Harry Potter Quidditch Card Game
Reviewed by Nigel
Edited by Suzanne Campbell for The Guild Companion
The game consists of three
different card decks along with a page of rules. This game is designed for
two players and for ages 8 and up (although younger children who are avid
games players could probably cope with it).
The first two decks of cards
represent two of the houses at Hogwarts: Gryffindor and Slytherin backed
with red and green respectively. Each
of these two sets of cards is identical in composition and contains 40
cards. They are broken down into chasers, keepers, beaters, and seekers
and each of these cards has a point value with different ranges for each
of the different types of cards. There
are also different types of Jinx, Spell, and Foul cards, plus the Referee
The final deck of cards is the
Pitch deck, which is labeled as such and backed in blue. The 28 cards in
this deck consist of four different types: quaffles, bludgers, the Golden
Snitch, and Free Goal cards.
If none of this makes much sense
then chances are you've never read the Harry Potter books and chances
are the card game won't make much sense either. The rulebook could do
with some examples, but if you persevere and play a few games you soon get
the hang of it (if you're really stuck go read the books).
To begin a round, a Pitch Card (a
ball) is laid down on the table between the players then each player then
lays down a card representing a Quidditch team member, and those two team
members win or lose the ball by virtue of the points they're worth.
The closest example I can think of
is to the card game "War"; if you've played this, then you know that
when both players lay down equal cards then they keep laying down more
cards until a final card wins - which wins or loses the whole pile in
play. Now, imagine that the Quidditch game's "ball in play" is
that pile, and the team member cards laid down by the players are the
final round cards – and the winner takes the ball card, but there is
considerably more skill to this game than War (which is just a matter of
turning over cards).
There are 3 types of ball –
Quaffles, which are worth 10 points, Bludgers which are worth no points
but if you win one you temporarily reduce your opponent's hand size, and
the Golden Snitch, which is worth 150 points and can only be won by a
Seeker. Once the Golden Snitch is won the game is over.
The Jinx/Spell/Foul cards have
different effects, like retrieving a discarded card or reducing the value
of an opposing team player. The
referee cards allow you to cancel the effects of a foul.
When to play these cards is a big part of the game.
This card game is true to the game
described in the Harry Potter books – which means it is great for fans
of the book – however just like the 'real' game the winner is highly
likely to be the player who wins the Golden Snitch. This makes the game
seem very luck dependant and the card play largely irrelevant until the
Golden Snitch enters play.
If you can stand altering the game
I suggest reducing the value of the Golden Snitch by half (to 75 points);
that still makes it the most important ball (card) in the game but gives
the player who doesn't manage to capture it a chance of winning.
Another suggestion to make the
game a little more strategic is to allow the players to choose their
starting hand of 5 cards (then shuffle the decks).
In summary a great game for fans
of the books – and likely to be a hit with younger players. Older
players may want to tinker with the scoring to make the game more
Editor's note: The Harry
Potter Quidditch Card Game is published by Mattel, and costs
$6.99 US/£6.99 UK