SNAP Review – Harry Potter: Death Eaters Rising

Harry Potter: Death Eaters Rising

Can you defeat the Dark Lord and his Death Eaters?

We’ll tell you all about Harry Potter: Death Eaters Rising, a cooperative dice-rolling and card-drafting game, in under seven minutes. Listen in, or read on below.

About the Game

Harry Potter: Death Eaters Rising is a cooperative game for 2-4 players age 11+, published by The OP. Play a game in around an hour.

In Death Eaters Rising, you play as the good guys of the wizarding world, trying to stop Voldemort. Draft new wizards to your cause and fend off bad wizards – the Death Eaters – until Voldemort arrives. Then you need to beat him too.

The “Rising” series also includes Thanos Rising (Marvel), Dark Side Rising (Star Wars), the upcoming Plankton Rising (Spongebob Squarepants), and The Batman Who Laughs Rising (DC).

Setup for Harry Potter: Death Eaters Rising

Art

Death Eaters Rising looks great. The table presence is fantastic, with a big Voldemort statue in the middle of the board that you rotate as you determine who he is going to curse next.

Voldemort statue pointing
He’s pointing at YOU!

All of the art assets in this game come directly from the movies, and the graphic design is pretty good. We ran into only a few minor issues.

The biggest one of these was that the icons for the locations (Hogsmeade, Diagon Alley, Ministry of Magic) were used inconsistently, and without a key. Every other icon used in the game is explained in the back of the rulebook!

But it’s a credit to the game that this is the only problem we had with the art.

Mechanics

This is a dice heavy game. Each player is allocated dice based on the wizards they have, with the different colored dice having slightly different combinations of symbols.

Two starting teams in Death Eaters Rising. Dumbledore from Hogwarts; Tonks from Order of the Phoenix
Set up for two players, with different dice for each team.

On each turn, your team of wizards travels to a location where you try to recruit a wizard or damage a Death Eater.

Roll your dice up to three times, saving whichever dice you want. If you successfully match the symbols on a wizard or Death Eater, you accomplish your goal. Draft wizards to strengthen your party, and kill off Death Eaters to reveal Voldemort.

Tonks / Order of the Phoenix turn in Death Eaters Rising. Dice: 2 wands, phoenix, phoenix, sword.
We’ll recruit Dean Thomas with 2 wands. But should we try for 4 phoenixes to get Bill, or 2 phoenixes and a hat to take out Antonin Dolohov?

Expectations

The OP always does an incredible job of theming with their games, and Death Eaters Rising does not disappoint. Our family likes Harry Potter, but we’re not superfans. Nonetheless, we expected to enjoy the theme, and we did.

We also expected high quality components, and again we were not disappointed. Everything was well made from the statue, to the dice, to the cards. Even the cubes that marked damage and corruption were nice translucent plastic colored cubes, when cardboard would have done the job.

Finally, much like the battle against Thanos, the battle against Lord Voldemort was desperate throughout the books. This game is no different. We expected it to be hard, and it definitely was.

Death Eaters Rising character and location cards full of damage/corruption tokens.
The fight is getting desperate in this location: it is almost fully corrupted, and all wizards are one wound away from defeat.

Struggles

Like we said before, this is a dice heavy game. Everything is driven through dice: from Voldemort’s attacks to the success/failure of your wizards. That means that, although there is strategy in the game (what dice you use) everything boils down to chance.

If you’re a Potter-obsessed family, you’re eating up the theme, and the difficulty won’t matter all! But for us, different members of our family got really frustrated when none of their decisions seemed to be the right ones – because their dice never yielded the right combinations.

Many times, we’ve seen a player’s wizard(s) take a lot of injuries quickly; if they’re unable to get more wizards or heal, it feels like their turn is wasted. Then they wait through other players’ turns while their team gets more and more beat up.

This is especially true when a player can’t get a second wizard early on. Al l of the wizards have powers that are synergistic and you really need a team of wizards to make progress.

A team of wizards: Nymphadora Tonks, Dean Thomas, Molly Weasley, Ernie MacMillan, and Bill Weasley
Synergy on this team allows for two additional dice, an extra re-roll, and healing.

Of course, the fight against Voldemort and the Death Eaters is supposed to be challenging. But there’s a difference between turns that are hard to figure out and turns that are completely out of your control.

If you love Harry Potter and are just salivating at the idea of helping the Order of the Phoenix take down the world’s most evil villain, grab a dice tower and pick up a copy of Harry Potter: Death Eaters Rising. But if you’re just a casual fan that loves board games, one of the other themed Rising games might fit the bill better for you.

Rating Harry Potter: Death Eaters Rising

Death Eaters Rising does an excellent job accomplishing its goal – exploring the desperate attempt to defeat the Dark Lord. Since we know this game that leans into its theme and relies on heavily on chance, we’re giving this game 4 out of 5 wands.

Pick up Harry Potter: Death Eaters Rising or another Rising game from The OP on Amazon today!

The Family Gamers received a copy of Harry Potter: Death Eaters Rising from The OP for this review.

SNAP review music is Avalanche, provided courtesy of You Bred Raptors?

This post contains Amazon affiliate links, which do not change your price, but help support The Family Gamers.

Harry Potter: Death Eaters Rising
  • Wands
4

Summary

Number of Players: 2-4

Age Range: 11+ (about right, and ties into the theme)

Playtime: 1 hour

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