Get on Board:
Lex Go! Harry Potter

A few neat details added to a solid old-school
word game that retains its substance and replay value

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Some board games seem to have been around since the dawn of time – even your grandparents remember playing Monopoly, Cluedo and Risk as children. All these games have had heavy rebranding to keep them up to date. But here is a game that has gone under the radar up until its first themed version – Lex Go! Harry Potter.

First branded as Lexicon in 1936 (old, right?) by its creator, British novelist David Whitelaw, the aim of the game is to get rid of your 10 lettered tiles by creating words. If you are struggling to use all your tiles you can begin to attack other players’ tiles by swapping and adding them to one of your pre-existing words. Tight rules however mean you can only place the letter tile within your already established word. For instance: if you had the word “sell” laid out, but somehow the extra “Q” tile you have doesn’t quite fit in, swap it around for your rivals “P” and “sPell” can help you win the game.

The game is very basic and fast-paced but has not had much cultural success in its 70-odd years, overshadowed by more modern games such as Bananagrams (which it clearly heavily influenced), and everyone’s favourite word game Scrabble, which came out a whole two years after Lexicon! Now with Harry Potter on its team its fortunes look set to change.

Keeping the same rules as before, the Harry Potter edition adds spell tiles and polyjuice tiles. Polyjuice tiles can by used as a substitute for any letter you wish, whereas the spell tiles allow you to cast spells on yourself or other opponents to progress to glory. Shouting out “Expelliarmus” allows you to sabotage another player by messing up their tiles, whilst shouting “Depulso” lets you banish one of your tiles. But use them wisely – you can only use your spells once per round.

Among all the branded Harry Potter merchandise out there, Lex Go! is actually one of the more affordable options. Lex Go! is successful in adding a few neat details to a solid old-school game that retains its substance and replay value. It is a perfect addition to anyone’s Potterverse.

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