Harry Potter: The Wizarding Challenge, review: who will win the House Cup?

Harry Potter: The Wizarding Challenge, review: who will win the House Cup?

Harry Potter

We recently told you about Harry Potter: Master of Spells, a board game that through some exams makes you one of the best wizards ever. Following this line of challenges and skill learning comes, again thanks to Asmodee Italia , Harry Potter: The Wizarding Challenge , a party game set in the last days of the school year in the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The eight final exams will decree the best wizards and the best witches of the school and each exam is essential to help your house win the Cup of Houses. Will your Home be up to the challenge? Will you be able to win the coveted House Cup?

Harry Potter: The Wizarding Challenge unboxing and materials

Harry Potter: The Wizarding Challenge features a very compact sales package for be easily transported and a construction quality that makes it resistant to shocks and safe against accidental opening. The weight of almost a kilogram (862 grams to be exact) proves that there are quite a few gaming components inside. Once the box is opened, in fact, we find: 1 board, 1 regulation, 1 hourglass, 8 pawns, 88 tokens, 43 Magical World cards, 50 Spells/Defense against the Dark Arts cards, 30 History of Magic cards, 25 Potion cards, 10 Divination cards and 16 House Cup cards.

The materials used are all of good quality: the game board and the counters are made of cardboard with the former having a rubberized protection to protect it from continuous bending, the plastic bases are well carved, while the cards unfortunately do not have particular canvases therefore we recommend the use of protective bags to avoid damaging them during shuffling. The prints are minimal and elegant, as well as being easy to understand for young and old and the characters feature photos of the famous actors who impersonated them. The hourglass is the classic one present in many board games, but embellished with a yellow powder. Finally, the nice idea of ​​inserting a small black fabric bag, instead of the classic transparent plastic bags, to keep the various markers inside and we also appreciated the division of the cardboard organizer especially with the compartments that avoid making navigate” the cards throughout the box.

Harry Potter: The Wizarding Challenge, eight exams and many obstacles to win the House Cup

Harry Potter: The Wizarding Challenge is a a title that can be played by 2 to 8 players over the age of 7 with an average duration of between 20 and 45 minutes. The game setup is immediate and consists only in choosing a pawn of your favorite House and placing it on the starting square. Then the 6 decks of cards are shuffled separately and placed around the game board. Each player will then have to take a sheet of paper and a pen to carry out some exams and finally a participant will be selected who will be appointed Prefect and will have to write down the points of each player during the game at the end of each exam.

During each game round, players will have to try to pass an exam within the indicated time. If the exam is passed, the pawn is moved forward by as many boxes as indicated by the exam itself, otherwise the pawn is moved backwards by the same number of boxes. In the event that the movement should end on one of the four Common Hall spaces, then a House Cup card is drawn which can have positive or negative effects to be resolved immediately or to be resolved during the game. There are a total of 8 exams and we summarize them briefly:

Care of Magical Creatures exam: draw a Magical World card with the red side up and in 30 seconds you will have to guess the subject illustrated on the card by drawing it on a piece of paper paper. Transfiguration exam: draw a Magical World card with the yellow side and in 30 seconds you will have to guess the object or character shown on the card by mimicking it. Arithmancy Exam : Draw a random Wizarding World card and show only the name by hiding the number at the bottom of the card. Then in 30 seconds or 1 minute (depending on the value of the card) the player will have to guess the numerical value of the word shown to you (for example DRAGON is worth 45 because D is the fourth letter of the alphabet, R the eighteenth and etc). Spells Exam : Draw a Spells/Defense Against the Dark Arts card and in 30 seconds you will have to memorize the formula, the type, the definition and the movement. Then in another 30 seconds you will have to recite the formula, name the type of spell, give the definition and draw or mime the movement. Defense Against the Dark Arts Exam: Choose another player and challenge him to a duel. Then you both draw a Spells/Defense Against the Dark Arts card and in 30 seconds memorize the formula and movement of the spell. After 30 seconds, give the cards to the other players who will be the examiners. Then stand back to back, count to three by taking three steps forward, turn around and cast the spell. The fastest and most accurate will be the winner. History of Magic exam : draw a History of Magic card and in 30 seconds you will have to guess as many questions among the 6 present. In case of an incorrect answer, the round ends immediately. Divination exam : place the 10 Divination cards face down in front of you and in 30 seconds you will have to turn over one card at a time. If a white crystal ball appears, reveal another card, if a black crystal ball appears you have failed the exam, if a Deathly Hallow appears you have passed the exam. Potions exam: in 30 seconds you will have to arrange all the Ingredient counters in front of you as you prefer, after which you draw a Potion card and you will have two turns of the hourglass to be able to find all the ingredients.

