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Harry Potter Games

harry potter games

Harry Potter. A name that has already joined the likes of Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, Frodo Baggins and a whole host of other memorable protagonists, as one of the most important characters in literary history.

With over 600 million copies sold worldwide, the book series is the best-selling of ALL TIME, and with success like that comes merch.

Just about any item you can think of is available with a Harry Potter logo on it, including scented candles, toilet decals, casserole dishes and even a vibrating Nimbus 2000 broom.

I wish I was making this up.

Thankfully there were some spin-off items that were a bit more practical, including a wide range of video and board games.

With Hogwarts Legacy releasing to critical acclaim recently, what better time to take a look at some of the Harry Potter themed board games that are on the market too.

However, much like ridding the world of Voldemort's Horcruxes, it was too big of a task to tackle alone! So, I'm joined by Potter-heads Andy, Rachael, Dan and Lauren, to cast our half-moon bespectacled eyes over both re-imaginings of existing popular games, and a couple of completely new Wizarding World offerings.

Kicking things off with a new spin on an absolute classic, Rachael takes a look at Harry Potter Scrabble!

Wizarding Words

Don’t be confounded by this game of Scrabble! If you know your flobberworms from your boggarts you’re going to be in for a real treat. This game is just like any other game of Scrabble, except it has a spellbinding twist. The sorting hat determines your house, and therefore the colour of your tile holder. Depending on your house you will gain a special power.

Those sneaky Slytherins always get to go first whilst those super smart Ravenclaws get an extra tile to play at the start. Because Gryffindor are always getting extra help, they begin with a Hogwarts card and poor Hufflepuff get a participation award meaning if they lose, instead of giving the points on their unused tiles to the winner they get to keep them instead.

Whilst playing Harry Potter Scrabble you score in the same way as normal Scrabble, however, if you use a word from the Harry Potter glossary you gain extra points. As you play letter tiles you may also place them over a H space giving you a Harry Potter card. These allow you to cast all sorts of spells. If you don’t have a protego to protect you, you could find yourself stupefied whilst your opponent also uses a reparo to take their turn straight away.

Of course, you could use an expelliarmus or an accio to help, and if you’re really struggling you may require a transfiguration. But with all this Harry Pottering don’t forget the most powerful spell of all… the triple word score.

If you’re the type of Scrabble fan to enjoy practicing parseltongue by using a serpentsortia, or enjoying a game of quidditch at the weekend with your eye on the golden snitch then this is definitely the game for you. So, whether you’re a wizard, witch, muggle, mudblood or squib don’t be a troll. Pick up this game today and put your word building skills to the test.

However, if you prefer path building to word building, our next game has got you covered, all you have to do is join Lauren and solemnly swear you are up to no good...

Marauding Through The Labyrinth

Whether you’re a Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, or a Slytherin, the Harry Potter version of Labyrinth will be right up your Diagon Alley.

To win, you must find the shortest route through, you guessed it, the labyrinth. While the other versions of the game see you hunting for treasures and other targets, in the Harry Potter version, you must find Harry, Ron, and Hermione and friends (and enemies!) before your opponents do. You do this by landing on a tile that matches your deck’s top treasure card, all the way through until you have run out of cards.

Sounds simple enough, right? Well, much like the staircases at Hogwarts, the paths move with every turn. The tiles you shuffle and place down on the board form the maze. There are winding paths, and there are dead ends preventing you from finding your target—until the next turn, when you use the perpetually remaining tile to shift a row across and create a new path to follow.

While there’s not much different gameplaywise to regular Labyrinth, if you’re a Potterhead, it’s much more fun to have to find Snape, Umbridge or Sirius than it is to find arbitrary objects. The board is also artistically designed to look like the Marauder’s Map, and your starting points are the four Hogwarts Houses.

It’s a tactical, fun, and sometimes frustrating game that requires you to think creatively to carve a path to your destination and block your opponents from reaching their own. For an extra layer of fun, you can pretend you’re in the Triwizard Tournament, and you need to find these familiar faces hiding within the maze to become champion.

Finding the magic in your own playthrough is part of the beauty of Harry Potter-themed games, so play Harry Potter Labyrinth to take full advantage of what the Wizarding World has to offer.

But once you've finished rescuing Hogwarts residents from an ever-changing maze, perhaps you'd like to join Jay and the Order of the Phoenix, hunting down secret agents in Codenames: Harry Potter!

