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Hogwarts at Christmas!
Lego 3862 Games: Harry Potter Hogwarts
Member Name: kaitlinsmummy
Lego 3862 Games: Harry Potter Hogwarts
Advantages: A double layered game, having to build it first before play.
Disadvantages: Took a lot of instructions and manual reading before gameplay.
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
Summary: A different, but fun board/build game.
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