Last week, a few publications did a spotlight on a certain mod from Minecraft that caught my eye. Chiefly, because it was set in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I’m a pretty big fan of the property and I confess myself as one of those beings who would love to go to the castle just once. Of course, such a trip won’t ever really happy-not even Universal Studios can provide a one to one duplicate of the castle and the surrounding grounds. And while some underwhelming video games in the franchise have done just this, it was a Minecraft mod from team known as the Floo Network who have gone above and beyond to create the Harry Potter RPG you didn’t know you needed (until the leaked one becomes official, that is).
I’d just like to note that this article is not paid for in anyway, nor does the team at Floo Network know I’m writing about this. But if you have the means to play it, I strongly encourage you to dust off your old Mojang account and give this a go. Because the Witchcraft and Wizardy mod, as it is known, isn’t simply a Harry Potter skin. It’s so much more. Sure, you start off on Privet Drive then go to the Leaky Cauldron, Diagon Alley then off to Hogwarts and the surrounding areas via the Hogwarts Express-all in surprisingly high detailed interpretations-but this isn’t like a museum trip or guided tour. This is actually more in line with an RPG.
You play as an unnamed Wizard who gets their acceptance letter from Hogwarts and woosh, you’re off to school. The mechanics and controls have been completely reworked for this mod, which does NOT allow you to build or destroy. Instead, the game features magic, quests and classes. Classes are the way you learn said spells, which can help with environmental puzzles and combat against magical creatures, such as skeletons and dementors and you can use spells like Stupify in these situations. Being Minecraft and thus, a bit limited mechanically, missions are often of the “fetch quest” nature but it is still impressive that there are even quests to do. Simply finding the kitchen for Fred and George was fun simply as it gave me a reason to find the room. The classroom challenges are the most interesting-but some of the platforming is a bit cumbersome due to the nature of Minecraft. One platforming segment for Defence Against the Dark Arts has me infuriated as I attempted to make multiple long jumps. These challenges will help you learn new spells, such as wandering a pitch black labyrinth with the help of “lumos” to guide you. The puzzles are fun, challenging and really showcase new features never before seen in Minecraft. I particularly enjoy how the classes are little obstacle courses, much like the games of old.
The Hogwarts castle is huge. Getting lost is basically a requirement. In order to immerse myself more, I found a map of the school on Google, copied it as a quick sketch and used it to help navigate the overall lay of the land. And I needed it, just getting to Hagrid’s Hut resulted in me getting lost numerous times. The attention to detail is absolutely bonkers. With it taking four years to actually build this mod, it’s great to see all that hard work payoff with such a detailed world. Many of the blocks seem to be custom made just for this world and it shows, especially on storefronts. If there’s a place in the Potter universe you can think of, you can find it in the mod. For instance, I found the Potions class as seen in the first movie, but eagle-eyed fans will have noticed the classroom changed in later movies. Both rooms are part of the overall potions wing of the castle. I also found the trapdoor in the third-floor corridor but was unable to proceed due to a lack of spells. There are areas of the castle that I know about, such as the Hospital Wing, that I’ve yet to stumble upon, but there are other areas I’ve accidentally found.
What’s more, is that you can do all of this on your own or with friends. The size of the map does make things a bit laggy, at least for me, and playing with the draw distance reduced is pretty much needed. So unless you have a great gaming rig, it likely won’t look like how it does in the trailers. Which is fine with me, I can still see huge chunks of the castle from the quad, for instance. Installing the mod is a bit of a chore, but never a headache. Just bear in mind you need to be running 1.13.2. and follow the instructions provided. Overall though, this has to be one of the best mods I’ve ever played in Minecraft. This is essentially a whole new game, that rewrites the systems of Minecraft to make a whole new experience. If you’re a fan of The Wizarding World, you should absolutely check this out. The mod is free to download but there’s also a donate option for their work.