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I bought this game for my daughter or her 8th birthday almost a year ago and we've had lots of fun playing it since! I chose it as my daughter is a big fan of Harry Potter and also of Lego, we already had the Shave a Sheep Lego game which we enjoyed. SETTING UP THE GAME: Before you can play you have to build the board (Hogwarts Castle). The instructions to build the board are simple and easy to follow and my daughter was very able to do so on her own/instruct me what to do. Between us it took about an hour. The board can be placed whole into the box so you aren't required to build it from scratch from every time. Although as part of the fun of the Lego games is that you get something to build as well as a game to play, my daughter does take it apart and re-build it every now and again. Once it is built the board is stable and does not break apart when you are playing with it. The dice is built by clicking the tile faces onto a cube. PLAYING THE GAME: Lego recommends the game is for players aged 8+, 2-4 players and that the game will take 20-40 minutes to play. The aim of the game is move around the corridors of Hogwarts Castle to collect 4 homework items from 4 different classroom and then return to your common room to win the game. The four common rooms are in each corner of the board and each player gets to choose one (youngest gets first choice). The oldest player starts the game by rolling the dice. Each classroom has 1/2 entry points and to move into the rooms and between the staircases the brown corridors must meet up. You only ever move your character once on each turn, however you can also move are the staircases and classrooms! If you roll 1-3 this dictates how many times you get to move the staircases and classrooms around. You do this by picking up a staircase (not one with a character on, and not a classroom) and moving the other staircases and/or classrooms in a straiight line into the space. If you roll 2 or 3 you can then move the stairs/classrooms into the new empty space you've created, when you've finished moving you replace the staircase you initially picked up in the empty space. The other faces on the dice are the rotate icons which allow you to rotate any staircase; and the Marauder's Map which allows you to move to adjacent classroom/staircase even if there isn't a corridor connecting it. When you enter a classroom you pick the homework item whose colour matches your house colour and return it the special space in your common room. Once you have all 4 items you make your way back to your common room and whoever gets back first is the winner! SOUND COMPLICATED? There are a few rules to follow and you definitely need to play with the rule book handy the first couple of times. But its a really enjoyable game. Being able to move the corridors around requires careful thinking, do you want to move classrooms in an easier position for you to get to, or are you aiming to make it more difficult for your oponents? You need to try and think ahead to what your next move might be. I think the game definitely promotes logical and tactical forward thinking and helps develop these skills in children. But then of course things can change very quickly depending on what your opponents roll/move, which is what makes it fun. My daughter is 8 and has beat me at this game (and I'm not a parent who lets their child win for the sake of it), so its not too hard for children get to grips with. VARIATIONS As with all Lego games there are several suggested variations and you are encouraged to come up with your own. You can make the game shorter by not returning to your common room at the end; or my daughter and I have played where you have to get to the entrance instead. As well as the coloured Lego characters you move around the board, there are also mini characters of Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, Draco Malfoy, Professor Dumbledore and Mrs Norris the cat. Some of the suggested game variations include these characters for exmaple you can replace one of the faces on the dice with a plain red tile and when this is rolled you can move Dumbledore from his spot on the entrance staircase onto a adjacent staircase or classroom. Then if your character moves into a staircase or character containing Dumbledore at any point he can assist you by showing you a secret passageway! To include Mrs Norris put the brown tile onto the dice and when it rolled you can move Mrs Norris onto any empty staircase, blocking that staircase. you have to come up with own ways to include the others characters. The ability to make changes in the game enable you to make quite a different way of playing, its a good way of encouraging creative thinking. OVERALL: I think this is an excellent game, its enjoyable and challenging for adults and children. Well worth the money and gives hours of fun. I would (and have) definitely recommend this game to friends and family.
I bought this game for my 9 year old sister, who both loves Lego and Harry Potter. She's played the Wii version of this game, and as soon as she found out that their was a board game including Lego and Harry Potter, she begged my parents to get it for her. However, it was a pretty reasonable price from Argos, so I decided to buy it for her. You can't play this game by yourself, and you can play with up to four people. The reccomended game time is about 20 - 40 time, and I would say this is wrong as it took my family about an hour and a half to play. The age rating of 8 plus is pretty fair, as I think it would be confusing for anyone younger than that age. The main aim of the game is to get four things Harry Potter and his friends need to get to school with - which are pets, lanterns, potions and books. You can play as four different colours which are red, blue, green and yellow or you can choose to play as the actual Lego-ified Harry Potter characters. You move the characters around the board that you make yourself, by throwing the dice and once you get to the places that contain these items you pick them up and wait there until your next turn. The first person to get all of the pieces and back to their dormitory, wins the game. The big problem of the game, is that it can be quite difficult to set up. If you want to just start and play a board game, I would not reccomend it, as it can take a long time to set up - I found my mum and sister still setting it up after an hour. My sister wanted to play this game with some of her friends, but she had to keep asking me for help in setting it up. The first time you play it, it can also be very confusing and you will have to use the instruction booklet the whole time you first play (which is quite confusing to!) However, the pieces of the game are well made and stay together throughout the game, which has been my main problem with some of these make the board yourself games, where the pieces just fall off all the time and ruin gameplay. Yet they can be quite fiddly to set up with and annoying at times.The dice is pretty large and easy to see, although the instructions it gives can be difficult as it is not just a 1-6 labelled dice. I would reccomend this game to anyone who is willing to waste about an hour and a half of set up time, and then another hour of playing the game. When you have this time, it can be quite fun as the game does include a lot to do. So if you have paitence and love Harry Potter/Lego, invest in this game as it is great to play with family or friends.
