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  1. ITV Report

Harry Potter: 'Pokemon Go' style Wizards Unite mobile game launches a day early

The mobile augmented reality Harry Potter game is already available on iOS and Android. Credit: @HPWizardsUnite

The hugely anticipated Harry Potter themed augmented reality (AR) game inspired by Pokemon Go has launched a day early, tasking fans with collecting magical virtual objects.

As with the hugely popular Pokémon mobile game, players will be able to use their phone to immerse themselves in J.K. Rowling's wizarding world as the platform augments real life surroundings.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite was due to roll out across the UK and US on Friday but players noticed on Thursday the game is already available on iOS and Android.

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The long-awaited app is made by Niantic, makers of Pokemon Go which revolutionised AR gameplay in 2016.

Characters and creatures from the wizarding world appear in real life on a user's smartphone, using augmented reality technology.

Witches and wizards must join forces to help solve the mystery behind the chaotic magic and return the "Foundables" to their rightful place away from Muggle eyes.

Your journey begins as a new recruit of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force, established by the Ministry of Magic and the International Confederation of Wizards, for the purpose of investigating and containing "The Calamity".

Using "Portkeys", you can enter iconic wizarding world locations and for the first time you’ll be able to step into a full 360-degree advanced AR immersive experience in places like Ollivander’s Wand Shop.

Battles take place in the "Fortresses" (similar to Pokémon Go's Gyms), where you can take on Death Eaters and ferocious Werewolves.

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Developers of the game will want to avoid server issues that affected Pokemon Go when it first launched, as they struggled to cope with the influx of users trying to play it.

Pokemon Go also caused controversy when hundreds of players descended on locations including police stations and churches in search of Pokemon characters they wanted to collect.

Warnings were issued by police to players around the world after reports of gamers placing themselves in danger as they chased the virtual creatures, urging users not to enter dangerous or restricted areas while they played.

The game was a stunning success, however, being downloaded more than 10 million times in its first week and breaking numerous app store download records in the process.