesse are usually easily read, thankfully.

That said, for its intended audience, Wonderbook: Book of Spells is a charming, captivating must-read, and one that might even warm over some of those cynical adults too.


Reviewed by Matt Kamen

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Rogues Gallery: Stephen Graham
The Hyena star on his most memorable turns

Liam Neeson Takes Manhattan
Empire heads behind the scenes on Run All Night

Showrunner Beau Willimon Reveals 8 House Of Cards Secrets
On Kevin Spacey’s dog-dispatching and more…

21 Great Movie Cons
Fleece your friends with these duplicitous devices...

Empire's New Spectre Issue Covers
First look at Bond 24 in Empire's April issue

Vote For The Jameson Empire Awards 2015!
Your mission is clear...

Sleeping Beauties: The Story Behind 12 Of Cinema's Unlikeliest Hits
They came, they saw, they surprisingly conquered

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)