Five Perfect Games for the Harry Potter Fan on Your List
I’ll be honest. A few years ago, I wasn’t the biggest Harry Potter fan. I’d read the first four books of the series and had seen most of the movies, but I wouldn’t have been able to tell you what Alohomora meant. Nor did I know what house I was in. “Maybe Ravenclaw, I think?”
Then I started playing Harry Potter board games. Like, a LOT of Harry Potter board games. Because they require little actual knowledge of the series, games like Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle and Fantastic Beasts Perilous Pursuit offer great gameplay enriched by fascinating Wizarding World content.
Fast forward a couple years, and now I can tell you the ingredients for Polyjuice Potion and name the spell you need from Expulso to Reducto. Oh, and I’m a proud Hufflepuff.
If you’ve got a Potter lover in your life, or if you want to be on their level, here are my five games that are Potter-centric enough for the fans, but which feature elegant mechanics and strategy to turn the Muggles in your life into bigger fans.
Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle
2-4 Players – Ages 11+
The game that started it all for me, Hogwarts Battle is a game of cards and cooperation. Choose your character from among Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Neville–then face off against a series of villains before they can take over locations, from the Hogwarts Great Hall to Godric’s Hollow.
This one is a “deckbuilding” game, meaning you’ll start the game with a crummy little 10-card deck, but in the course of playing the game, you’ll add more cards until you have a powerful deck of spells (like Petrificus Totalus), items (like Quidditch Gear), and allies (like Sirius Black).
Seven Games in One
What makes this game truly incredible? The game box contains seven smaller boxes within, one for each book in the series. When you beat Game One, you get to open the Game Two box and add in a bunch of cards, villains and new content from the Chamber of Secrets. You’ll even find older (and better) versions of your characters to add some extra excitement to the later games. When you reach Game Seven, you’ll be ready for a final standoff with He Who Shall Not Be Named!
2 or more players – Ages 11+
Did I say these games required little knowledge about the series? All right. I’m immediately backtracking. This game is for Potter pros.
Best played with one or more fellow fans, Codenames Harry Potter will challenge you and your fellow players to provide clues that connect the words and pictures displayed.
Perhaps you need to link Argus Filch, Hagrid, and Crookshanks. You could say, “Pets, 3” to tell your fellow players to make three guesses related to Pets. But whoops–Hedwig is also on the board, and if she gets chosen, you all lose immediately, so it’s back to the drawing board.
With 200 double-sided word/image cards and 100 key cards, this game will present a new challenge every time you play!
2-6 Players – Ages 11+
Want to add a touch of mischief to your Potter game night? Munchkin Harry Potter is a race to become a powerful wizard. Equip yourself for the challenges ahead, defeat villains and monsters, and slow your fellow Hogwarts students’ progress.
You’ll select your house, collect helpful items like remembralls and brooms, then go looking for a fight! If you need help, you can ask your fellow students, but be careful what you ask for–your comrades have their best interests in mind, and their help may come at a cost.
Ah, you’ve come across a troll I see. I’d be happy to lend my wand if you’re willing to part with that sorting hat…
2-4 Players – Ages 8+
Yet another cooperative game–after all, Harry Potter is all about finding friends you can count on and overcoming the forces of darkness at their side, right?–Perilous Pursuit puts you in the shoes of Newt, Tina, Jacob and Queenie as they attempt to return all the beasts to Newt’s suitcase before the non-magical community takes notice.
In this clever dice game, you’ll roll and collect sets of dice to use various actions: shield one another, draw cards and get the beasts back in the suitcase! Each character has different strengths that you’ll want to plan your turns around, as well as your rolls.
2+ Players – Ages 8+
Ahem… Obviously, this game will also require a touch of knowledge about the series. Focusing specifically on the content in the eight Harry Potter films, the Ultimate Edition features 1800 questions that will allow fans to prove their Potter knowledge time and again. The trivia categories include: Slytherin House; Death Eaters and the Dark Arts; Objects & Artifacts; Animals, Magical Creatures, and Magical Beings; Witches, Wizards, Ghosts & Muggles; Hogwarts, Other Locations & Transportation; and Spells, Potions & Other Magic.
A few sample questions:
Professor Moody turns Draco Malfoy into which type of animal?
According to Griphook, who put the fake Sword of Gryffindor inside Bellatrix Lestrange’s vault?
Which spell does Hermione use to unchain the Gringotts Dragon: a) Relashio b) Alohomora c) Bombarda?