The Harry Potter franchise is beloved by countless people who grew up reading the books and watching the movies as they followed Harry Potter from "The boy who lived" through the final battle with Lord Voldemort. Or, in my case, started the series with The Goblet of Fire because I wanted to know what all the fuss was about and didn't bother to do any research. Nearly 20 years after the first novel, and 15 years after the first film, the Harry Potter franchise is still going strong and remains a mainstay in popular culture thanks to its beloved cast of characters and whimsical world.
USAopoly debuted the Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle deckbuilding game at Gen Con 2016, based directly on the film franchise, and attendees could not get enough of the game. From signup lists to play a demo of the game, to copies selling out as quickly as people could get their hands on it, the game seemed to be an instant hit.
We spent some time talking to Luke Byers, the Creative Director for USAopoly about the game and, while we didn't get to play the game at Gen Con ourselves, Luke gave us some insight into why the game is so appealing to so many different people.
USAopoly is hoping that players get immersed into the Harry Potter world from the moment they open the box, which cleverly looks like a suitcase. Because the theme has such a broad appeal, the game is designed to ease players into learning how the mechanics work while implementing more complexity and difficulty as players play through all of the various stories in the game. Interestingly, and cleverly, the game expands along with the story, so as players play through the stories of the movies, they will add cards that pertain directly to the events and characters in those story arcs, so the game will follow the same path as the fiction, and, just like in the movies, players will get to see the characters in the story grow and change, and the challenges they face become deadlier and more difficult to overcome.
I really enjoy deckbuilding games, and I'm excited to get a chance to dive in to Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle. Even though my first experience was with the middle of the story, I have grown to love the franchise, both books and movies, and, after seeing what USAopoly has put into the game and how it grows with the characters over time, I can see why so many people were so excited about the game.