Cracking The Potter Code

While it might not be immediately obvious, Codenames: Harry Potter is actually based on the 'Duet' version of the game, rather than the original that pits two teams against each other.

Two players (or teams) work together to identify 'secret agent' cards in a set number of turns, while avoiding the 'Death Eater' cards that spell instant defeat.

While the normal version of Codenames features a selection of random words, the Harry Potter version displays a mixture of pictures and words that all relate in some way to the Wizarding World.

Players can opt to use the picture side of the cards, the words side of the cards, or a mixture of the two if they really want a challenge. The word cards feature a range of spells, characters, locations and Potter-themed items, while the pictures are taken directly from the movies.

A basic knowledge of the franchise is a must, as players may be able to muddle (or should that be muggle!) through using normal descriptions, but to be a true Codenames: HP master clues relating to things like houses, spells and characters are a must.

What's more, the game also comes with 'Missions' for the more seasoned players, changing up the win conditions to make games more challenging.

If you fancy yourself as a bit of a Ministry Auror, Codenames: Harry Potter is the one for you!

Perhaps you're the kind of witch or wizard who wants to try something completely new though. How about competing for The House Cup with Dan?

10 Points For Gryffindor

Harry Potter House Cup Competition is no doubt an easier worker placement game but, a very cool one to introduce new gamers to.

The gameplay revolves around some very simple worker placement mechanics, put one of your 3 characters onto the board and claim magic for going to the professors office, knowledge for going to the library and increase your characters skills for going to the classrooms. There are also some other things in general that you get from these locations such as lessons and challenges. The lessons can be played when you place a character if you meet the requisite skill amounts and the challenges are done at the end of each round to score you points.

There are some nice combos that can be played and some cool magical decisions to make. Do you improve your skills in Potions, Spells or Defense Against the Dark Arts, or wait and try to get some point scoring cards before the other players pinch the ones you want?

The components in the game are a mixed bag; the score counting is done in plastic vials with excellent little gems (each gem placed for scoring 10 points) which gives an amazing visual representation of who is winning. But then the card quality it a little poor and the cardboard character tokens are hard to tell which character is which unless you are a die-hard fan. No problem for ardent Potter fans but, could everyone differentiate between Crabbe and Goyle? I bet you still get mixed up!

There is a nice easy flow to the gameplay and it is definitely a game on the lighter side. An easy teach and a fun experience. My wife who does not enjoy Harry Potter has asked to play this multiple times and she even introduced some of our other friends too it. Of course, if you love Harry Potter, it is an easy win and a nice way to sneak some HP into the lives of people around you who may not enjoy the IP as much but, will enjoy this. It's a shame there is no spell casting mechanic, that would really make this game epic (fingers crossed for a future expansion).

If you want a simple and light worker placement game then I cannot recommend this highly enough. If you're looking for something a little bit heavier, perhaps you'd prefer something like Battle for Hogwarts.

If it's not a game you're familiar with, here's Andy to cast 'Lumos' and cast some light on the Potter-based Deck Builder.

The Big Battle

Before we really understood what hobby board gaming was, there were two games for us: Pandemic and Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle. This game was one of the first steps we took towards gaming, our first deckbuilder, and is still one we treasure and play with a fair amount of regularity.

Part of the charm (no pun intended) of Hogwarts Battle is how is introduces new cards, abilities, and mechanisms to you as you play. Lifting the lid for the first time, you’re greeted with seven different boxes, representing the heroes’ journey through each of the books. As you progress, the villains become trickier to defeat and have more punishing powers. But you’re also rewarded with the opportunity to claim stronger cards and use new spells and abilities at the same time.

The premise of the game is pretty straightforward – work with the other fledgling Hogwarts students to defeat villains using the magic and trickery that you learn at Hogwarts. Each play starts with a deck of 10 cards, five of which are identical spells across all players, and five which are unique to each hero. Each character sheet has an asymmetric power that upgrades at a couple of points as you open new boxes of content. This leans into the theme really well, as your character starts by only knowing the Alohomora spell at the beginning, but learns to cast their Patronus Charm, enlists allies and acquires magical items.

