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34 of 35 found the following review helpful:
One of the better trading card games out there Jan 15, 2002
Harry Potter ? Trading card game ? Sure - the greatest story craze of 2001 and the biggest gaming fad of the 90s were a match that just asked to be made, with a lot of money to the lucky licensee. I was a bit skeptical when I found out that licensee was Wizards of the Coast - usually Decipher does the better job of bringing a licence to life in game cards - but then, it would be the only HP trading card game around. And as I love Harry and TCGs, I tried it.
Starter deck play is awfully simple, but then the starter deck is just for learning. Where the game starts to shine is constructed play, using both starters and boosters. Make a deck focused on magical creatures, charms, potions, transfiguration or Quidditch and start battling. Your goal is to reduce your opponent's deck to nothing. Each time your spells, creatures or items (yup, items. Like a Bludger during a Quidditch match) do damage, your opponent discards as many cards from their deck as you do damage points. Of course decks are also depleted by drawing cards, so you need to find the balance between drawing too few (and not getting the spells you need) and drawing too many (and running out of cards). Healing can get cards back into your deck, too, which is also a nice way around the 60-card deck limit and the "4 of each kind" limit to the cards. By recycling your key cards you do get a lot more uses than just four. Yet the game is not infinite as healing cards themselves cannot be cycled back and thus you'll ultimately run out sooner or later.
The game has a fast and furious pace with each turn consisting of a draw and then two actions which can each be either another draw or playing a card. There's a few broken combos (try 51 damage a turn with Hagrid + several large creatures + Steelclaws x2 or opponent lockdown with Fouled! + Nimbus 2000), but unlike in other TCGs they don't distract from the experience as most of the key cards are readily available common and uncommon cards and thus every player has the chance at a devastating blow.
So don't stick with the starter. The starter game itself is a learning experience, it's the full game that counts. And in the hands of your 10-16-year-olds, this game implicitly and subtly teaches a lot about resource management, balancing of strategies and even basic probabilities. It's sure not cheap compared to a basic board game, but one...box of boosters provides a lot of fun for two - compared to the Pokemon craze, that's still a bargain. Plus, it's the much better game mechanic. And you get to be Harry. Or Snape. Or Hermione. Or even Madam Hooch.
Oh, durability? It's plain playing cards, sure not durable in the hands of kids below 8 or so. And if you want to keep the look and collectible value of the cards, you need to use sleeves during play... But the cards are of typical Wizards of the Coast quality, and that's among the finest you can get in the TCG market. So it'll last you a long time both in playing fun and materials. And, thanks to the TCG concept, losing a single gamepiece (card) won't destroy your entire game (even though losing that Harry Potter holofoil will still hurt)
35 of 37 found the following review helpful:
Harry Potter Trading Card Game Oct 25, 2001
The card game is pretty fun, it contains two 41-card decks, and is enough for 2 people/kids to start playing right away.
Like all "trading card games" the starter deck contains only enough cards to play the basic game. The most fun comes when you acquire other cards to add variety and power to your card deck.
Acquiring other cards is through purchasing Booster Packs, which can start to become expensive, 11 cards in 1 pack for a few dollars !
This means that to build a great deck, it will cost some money, but a normal deck will still be fun to play games with. That said, the HP card game is very similar to Magic, Pokemon, baseball trading cards, etc.
Gamewise, the game is true to the novels, and players will have fun connecting the cards to the various books they have read. It sort of brings the books to life almost !
The rules are simple, i suppose there is basic educational value, e.g. following rules, reading rules, and reading the cards. Kids will probably love it, and they pick up things so fast anyway.
Just be warned about having to start buying additional packs in a while =)
12 of 12 found the following review helpful:
It's in the cards Oct 25, 2001
Wizards of the Coast have managed to do a wonderful job with this collectable card game. The starter set is easy enough to play that all you really need is be able to read. The expansions make the game for challenging for older players.
The game play of the begining level is quick and fun.
14 of 15 found the following review helpful:
Fun For All! Oct 26, 2001
By Michael Huefner
Trading card games that I've had before were very hard to understand and play. The Harry Potter version has made the game very easy and fun. The instructions found on the matt and on the cards are easy to understand and follow. For everyone that likes Trading cards and loves Harry Potter this game is an excellent choice.
9 of 9 found the following review helpful:
Harry Pottter Trading Card Game is Fun Oct 21, 2001
The game is easy to set up and to play. The rules are on the board and in a booklet, they are very easy to follow. The game comes with cards already in the pack so games can start as soon as it is opened. Game play can take aound 10 minutes to play at the beginning stage.
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