My son is 9 years old and is a massive Lego fan, as well as a massive Harry Potter fan. He saves his money and treats himself when I am being tight. He has almost all Lego you can possibly have for his age group and has now moved on to the next age group but loves it. He is also capable of completing it, however this turned out to be a boring task in building this game. Lego is well known for having simple instructions, which this does have, however it took an hour for the both of us to build, by this point I had had enough, and I most certainly did not want to then sit and play the game, which we could not understand. The concept is great, and the fun is normally in the building of Lego, but the fact it took an hour then could not play on his own or with friends due to the complexity of the game is certainly frustrating for all. My son also has the patience of a saint and will sit for hours playing Lego and yet he began to complain. Our family love Lego, but we will not be buying a Lego game again.
My daughter, 8, is a dedicated Harry Potter fan, so when she received this on Christmas morning from Santa she was over the moon. The novelty is in the fact that the game has to be built from lego pieces before play. This is a good twist from an average board game, but highly frustrating if you just want to get on with it! The board isn't too hard to construct though and consists of the base, sliding corridor peices, walls and house towers and four classrooms. The instructions are clear and step by step making them easy to follow. There are a lot of pieces and smaller fiddly bits but it took me and her about an hour to get it set up. Although she was quite happy to enthusiastically direct and correct me whilst building, by the time it was constructed, i'd had enough! But not wanting to disappoint her, we ploughed on to the rules. I think the rules are quite complicated at first, and i don't believe they can be understood by a child without an adult to read them first and re explain them simply. Their is also alternative versions which can be added to make the game more interesting but personally i felt this was too much, so we stuck to the simpler version. The board is made up of four classrooms and sliding corridors. There are the Hogwarts four 'houses', each with a character from that house. The dice faces are also built up during the construction stage and can be changed depending on which style of game you are playing. The basic objective of the game is to get your charactor to every classroom in the game to 'collect their homework' before returning back to their common room and declaring themselves the winner. Players have to travel along the ever changing corridors in order to reach the classrooms. The opposing players have to try and hinder each other by sliding the corridors and classrooms in order to prevent them collecting their homework, and there fore claiming the title of winner themselves. This can be very frustrating when almost at a classroom door, you find your character shoved along to the other side again. Aaargh! The amount of slides given to each player is determined by the dice which has 1, 2, or 3 slides on its faces. The dice also has a maurader's map feature which allows players to jump to the next tile regardless if the corridor faces that way or not. The other face features a 'rotate' symbol which, when thrown, a player may pick up a peice of corridor and turn it to face the other way. The games rules become more complicated when trying to remember things like which peices can/can't be rotated and which ones can be moved with characters. This causes a minor annoyance when having to continuously refer back to the instructions in order to avoid arguments. I suppose if played enough times, it would be possible to get used to these does and don'ts but for the time being we have to play with the instruction book permanantly propped open. One alternative version to the game is to replace the Marauders map tile on the dice with a brown one. This represents Mrs Norris, Filtch's cat. The small cat character piece can be used to block corridors meaning that the player has to roll and move the cat before they can pass through that way. The game has a lot of playability and despite being a bit fluffy with the rules, my daughter has not got sick of this game. It cost £19.99 from argos and certainly seems worth the money. It is of the high quality you would expect from Lego and a nice variation to a usual board game. Once played the game can be stored in the box without having to take it all to peices (thank goodness!) which is really handy. As fun as it was building, i don't think even the most dedicated Lego fan would have the patience to rebuild it all again every time they played. I would recommend this game for harry potter fans as it is cleverly designed and inkeeping with the story, however i don't think we would by another Lego game just for it's playability. The game states it is for ages 8+ but my opinion is slightly older children might have a better chance of understanding it. Also on ciao under the usename of supersweep.
