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BOARD GAMES: Harry Potter-style

By Jackie Burrell
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009 at 5:56 am in Family Entertainment.

Clue: Harry Potter Expelliarmus! Sure, we all played Clue growing up, and many of us have played some of the other versions put out by Parker Brothers, so we were pretty thrilled when this Harry Potter version landed in our laps ($24.99, for 3-5 players, ages 9 and up). Draco Malfoy in the potions room with the sleeping draught? Secret passages and pathways that change? There was so much promise in this premise, but alas Parker Brothers not only gilded the lily, they dipped it in chocolate, rolled it in nonpareils and then bronzed it too. The game includes not only the standard Clue cards, but a slew of help, disaster, ally and house point cards that get players so confused, they lose focus. The game became instantly better when we threw away the nonessential components and got back to basics – Dolores Umbridge in the Infirmary with the lead pipe, er, Impedimenta Curse.

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