Have you ever read or watched the Harry Potter series? If you have, you’re probably familiar with the moving staircase. If you don’t have a clue what Harry Potter is about, you can still play Harry Potter Labyrinth (Ravensburger).
The game, which features the characters as they appeared in the movie "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," takes about five minutes to set up. You start with a game board with only a few pieces, but you get more in the box. You place them in random places and try to connect the corridors. Keep in mind that there are some tiny icons representing the four houses of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry that only players belonging to each can go through. They’re like secret passages. How cool! There are hidden doors, too.
The characters in the game have special skills. For example, the Ravenclaws can go through walls if there’s a bookcase, a Slytherin can go through walls if there is a spider or two, Hufflepuffs can go through walls with the lamps, and Gryffindors can go through walls with The Golden Snitch on them.
On your first turn, you flip over one of the six cards you get, but don't put it down and don’t let anyone see your card. You have to move your character as far as you can toward the picture that you have on your card while staying in the corridors. If you reach the image that you see on your card, place it face up on the table.
When you play, you should keep in mind that the character you have to get to might be blocked off. But remember, you still have an extra tile to use after your turn, so use it wisely and to your advantage. Speaking of the extra tile, there are three arrows on each side of the board. After every turn, you take the extra tile and slide it in at one of those arrows. This game is mainly about strategy, so you have to think about your move.
This may sound complicated, but you should get the hang of it quickly. Try it out and play with your friends. We rate it 5 smiles, it’s that good!
Amy Gammon and Karen Gessner’s sixth-grade class, Greenport Elementary School