For Christmas my daughter actually asked for very little, with her PSP being her main present and her briefly mentioning that she wouldn't mind getting the new Lego Hogwarts game, of course I would get my baby girl what she wants! The main draw of this particular set was the fact that you not only got to construct a model sized Hogwarts school, which is perfect for my daughter as she has just discovered Lego (at the tender age of 9!) and she is also a self confessed Harry Potter fan, so any merchandise is welcomed in her world, but also that the set is then used (once constructed fully) as a board game, so this really is like getting twice the fun for half the price! The first part of the set is of course construction, though this has never been my forte, with my daughter surprisingly being fantastic at these sort of sets, she opened the set Christmas afternoon, and by tea time had it almost fully set up, my clever girl! The instruction booklet included in the set was extremely easy to follow, with it being a picture booklet, with any repetitions of construction being simply shown with a "x3" sign at the side of the fully constructed piece, my daughter flew through these parts with much ease. There are of course slightly more difficult parts to the set, these being mostly the classroom set ups, all being set up on there own individual bases, this soon became apparent why after starting to play the game. There are around five different bags of pieces within the set, which I was disappointed didn't really seem to stick together, instead of the base being kept in one bag for ease of construction, the pieces seemed to be spread equally among the bags, though a disclaimer on behalf of Lego itself shows the child the best thing to do is to empty said bags into the box the set comes in, thus reducing the risk of losing any of the smaller pieces, though the pieces are always going to spend more time on the floor than on the game board...well, they will if your children are like my two! Once finished it really is quite an impressive looking model, with there being the four main "houses" featured within the afore mentioned films and books, with the appropriate colours too, I have to be honest I am a "Harry" fan, so I always try and get myself on the Gryffindor camp, meaning I get a red cap on my character to differentiate between them, as the pieces to move around the board are small grey Lego men. Another thing I should mention is the strength of the board itself, as with how the game is played you would hope the board would be strong enough to hold together during game play, and though there are a few external pieces like the flags depicting the colour of the common room "houses", quite often flicking across the table, the rest of the board has held it's own beautifully, so no complaints on that point. Age wise on the construction at least, this is aimed at 8+, this is in part due to how difficult and fiddly some parts are, but also due to the size of the pieces, these really could prove to be a chocking hazard for younger children, my son is nearly 6 and I still catch him having a quick chew or lick of things, so a younger child wouldn't stand a chance, nothing more infuriating as having to wait a few days for the self made dice to come through a toddlers system before game play can commence! (Joke!). Now to the game play, this where it starts getting quite difficult and confusing! After reading the second set of instructions (written in many different languages, such is the world wide appeal of this set!), I really had to study and play at the same time to try and work out what the hell was happening! The premise of the game is to travel around the board, via the corridors, and visiting different classrooms to collect different pieces of homework (four in total), then taking them back to the respective common rooms, thus making you the winner.....simple? Not when you throw a bit of self made magic into the mix! There are full instructions on what should be done when you throw either a 1,2 or 3, which are the only numbers on the self made dice, which instruct you move the appropriate spaces, though not diagonally, but you can choose not to move at all, yes this confused me a little too! Alongside the number of moves, the number also refers to how many times you can make the magical corridors shift. The whole board is built with a Lego square surround, with a flat nodule free base, meaning that the singular square bases (around 15cm x 15cm), holding either corridor pieces or classrooms can be simply moved around, by taking one piece out, sliding either one or whole rows of squares around the board, then replacing the initially removed one back again, this of course changes the whole dynamic of the game in one fail swoop, I spent more time trying to get out of a corner my darling daughter had got me trapped into, then actually playing the game, she thought this was highly amusing so I took great pleasure in kicking her butt and beating her.....yes, I know I shouldn't be so competitive, but after 25 minutes of her laughing at me I couldn't help myself! Alongside the numbers on the dice there are also random pictures depicting either "rotate" a square, which could (and did!) effectively trap your piece into a corner, allowing your opponents to win without any interference from you. There is also a "marauders map" picture, which when thrown can take you from you isolated island and place you within any classroom (as long as you are adjacent to it!), this is a life saving one, if the walkways are all trapping you from the rest of the board, this can be effectively be your "get out of jail" free card. As you may have gathered this is a very confusing, though not impossible game to play and complete, though it does take a few plays for the rules to sink in without having to keep referring to the booklet. After a couple of games, and me thinking I had pretty much mastered the game I was dismayed to find that on the next page of the booklet was a "play your own way" page, pretty much encouraging the children players to make it up as they went along, which in fairness my cheating children do anyway, so to me, actually learning the rules was a futile exercise.......bitter, never! In all honesty though, this really is a lovely game, that is a double levelled game, perfect for someone like my daughter who has the concentration level of a gnat, wanting something that challenges her from all levels, she has completely loved being able to tell people that not only does she own the game, but also made it too! Price wise this was purchased for £19.99 from www.amazon.co.uk, with there being a plethora of other sets available from the Harry Potter range of merchandise, ranging from this price range through to £100.00! For more information visit - www.lego.com Thanks for reading xx