Turns have a simple enough structure, with the villains striking first each time before you have a chance to fight back. You uncover a Dark Arts card which impacts one or more of the heroes in the game, before you resolve the abilities of any villains in play. At the start you’re fighting them one at a time, but as you unlock more content, you have to contend with multiple malevolent miscreants at once. If you let the villains gain too much of an upper hand, you end up on the back foot, revealing more Dark Arts cards each turn, making it harder (but not impossible) to emerge victorious.

You fight back by playing your hand of five cards, possibly earning hearts to regenerate your character’s health, Ministry of Magic tokens to spend on new cards in the shop, or all-important lightning bolts to attack the villains, remove them from play and gain a one-off bonus.

As you move through each of the boxes, you can feel it getting trickier, but it’s balanced well enough that neither side feels too overpowered. There’s a huge sense of progression, and new allies and equipment that mirror the books become available as you go, but beware, as increasingly sinister scoundrels aren’t far behind.

I played this through once at two players, but then started over as my daughter read the books, getting to experience it all over again. It’s one of our most played games, and was a real gateway into deckbuilding, which is a firm favourite for us. But what’s that lurking in the shadows…?


Hogwarts Battle also began our foray into the world of expansions too, starting with The Monster Box of Monsters which sees creatures like the Basilisk join Voldemort and his cronies as they bid to take over the school. In a similar way to the base game, The Monster Box of Monsters also has boxed content, spread over four increasing difficulties. Crucially, there’s another fiendish element working against you now, in the form of Horcruxes you have to find and destroy.

This feels immediately more challenging, with each hero taking hits from Dark Arts cards, the Horcrux cards and the villains. In fact, after playing once and getting swiftly annihilated, it went back on the shelf for a good while before we decided to play again.

The difficulty can be managed – you’re likely fairly experienced players by the time you’ve opened this box. But tackling the Horcruxes feels more reliant on luck than good cooperative play, and regardless of how well you do against the villains, you can’t defeat He Who Must Not Be Named without completing all the tasks on the Horcrux cards. These usually rely on dice rolls, which you can’t do without acquiring allies who grant you that power. And there’s no guarantee they’re going to appear any time soon.

If you want a step up in difficulty, this is for you. If you want something that feels a little friendlier, you might want to visit Professors Snape and Flitwick…

Potent Potions

Charms and Potions is the second expansion for Hogwarts Battle and increases the player count to five with the introduction of Ginny Weasley. The Monster Book of Monsters allows you to play as Luna Lovegood, but at the expense of one of the original four characters.

Charms and Potions adds some neat additional asymmetry, allowing each player to have a particular charm or potion attached to their player board. What’s great about these is that the benefit of that additional bit of magic also varies depending on the health of your character, with typically stronger bonuses being available the more health your character has.

It introduces some difference in how you play, as taking one extra heart benefit, or one more point of damage can have a big impact on your power for that round, potentially leading to you sharing the good and bad out differently amongst your fellow players.

This definitely feels like a kinder expansion, but still ramps up as you complete particular scenarios, but you feel like there’s more on your side, and there’s fewer elements of luck as well.

Scared, Potter?

If all that isn’t enough, you can dig into Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle – Defence Against the Dark Arts – a two player only duelling game, using the same art and themes as players go head-to-head to battle for supremacy.

Fundamentally the style is welcoming and familiar – you’re still deckbuilding, but the villains are gone as you stare down a rival student. You start by choosing your own Hogwarts House, which will potentially aid you later in the game as you collect allies from the same house into your deck.

You deal damage in the same way, but each lightning bolt pushes your opponent further down the duel track. If you manage to send them all the way back, your opponent is stunned and you score a point. Winning three duels means you also win the game.

You can slow opponents down by making them add hex cards into their deck, limiting the power they’ll have in any one turn, though you do have opportunities to banish these from your hand with certain other card abilities.

This is a popular one in our household and experienced players can get through a battle in around 30 minutes. If you’re a fan of duelling games and are looking for a shorter two player experience this is definitely worth a look, but know that while the cards have the same feeling and abilities as you’ll find in Hogwarts Battle and its expansions, this is very much a standalone experience.

Finite Incantatem

So, there you have it!

Five very different games all themed around The Boy Who Lived and the Wizarding World.

Whether you're a fan of classic wordplay, world building, deck building, clue giving or worker placement, there are plenty of options to sprinkle a bit of that Harry Potter magic over your next game night! Just make sure you don't open a cage full of Cornish Pixies, they can be devilishly tricky little blighters.