Harry Potter: Puzzles and Spells (download from the App Store and Google Play Store) doesn’t break the match-stuff puzzler mold. But then, you weren’t expecting it to. This isn’t a game that reinvents, or even deeply considers the genre that its part of. It does what it does, and it does it really well.

The whole experience sparkles with a shimmery polish. The artwork is lovely, the gameplay is slick and the well-thought-out compulsion loop is just the right side of noose-tight. This is a simple, casual game that’s going to grab you hard if you let it.

And if you’ve ever been snagged by the likes of Candy Crush, then there’s a very good chance Harry Potter: Puzzles and Spells will get you too. Its little dopamine hits are finely balanced, and it’s never really challenging enough to annoy you.

It’s just very nice. Everything about it is nice. The graphics are nice, the fun you can have is nice, the spells you can cast are nice. They’re not new, not really, but they’re still going to hold your attention for longer than you can explain why.

A Wand-a-ful World

You match gems in bundles of three or more. Sometimes you’re using these matches to smash obstacles. Sometimes you’re trying to move objects down the screen. You’ve got special powers and spells you can use to turn the tide in your favor, and a limited number of moves to get everything done in.

There’s nothing in the game that’s going to make you exclaim with joy, but there’s nothing that’s going to make you mash your phone into the ground either. You’ll toddle along, matching things, and then six hours will have passed and you’ll feel slightly guilty at your lack of real-world achievement.

If you like Harry Potter you’ll enjoy Harry Potter: Puzzles and Spells. If you like match-stuff games you’ll enjoy Harry Potter: Puzzles and Spells. If you don’t like either of those things, well it’s unlikely you’ve even gotten this far in the review.

Harry Potter: Puzzles and Spells is a slick, accomplished, perfectly acceptable slice of meaningless entertainment. It ticks all of the right boxes, and you’re going to enjoy the time you spend with it. There’s really nothing more to be said.

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