It’s time to wave your wand and shout “Accio Boardgame!” This September, USAopoly is bringing the wizarding world to board games with Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle. They gave us a tour of the game at Gen Con and we are so excited you guys!
Andrew: The truth is that a big IP like this could easily be screwed up by slapping the Harry Potter name onto any old board game and calling it a day. Sure, we would all complain, but it would still sell out. It seems like USAopoly is having none of that! Their team has shown this game a lot of love; from the box designed to look like your Hogwarts bound suitcase to the card design which reflects the changes that Harry and his friends go through during the events of the books. And most importantly, it looks like a real, enjoyable game.
The attention to detail is something that really warmed our butterbeers. When you first open the box, the back of the rulebook is displayed showing you what the inside of Harry’s suitcase might contain.
The game itself is a 2-4 player cooperative deckbuilder, but it’s designed with gamers as well as non-gamers in mind. Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle starts you off easy with the events of the first book. Harry is young, bright, and unaware of the horrors that await him and the rules of this game are kept simple and straightforward. This makes it easy for new players to learn the basic mechanics of how a deck builder is played.
Andrew: This design attitude is critical – plenty of people will buy this title simply because it’s a Harry Potter game with no idea how to engage it. But by ramping up the rules over the course of several games, USAopoly’s design team has shown some real smarts – it will turn newbies into veterans all while playing through this story that so many of us love.
The rulebook is pretty long at 40 or so pages, but that’s because it uses large pictures to illustrate how the game is played. I looks like a great guide for new players to learn from.
Each session of the game is sectioned off in boxes, similar to something you might see in a Legacy game. As you finish each game, you will open the next box and add the components contained within to your ever growing deck. The rules get more complex and the challenges harder, until you reach that last dreaded box and face off against He Who Shall Not Be Named. This last game is designed to challenging even to seasoned gamers, but by this point your family and friends will have become experienced with all the different aspects of deck building.
Jess: I loved the Harry Potter series, so it was both a relief and and exciting to see the game so lovingly crafted. I can’t wait to get my hands on this one. I think it will be a blast for gamers of all skill levels! The game will be retailing for $49.95. you can find more details on the Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle site on USAopoly.