While out shopping Saturday afternoon, my wife and I decided to stop in at our local Goodwill store.
The store didn’t have what we were looking for (a foot stool) so we ended up looking at the board games. After a few minutes, I found myself buying Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Mystery at Hogwarts.
I absolutely love buying board games at Goodwill, even though I do occasionally get one that is missing a piece (in this case, the game didn’t have any player tokens). This is because I can get the game for a low price and don’t feel like I wasted my money if I don’t like it.
I paid $1.99 for the Harry Potter Mystery at Hogwarts board game, for example. And, even at that low of a price, I still feel like I wasted my money.
I pretty much purchased this game to play with my oldest daughter. She isn’t really into Harry Potter yet but she knows the character. And, from the description, it looked like the game would be easy enough for her to play.
When I read the description and saw the point of the game, to determine which character cast an illegal spell, what spell it was and where, I thought it sounded a bit familiar. Then, as I began setting it up, it occurred to me why. This game had the same basic rules as the game Clue. You place a room card, character card and spell card into an envelope and then, using a variety of theories, determine which cards are in the envelope.
Had I known this, I wouldn’t have purchased this game. I love Clue. But, I already have a couple different versions of it. Why would I want another one? So, I felt a bit mislead by this game because it could have easily said something like “Harry Potter Clue” to let me know exactly what I was buying.
Now to be fair, the game does tweak the rules a bit to make itself seem a bit different from the more popular board game. For example, in this version, you have a ghost character that also moves and interferes with the players. And, you can draw action cards that send you to a specific room or open a secret passage.
However, these additional rules were a weak effort at best. The ghost rule was confusing and somewhat annoying and we ended up abandoning it after a couple turns. As for the cards, it really wasn’t that hard to get from one room to the next without them; especially since I figured out what cards were in the envelope after only about four turns.
I’m glad I only paid about $2 for this game because I would have hated to spend a fortune buying it brand new. If you have Clue in your house, don’t bother buying this game.