Harry Potter Diagon Alley Board Game
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118 of 118 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2002
This game is a great game for kids of all ages. The object of the game is to get your school supplies for Hogwarts before any of your other opponents do. The game has easy-to-understand instructions with a WONDERFUL board design. The game also has wizard money: Sickles, Knuts, and Galleons, which comes in the form of plastic money (very well done).
As for the gameplay, each player gets their own plastic wizard's hat to use on the board and a small trunk to hold your items. The goal of the game is to go from shop to shop getting your school supplies like wands, owls, books, cauldrons, potion supplies and robes. You can get from each store by walking or using Floo powder; but if you use Floo Powder, you have a chance you will end up in the wrong store. Of course, you will need money to buy your supplies, so you have to make stops at Gringotts. You also have to be careful not to go into Knockturn Alley.
What Harry Potter game would be complete without using spells. Your spells will allow you to knock other player's off course, send them to Knockturn Alley, lock stores so your opponents can't get their supplies, or just steal a school supply out of their trunks (where you keep your supplies). The first player to get all their school supplies and get back to The Leaky Cauldron first is the winner.
We found this game very enjoyable and really easy to learn, even for little kids. It has GREAT REPLAY value, we haven't gotten bored yet. I think it's one of the best Harry Potter board games on the market.
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118 of 119 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2002
I bought this game to play with some of my cousins (who are big Harry Potter fans like myself). It takes a little while to read the directions and figure out how everything works, but once you get started playing it all makes sense.

We loved the wizard's money! It's plastic so it's pretty durable, and it adds so much to the fun of the game being able to withdraw money from Gringott's and spend it on school supplies. The plastic moving pieces are wizard's hats with stars.
The spell cards are great. We enjoyed being able to take things out of each other's trunks and using Floo powder to travel from shop to shop. You can also lock shops to keep others from getting their supplies or getting into The Leaky Cauldron to end the game. There are also defense cards to keep others from taking your supplies or using other spells against you. You just have to remember to use them!
The game board has The Leaky Cauldron, the apothecary shop, Flourish & Blotts, Madame Malkin's Wizard's Robes, Eyelops Owl Emporium, the cauldron shop, Olivander's Wands, and Gringott's Bank. You start at The Leaky Caudron and travel around Daigon Alley to each of the shops to collect your supplies and withdraw money from Gringott's. You can be sent into Knockturn Alley which runs behind Diagon Alley. There are a few ways to get back, but sometimes it's smart to be Knockturn Alley, especially when someone is trying to get your supplies. The first one to buy all of their supplies and return to The Leaky Cauldron is the winner. Don't worry, it's not as easy as it sounds. There is a lot of strategy involved.
This is a great game and really fun to play for children, teens, and adults. Smaller children would most likely have trouble following the main rules, so the creators thoughtfully included rules for an easier version of the game. It won't be quite as interesting for older players, but younger players should enjoy it. One of my cousins and myself played the easier version just to see what it was like; it took us about five minutes. We much prefered the main rules.
If you have ever wondered what it would be like to visit Diagon Alley and shop for school supplies for Hogwarts, this is the game for you! It's the closest thing us poor Muggles will ever get to the real thing!
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2002
My husband and I bought this game for our 7 year old daughter. I don't know who likes it more - us or her! It takes a couple of games before you can master some game strategy but it's great fun to deal with wizard money and to be able to cast spells on your opponets.
Any Harry Potter fan will find this is one of the best games/toys to fulfill fantasies of being at Hogwarts.
Great Game
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2002
A little complicated so read the rules before you tell the kids
you're going to play :) There's no really deep strategy, but
it's not trivial or boring - so it's a fun game where everybody
has a chance to win. Good Harry Potter feel to it.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2003
Mattel has proven again that they know how to make a game. I was a little bit hesitant about buying this game after buying one of the Harry Potter Games made by Universal Games. This is MUCH better. The rules are clear and easy to understand and the play pieces are much much better. There are only 2 drawbacks that I can think of: (1) the trunks each player gets is just a card with a little picture of the supplies you need to win (would of been great if there was something similiar to keeping your pieces as in Trivial Pursuit)and (2) the stores are not named. Other than that, loads of fun and a really great way to introduce children to strategy games. The players have to understand when to spend their money, when to block a move and when to protect themselves.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2003
I purchased this game for my 9-year old for Christmas. It's provided many hours of entertainment for us as a family. It's complicated enough to be challenging for adults, and easy enough (once you figure out the rules) to be fun for the kids. The money pieces are really clever.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2002
This was such an amazingly fun game...I got it for my best friend for christmas, and at around 10:00 p.m. me, her, my brother and my brother's friends (not so much Harry Potter fans)sat around a table and played this game for about 2 hours. It was soo much fun!! By the end of the night (we had to stop the game) my brother and his friend loved the game and had a new respect for Harry Potter! It was competitive, and the instructions were well done, not too confusing to read. So exciting! Buy it right now!
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 2010
We like this game. I am not suggesting anyone should refrain from buying it, BUT the board itself is odd. The picture is very two dimensional (but attempts to be three), and complicated, making it hard to figure out where to go. The colors are my favorites (blues and greens predominantly) but, there are so many, I get a headache like I do when I first see all the lights in Vegas. Ha! There are a lot of little pieces and the game was missing one. The game does require some strategy, which keeps it from being boring for adults, but once you figure out the best one, the game will lose a lot of appeal. Keep in mind, in many ways it is as good as classics like Life, Monopoly, etc..., which also lose a lot in the difficulty department after a while, but it isn't as challenging as a number of new games we have. This has been the year for games at our house and we have been actively rating all of them. Our favorite, which we play with our 9 year old son, is "Ticket To Ride." That one will remain challenging forever because you have to change strategies every time you play and the dynamic changes dramatically with different numbers of players.

