It was our very first gameplay shortly after opening the box. My four-year-old daughter was bouncing off the walls with excitement for her first turn to be the spellcaster. Once she had the wand in her hand, that exuberance made the shapes she was trying to draw in the air bounce all over the place. We couldn’t tell head from tails as she laughed and kept trying to reproduce the spells with the wand. We all ended up laughing together without guessing a single spell she cast.
Play as a group of alternating spellcasters trying to learn and cast spells with Harry Potter’s famous 11-inch wand with a Pheonix feather core (note: do I really need to call out that this isn’t Harry Potter’s real wand? I feel like I do.). Those not casting a spell try to be the first to guess which spell is being cast by touching the corresponding spell card and yelling out the name of the spell.
Does “Wingardium leviosa” sound familiar? What about “Expecto patronum?” How about “Alohomora?” What others can you name? They’re probably in this game with the exact way to move your wand in order to cast the spell. This game has expanded far outside a normal board game’s reach because our kids now run around casting spells at each other with their fingers. If you were to judge a game by its lasting effects on its players, I don’t know that you could top Harry Potter Spellcasters!
We are reading through the Harry Potter series for the first time as an entire family right now, and it has been so much fun. Spellcasters has become an impactful supplement to the books and movies because they now know the spells by heart! While playing the game, they’ll yell out something like, “Hermione just used that spell when she stunned so-and-so on the way to the [some place]!” or “Oooo! Malfoy tried to use that one on Harry when they were battling!” It’s been a surprisingly fun bonus playing this game together.
You’ll love how simple and easy this is for anyone to learn. We brought this out to cousins’ house recently and within two minutes, they were all lined up ready to play. You can slightly adjust the difficulty level (by adding a third color of spell tiles) which adds to the fun for older kids. If you have a mix of older and younger children playing, you can draw the spell once just for the little kids then again for the bigger kids after the littles have had a few extra seconds’ head start.
Tips & Tricks
- Take it slow! Many kids will jump up, draw the card, and whip the wand around…resulting in a bunch of blank stares. Take your time to let the little ones have a fair shot.
- Connect the game with the books! Especially if you are Harry Potter fans, take the time to try and figure out when each spell was used, by whom, and for what. It really adds to this game’s fun factor.
Scoring & Wrap-up
- Super simple learning and gameplay
- Perfectly aligned supplement to the Harry Potter series
- Solid, actual-size wand for spell-casting (although I didn’t measure to make sure it was actually 11 inches!)
- Clever gameplay structure allows for engagement by all players during every turn
- Some might say the gameplay is too simplistic, but I very much disagree. I feel that the simplicity enhances the game and lets the theme and gameplay carry the fun.
- You may need to ask older kids to give younger kids a 5-second head start as they can get overly excited and crowd out younger kids trying to get in on the action.
Whether you’re a die-hard Harry Potter fan, a new-to-the-scene fan, or enjoy Harry Potter with your kids or grandchildren, Harry Potter Spellcasters is a great supplement to the books and movies. I’ve been surprised at how much I enjoy playing it with our kids and would say it is well worth the investment for yourself or Harry Potter fans close to you!
Disclaimer: I received this game for free in exchange for my review, but believe me, I post authentic reviews every time and will be brazenly blunt if needs be.