For my son, the first Harry Potter novel was a “gateway book.” He picked it up because he had seen parts of the movie, heard about the characters and was very curious about that magical world. Once he had read The Sorcerer’s Stone, he realized he could read books that were more than 150 pages and didn’t have pictures on every other page. He went on to finish all seven books (many times over) and now jumps at the chance to read another series, like the Percy Jackson books. He’s become a whole new type of reader, and it’s all thanks to Harry.
I’m sure there are lots of other families that had the same experience, and plenty who aren’t there yet. For all of you, keep an eye out for Harry Potter board games! For those of us who already live in the world of wizardry, it’s a fun way to indulge a passion and pick up a few skills along the way. For kids who haven’t started reading Harry Potter yet, playing the board games can be a great way to pique their interest and maybe get them excited to crack open the books.
The Harry Potter phenomenon is huge, of course, and there are more than 30 games on BoardGameGeek listed under a search for “Harry Potter.” The games range from trivia games (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Trivia Game) to games with moving plastic parts (Harry Potter Whomping Willow Game) to plenty of familiar games with a Harry theme (Harry Potter Uno). You can certainly find a game to suit any taste!
This week, my son was given Harry Potter Clue for his birthday, and the game immediately jumped to #1 favorite. What’s great about this new version of Clue is that there are 4 cardboard discs beneath the game board which are turned to open or close doorways and secret passages.
Harry Potter Clue works much like basic Clue. There are suspect, object and room cards, and one of each is set aside in a tiny envelope. One of the students has vanished, and players have to determine whether it was Draco Malfoy with the Vanishing Cabinet in the Potions Classroom or Beatrix Lestrange with the Mandrake in the Owlery.
Players roll three dice to move between the rooms – two normal dice and one that has special labels. When the picture of a Hogwarts house comes up (Griffindor, Ravenclaw, etc.), the player turns the corresponding cardboard circle one notch. This can open or close doors to the rooms, change the availability of secret passages, and possibly reveal the Dark Mark.
This special version of Clue comes with a deck of Dark Mark cards, which reveal something bad that happens, who it happens to, and how many House Points it costs. If a player doesn’t have the matching Help card to escape, they lose some of their House Points. Running out of House Points means you’re out of the game – and if all players run out, the Dark forces win!
The addition of the turning game board parts and the Dark Mark cards makes this game of Clue significantly different from the original, but familiar enough to play easily. It was a fast favorite in our house!
My son loves Harry Potter Clue because he loves Harry Potter. Have you played board games based on books? I’d love to hear about your favorites!
In between board games – and novels – PisecoMom homeschools her two kids over at Mind Games.
pictures courtesy of BoardGameGeek