USAopoly’s Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle is a must-have for every fan of the teenage wizard. The game takes players through all seven film adaptations of the book series. They feature the learning and implementation of spells, encounters with villains, and a final boss battle with He Who Must Not Be Named.
This is a cooperative deck-building game for two to four players (best with four), and includes spells, items, and companions. Players assume the roles of one of four heroes: Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, or Neville Longbottom, in order to defeat the villains of the game/series. Playing cooperatively with the other heroes, you win if you defeat all the villains before they gain control of every location. If the villains succeed in gaining control, GAME OVER. The gameplay depends on which game you’re playing, as there is one for every film. It could last for 30 minutes or upwards of 90; each game gets harder and harder as you move on.
The game board is really sturdy and holds up well to a lot of gameplay. There are also player boards with locations, so each player can focus and use their character to the best of their ability. Also included are character cards, reference cards, tokens, health tokens, and heavy metal Death Eater tokens.
Artwork and imagery are heavily represented in the cards for this game. The style comes straight from the movies. The Hogwarts logo is on all the spell, item, and ally cards, along with an illustration or photo of the given card’s title. One thing I really like is the spell card. Each one’s illustration includes a symbol—or so you’d think. It’s actually the direction and shape in which a witch or wizard would move their wand to cast the spell. This is a great attention to detail that adds a certain high quality to the game.
Deckbuilding has a certain nature to it that is uniform across all games, and this is no exception. The only real difference is the cooperative element. This is a game that is easy to pick up on the game play, especially if you’ve played deckbuilding games before. It isn’t the easiest to learn before playing, but once the gameplay starts, it’s nearly impossible to stop. By Game 3, the intensity thickens. Characters turn into character abilities that turn into character proficiencies, and the boxes only get better from there. Game 7 is the best of all!
There aren’t many down sides except for not being able to remove cards from your deck. The later games take a lot longer than the earlier ones, too. Other than these, I don’t have many qualms with Hogwarts Battle at all.
This is a game that serves as a great introduction to deckbuilding and cooperative tabletop games overall. The down sides to this game will probably go unnoticed by new gamers, so it definitely has that going for it. The gameplay moves at different speeds per game, but is overall a great way to spend a good chunk of time. For any Harry Potter fan and board gamer, this is crucial game to have in your possession.
To see more about the game, click here and watch an unboxing with Big Rick!