Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery - the game which chokes your school-age avatar unless you wait hours for more energy or cough up money - has added pets.
Pets live in your dormitory, although you can also pick one to follow you around. They're not just cosmetic additions, either - sleeping pets give you a drip feed of energy, that same currency which gates your progress through the game's story unless you wait or pay.
But, of course, the pets themselves cost money. There doesn't seem to be any way of unlocking one for free other than by grinding out the game's premium gem currency through dozens of hours of regular play.
I've almost completed the game's first school year and have 135 gems saved up. It's not enough to buy any of the pets. Four are currently on offer and there are four spots in your dormitory for them to live - encouraging you to have more than one.
- White Rat - 160 Gems
- Green Toad - 160 Gems
- Bengal Cat - 215 Gems
- Scops Owl - 320 Gems
You can't buy any of these amounts separately, so you'll need to buy a few packs of gems. The cheapest way to buy an owl is to buy one 275 gem pack (£9.99) and two 25 gem packs (99p each), for a total of £11.97.
The in-game shop sells 25 Gems for 99p, 130 Gems for £4.99, 275 Gems for £9.99, 575 Gems for £19.99, 1500 Gems for £48.99 or 3125 Gems for £99.99. There's a small reduction per gem in cost if you buy the larger packs, but it's not significant.
Hogwarts Mystery is continuing to add new content over time, such as new Care of Magical Creatures classes, which are made available for free - albeit via the usual energy-gated system. It's just a shame the game's monetisation options like pets have to be priced so exorbitantly.