Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Defence Against the Dark Arts is a competitive deck-building game for two players, inspired by Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle. In this fast-paced game, players take turns playing cards, taking actions and acquiring new cards to build a more powerful deck as their defensive skills improve. Stun your opponent three times to win!
With the noticeable rise in Dark Arts activity, Headmaster Albus Dumbledore has authorized practical Defence Against the Dark Arts lessons to ensure that students are prepared to defend themselves. Under the supervision of Hogwart’s teachers, students will cast Spells and Hexes, use Items, and gain Allies to stun their opponents and protect themselves from evil forces.
THIS IS A STAND-ALONE GAME. While inspired by Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle, none of the content in this game is designed to be incorporated into that game.
Ok, so I am actually more of a Hufflepufff.. or maybe a Gryfinpuff (huffledor?) but in this game you do not need to know anything about the wonderful world of Harry Potter to have a great time. Of course being a super fan like I am does make gameplay all that much more magical.
The scene in chamber of secrets where Harry and Draco battle it out in a dueling battle is very much where this game got its idea from, right down to the long play board that looks like the stage they were on during the lesson with professor Lockhart and Snape.
The deck building element is fun, and I still find new cards each time I play.
The game is not always short depending on how well you and your dueling opponent are building their deck, but it is fun to keep stunning them backwards, which reminds me of when harry and Draco both get thrown through the air backwards in their battle.
This is a fun two player game for Harry Potter fans. Personally I feel like it can drag on a bit - the first round always seems to take forever, though the subsequent rounds go faster. As you build up your deck and get more powerful you can wipe out your opponent in one go if you get a lucky draw (which is very satisfying). Game time is very variable - it could be over in 45 minutes, but could easily go on for two hours. My daughter doesn't seem to think this is a problem, she will happily play through to the last death throes. You don't need to be a particular Harry Potter fan to play the game but it probably increases the enjoyment. There may be some skill involved (in the choice of new cards to add to your deck) but it does seem to be mostly luck, which makes it a good game to play with kids without being too one-sided (otherwise my daughter would probably win every time :)
After playing through Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle and loving it we decided to give this 2 player version a go. It has similar elements so it was easy to pick up and play and it was nice to add the competitive element! We find ourselves wanted to play again to ‘win’ next time or prove ourselves defending our title!
Two recommendations right off the bat:
If you like the big Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle, then you'll definitely love this one. Get it.
If you like deckbuilders and Harry Potter, then you'll probably like this game. Get it. And the big one too!
If you're not a Harry Potter fan at all, then you probably won't get quite as much from it...
A classic style 'buy from a refilling pool' deckbuilder, set as a 2-player battle. You start with a basic deck, and buy more powerful cards as you go (spells, items, allies), used to attack your opponent and defend against their attacks. The way you build up a 'team' of allies with ongoing effects is really good.
Nice components. As with any deckbuilder, recommend sleeving the cards (box fits this fine), as they get handled and shuffled LOTS. Love the metal stun markers, and the cardboard standees are nice enough. Card art is good, with decent movie photos of characters and nicely drawn spell and item cards.
Really good replayability, as each game is really different depending on the fall of the cards. This can be a bit random, but equally there is enough time for ebb and flow, resulting in plenty of games going the full distance.