One of the joys of the holiday season around our house is new board games, because we’re geeky like that. We spent the entire first night of Hanukkah (after the candles and an obligatory dreidel round) playing Clue: Harry Potter Edition. Now, I’m usually a skeptic when it comes to movie-tie-in versions of games. Just because a character is slapped on the box doesn’t necessarily make the game any better.
In this case, however, it works. Hogwarts provides a perfect replacement setting for the original mansion of Clue—whereas, say, Harry Potter Monopoly might seem forced. The game plays mostly like the classic version, except that instead of Col. Mustard doing it in the drawing room with a lead pipe, Draco Malfoy does it in the Owlery with an Impedimenta curse. Or Bellatrix Lestrange does it in the Divination Classroom with a Sleeping Draught. You get the idea.
There are also a few changes to gameplay that will keep things fresh for fans of the original. Four turning wheels under the gameboard change the hidden passages that lead from room to room, and cause some doorways to close unless a player has an Alohomora spell card. The wheels and a special die may also reveal the Dark Mark, which can cause players to lose House Points unless they have cards showing the proper allies or counter-curses. Lose all your House Points and you’re out of the game. All told, it’s a more dynamic game than the earlier one.
What games are you and your family playing this season?
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