I am giving Harry Potter only two stars for "educational value" because even though you pay for items along the way, you have to use two exact coins, so you never make change or learn any math. Monopoly was great for that. All this said, this Harry Potter game is one of our top 3 right now out of about 10 we play regularly because you can jump around the board (like you can in Clue) and you have to keep an eye on your opponents while you try to buy all the things you need for school as quickly as possible..
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2003
Fairly easy game to learn/play. Some of the rules involving Knockturn Alley can be a bit confusing when first played. Fun game but can be upsetting to some children when a piece gets taken from them (there are optional rules for younger players who might have a problem with this). Harry Potter fans will enjoy this simple, fast-paced game complete with (plastic) Gold Galleons, Silver Sickles, and Bronze Knuts to spend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2013
Firstly, I would not pay the almost $200 that the occasional "new condition" version of this game is being offered for. I went through a third-party seller and paid about $25 for a "very good" condition with all the pieces. As good as new - even the box was good.

That said, it is a great game, and my almost eight-year-old loves it. It works best for 3 or more players, but with a few "tweaks", two people can enjoy it too.

When you first read the rules, it is hard to wrap your head around them: just skim the basics and start to play. We're still occasionally making group decisions about how to "interpret" a rule that leaves just enough leeway for an interpretation.

We have created a few house rules to cut down on mindless turns around the board (not always necessary, but sometimes the die just work that way):
- We treat The Leaky Cauldron as a "release a token" location. (Since not all the items (books, potions, owls, etc.) are put out, it lets people get another piece in play. This has really livened things up, especially if the tokens are face-down, so you can't choose exactly which one you need. We don't pay for them, but otherwise it works like a shop).
- If there are only two players, deal 6 spell cards each to start (this means that people are not afraid to use their spell cards, and it makes things much more interesting and reduces the chances of the first mover's chance of an (almost) automatic win).
- if you choose to forefeit your cash when passing Gringott's, you can introduce the token (books, owls, potions, etc.) of your choice into play.

Please Note: to understand some of these rules, you must know that the "official rules" say to place one less of each token (except wands) than players into play. This is probably to encourage people to use their spell cards to swipe tokens from each other and to increase the race to get to the pieces. Sometimes, though, the necessary "swipe" spell cards don't show up and then you can spend a long time not getting anywhere. As always, this always depends on the shuffle and the die.

This game is reasonably quick with three or fewer players, and it is always interesting enough to look forward to. That said, it is best with kids - the more cerebral board gamers may have to look elsewhere or get very creative with the rules. I can see us using it with kids up until 14-15. It helps if they love Harry Potter.
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