In order to use Wonderbook, you'll need three things - the Wonderbook itself and a copy of Book of Spells, a Playstation Move controller, and a Playstation Eye camera (luckily, you can buy a start pack that contains everything you need). Setting your camera up to face away from the TV, into the room, the game will then look for the Wonderbook in your living room, and replace it on-screen with the Book of Spells, turning your Move controller into your very own wand. It's all very clever, and certainly an impressive effect, especially as it all seems to work so very well.
The game itself is less of a game, and more an interactive storybook. Divided into six chapters, each with two sections, you'll go from novice to wizarding pro as you learn spells from the Harry Potter universe, from the levitation of Wingardium Leviosa to the water spray of Aquamenti. Each new spell you learn is broken down into several sections, as the book reads you an intro to the spell, teaches you how to pronounce it (complete with voice recognition), and then shows you how to perform the gesture for it with your wand/Move controller. With the spell memorised, it's then up to you to perfect your technique in the form of a minigame, whether you're fending off dragon's snare tendrils, or plucking Mandrakes using Wingardium Leviosa. Occasionally, you'll also be treated to an interactive finger puppet style show, which relays a humourous tale from the spell's history, while letting you pull tabs on either side of the pop-up "set" to affect the scene. It's all very clever - and pretty funny, too.
However, it's in terms of the target audience that things get a bit trickier. If your child's a Harry Potter fan, but one who craves action, Book of Spells may not be the game for them. With a very slow pace, and little in the way of proper minigames or action, the game feels more like a procession of spells and puzzles - although that's certainly not a bad thing. With full voiceovers, and light-up subtitles that illuminate each word as the narrator reads it, the game's obviously been aimed at a younger audience - but a working knowledge of the world of Harry Potter would be preferable to coming to the game cold. Some of the language used may be a little bit confusing for players at the younger end of the spectrum, with words like "vigourously", "hampered", and "rousing" potentially acting as stumbling blocks, although it's usually possible to infer what they mean and follow the story regardless. While getting your head around having to interact with things in your on-screen living room that don't exist in your off-screen one can take a while, if your child's just starting to read through the novels, or if they're a Harry Potter fan who doesn't mind a slow paced game with puzzles, and little in the way of action, Wonderbook: Book of Spells could go down a treat.