The game ends when one of the players reaches the Great Hall in the center of the board. The player who has obtained the most House Cup points is the winner of the game.

Exams of variable difficulty, but not always well balanced

Harry Potter: Wizarding Challenge is a dynamic party game with fairly simple game mechanics to learn that somehow recalls the Game of the Goose in a magical key and where instead of throwing dice you have to solve challenges. The possibility of being played by up to 8 players allows you to organize game sessions even with fairly large groups of friends or relatives, also because the more you are, the more fun you have and the better the various game mechanics blend together. We venture to say that perhaps it would have been better to put 3 as the minimum player limit. Some challenges, in fact, require an impartial third person and the regulation itself explicitly says "be honest with each other": it is obvious that this is not always possible and could create discussions and quarrels.

In any case, the eight exams present offer a good dose of reasoning and the difficulty is mixed, passing from very trivial tests to highly complex challenges. If in Care of Magical Creatures and Transfiguration, in fact, you need to be good at drawing or mimicking the character or object present in the drawn card, in Spells and Defense Against the Dark Arts you need to have a good memory to remember the spell drawn in each its detail, with the duel phase also requiring skill and a certain precision. With the Potions exam, however, you need to train your visual memory to be able to remember the position of the right ingredients present in the card drawn among the 88 counters scattered on the table, considering that you barely have 30 seconds to position them as you like.

The exams that we found a bit divisive or otherwise unbalanced are Divination, Arithmancy and History of Magic. The first is the only one of the eight exams that does not require any initial preparation because it focuses solely on the player's luck factor. Try, however, to imagine the sense of frustration in having to turn over 10 cards and hope to find the only card with the Deathly Hallow symbol. There is no strategy that can be applied, however in case of failure you will go back from one to three boxes depending on what is indicated on the black crystal ball card, while in case of passing the exam you will go forward 11 boxes, an exaggeration! Arithmancy, on the other hand, is an exam with an increasing climax of disproportionate difficulty: words like dog or phoenix with an acceptable value of 23 or 42 could occur, but also words like Ring of Orvoloson Gaunt or Invisibility Cloak with a respective value of 280 and 260 points. You understand very well how, in just one minute and without the use of a calculator, it is practically impossible to guess the exact value.

Finally, History of Magic is an exam that only benefits connoisseurs of all round of the Harry Potter books and movies because some questions don't have multiple answers and some are impossible to know unless you were also attentive to the details while watching or reading. Obviously, a Harry Potter game is only suitable for fans, but with the possibility of letting children over the age of 7 play, things become decidedly more complex in addition to the fact that even the older ones do not necessarily remember which either the type of dragon that Cedric Diggory faces in the first trial of the Triwizard Tournament (Swedish Grunohorn) or how many Harry Potters are spawned from the Polyjuice potion in the escape from Privet Drive (six). Among other things, as soon as a wrong answer is given, the round ends, so it is a decidedly punitive exam. On the other hand, the rule that penalizes the player who reads the questions deliberately slowly is interesting: he loses 4 House Cup points and the pawn will move 4 squares back, while the questioned player will advance 3 squares and will get 3 House Cup points.


In conclusion Harry Potter: Wizarding Challenge is a very addictive game that requires a good deal of attention and commitment. At the beginning, its simplicity could mislead you into imagining that you are in front of a trivial and uninvolving title, then once you enter the magical world of Hogwarts, you immediately realize that it is not all as easy as it seems, indeed sometimes it is even far too complex. This last point could give the right stimuli for the more experienced players accustomed to this kind of games, especially if they are lovers of the world of Harry Potter, but it could be quite frustrating if not limiting for newbies and for those who the Wizarding World know little or haven't followed him for years. Finally, we advise you to play it with as many people as possible, because in two players almost all the magic is lost!

Powered by Blogger.