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Game Review

Harry Potter
Collectible Card Game

Ages 9 and up
Game © 2001 Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
game box

2 Players30+ minutes


Student magicians from Hogwarts make use of their lessons and battle each other using creatures and spells.


Players each start with a 60 card deck. They choose which character that they will play and place that character card in front of them. Players draw 7 cards from their deck.

A player's turn follows these steps:

  1. Draw a card from the library deck.

  2. Creatures that you control do damage to your opponent.

  3. Make two actions (put a lesson into play, cast a spell, summon a creature, or draw an extra card)

Casting spells and summoning creatures may only be done if a player has the correct combination of lessons in play. Playing a lesson does not require anything special except an action.

Individual characters have a special ability that is written on their card. Players may use their character's abilities whenever possible.

Summoned creatures have both Health and Strength. They do damage equal to their strength, and they are discarded if they take damage that matches their health. Creatures do not fight each other, they only attack the other player.

When a player takes damage, they must discard one card from their library deck for each point of damage. The game ends when a player runs out of cards in his/her library deck.

game mat in use

sample cards

Winning Conditions:

  • Your opponent has no more cards in his library deck.

famous Harry Potter character

Our Opinion:

Thumbs down!Harry has books, movies and games about his life... is this one worthwhile? It is only for the hard core Harry Potter fan.

We found this game to be very similar to Magic and Pokémon but not identical. This game is essentially a Magic-lite: It feels like a simplified form of the game, and has much less substance.

This particular starter kit was well designed. All of the basic rules were on the special mat, so learning was quick and easy. The problem that we have is in how the damage is done to the players. In this game, when a player takes damage, cards are removed from the library deck and placed in the discard deck. This effect really hurts a player who tries to design a good deck, because at random your cards are disposed of without you ever getting the chance to play them. (Yes, this can happen in Magic, too -- but that style of play doesn't typically kill a player, it merely annoys them.) Forcing damage to discard a player's deck is like telling the player "you didn't really want to play those cards anyway."

Children who love Harry Potter will probably enjoy playing this game and collecting the cards -- but for the general fantasy fan or run-of-the-mill game player, it's a dull game. It feels like a set of fairly basic rules that glue a game like Magic together but the glue lacks the sparkle that pulls a player's imagination into the game. It was over simplified and is dull because of it.

Harry Potter isn't a great game, but it is a collector's item for the fans of Harry. Let the fans collect it and go play something else.

Where to buy:

Any local toy, hobby or game store -- Our starter copy cost about $10.

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