WONDERBOOK: BOOK OF SPELLS
‘Wonder’ can be quite the misused word. Wonder Boy simply ran,
jumped and chucked stuff. Then there’s Wonder White. It’s bread.
Good old staple diet bread. It’s hardly wondrous.
So, it was with wariness that we approached the space-saving
Wonderbook. Promising a book-comes-alive experience (but without
interminable guitar solos), it’s a chunktastic blue plastimacated
cardboard book filled with alienesque graphical codes that works in
tandem with the PlayStation Eye and Move. The key word there is
‘works’, because it does – which you kind of expect when shelling
out shekels for a product – unless you’re odd. Just plop it on the
floor (or your lap) and go.
The first bit of Wonderbooky fiction is from some chick named JK
Rowling. She wrote books-that-must-not-be-named due to licensing,
however we can say that Book of Spells is set in Hogwarts,
and the player becomes a new student. A house is duly picked (if
you’re not intravenously connected to the web-based Potterverse
Pottermore) and you’re given a restricted tome featuring
incantations (we just didn’t want to type ‘Book of Spells’
Anyway, the book really does come alive – mercifully onscreen, for
if it pulled some of this shit for real we’d bolt like Usain. You
watch yourself wielding a wand as you learn to say and do all manner
of spells within five two-part chapters, interspersed with short
stories. Stuff like levitation and illumination is taught, with
simple examples like harrying tentacles to perform before
Mindful that this is kiddie-intended, we cast ourselves back to our
seven-year-old mindset (so, last week) and were captivated. We’d say
‘spellbound’ but that’d be too obvious, and Siouxsie might Siou...
erm, sue. There may only be around two hours of entertainment, even
if you potter, but like an absorbing movie or short novel it has
Unlike some purported wonders, Wonderbook isn’t crumby.