Harry Potter Clue
by Carolina Pla
(Boardgame Beast HQ)
Harry Potter Clue
Board game manufacturer:
Number of players:
Harry Potter Clue is a perfect combination for those who loved the original Clue, and for the army of millions JK Rowling has amassed with her Harry Potter series.
The game and gameplay
A few extra game elements, like spinning boards, a Hogwarts dice and a Dark Deck adds that extra bit of tension and complexity that most will welcome. Turn the lights down, get some candles and this becomes a perfect ghoulish game for Halloween!
Each player is given the traditional sheet from the notepad, with a list of all suspects, weapons/spells and rooms.
A Help Card is given to each player at the start, more can be collected throughout the game.
House Point tokens are given to each player, and whenever a card from the Dark Deck appears, one or more players is susceptible to losing HPs. When a player loses all of their House Point tokens, they are out of the game.
At the start of the game, the six Student cards are shuffled and one removed. The card is turned face up; the beloved Harry Potter character that is revealed has gone missing, and it is everyone's task to figure out which evil Death Eater is trying to kill him/her.
The Mystery Cards hold the suspects, weapons/spells and locations of the evil deed. As in the traditional Clue, these are separated into three piles, shuffled and one from each pile relegated to the Envelope. The rest of the cards are then reshuffled and distributed evenly among the players. Differing from the traditional version, any leftover cards are placed in Dumbledore's office. These can be viewed one at a time by simply entering the office upon a player's turn.
Each player looks at the Mystery cards they hold, then checks them off on the sheet. It is time to start the game. Game play starts with the highest dice roll, or the person whose birthday it is next. Play continues clockwise.
At the start of a turn, the player rolls two regular dice, and the special Hogwarts die. The Hogwarts die may show one of four house crests; Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Slytherin, and Ravenclaw, or a Help Card symbol, or the Dark Mark symbol. If it shows one of the House crests, the player moves the corner of the rotating board one notch clockwise.
If the Dark Mark appears, either on the die or on the board, a card from the Dark Deck is taken and read aloud. Each card describes what dark event is happening, who is affected, how many house points could be lost, and what Help cards can protect the player who owns it.
Once this is done, the player can then move their game piece the number of spaces they rolled on the two regular dice, or less if they choose. Or they can use the secret passageways to move directly into another room. Sometimes doorways are blocked by the rotating boards under the main board and this adds another obstacle to player movement around the school.
Finally, it is time to make a suggestion, take a Help card, or end your turn if you can do neither. If you make a suggestion, it must be from the room you're currently in, but the suspect and weapon/spell can be of your choosing.
At this point, the game follows the traditional Clue board game. You mark off any card revealed to you, or those that nobody has, and eventually make an accusation. If you are wrong, you can no longer play, except to answer questions about the cards you hold.
Pros and cons
There is quite a bit of set-up involved in Harry Potter Clue, which may prove daunting for those who like more streamlined games. For some - too many pieces and cards that take some time to differentiate. If you've played once, though, it's all pretty straightforward.
The night we played, we had a diverse player selection. My mom, who is from the puritanical "don't fix what ain't broke" league, preferred the traditional, simpler version of the game.
My step dad revealed he must have been raised by wolves (or coyotes; he's from Texas) because he's NEVER played Clue in any form. He found the game a little confusing, but by the end he was getting the hang of it, if not perfecting his Latin spell pronunciation.
My husband (not to name-drop, but Ash the Boardgame Beast-Man himself) graced us with his presence. Not particularly a Harry Potter fan, he quite enjoyed the game, but found the extras mostly just that - extras that weren't necessary.
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Read our Halloween Game Ideas
I am the perfect embodiment of a Harry Potter fan AND a Clue fan. Simply put, I loved Harry Potter Clue. It was nice to reminisce with all the characters and spells and such, and I thought the extras added more layers to the game.
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