Review: Ravensburger's Hocus Pocus Board Game, Magically Nostalgic

Ravensburger, a major game company known for its vast variety of puzzles and tabletop board and card games, is going to be launching its new cooperative board game, based on Disney's spellbindingly-nostalgic film Hocus Pocus, on July 26th. We got our hands on a copy, and will be reviewing it for your viewing, and hopefully gaming, pleasure!

The front of the Hocus Pocus board game by Ravensburger, showing the Sanderson sisters as they cast a wicked spell. Photo credit: Josh Nelson
The front of the Hocus Pocus board game by Ravensburger, showing the Sanderson sisters as they cast a wicked spell. Photo credit: Josh Nelson

Hocus Pocus's premise is very similar to the classic film of the same name. The goal is to thwart the evil Sanderson sisters, a trio of despicably-evil witches, by slowing the casting of a vile spell of theirs until the dawn comes. The game comes in a false-book box and contains all of the items needed to play the game – a game board, about 60 cards, and a few important tokens and markers.

Just some of the components of the Hocus Pocus board game by Ravensburger - namely, the Binx marker, the cards, and the tokens. Photo credit: Josh Nelson
Just some of the components of the Hocus Pocus board game by Ravensburger – namely, the Binx marker, the cards, and the tokens. Photo credit: Josh Nelson

Mechanically, this game seems to play somewhat like Uno: there are vital elements of matching color and type of "ingredient cards" in order to stun the three witches with different combinations of cards placed. It's important to note, however, that the sun comes up naturally as well, as the sun always does. If the randomness of the game plays in the players' favor, the witches may not even need to be stunned in order for the players to win.

The folded game board as well as the witch board for Hocus Pocus, a cooperative board game by Ravensburger. Photo credit: Josh Nelson
The folded game board as well as the witch board for Hocus Pocus, a cooperative board game by Ravensburger. Photo credit: Josh Nelson

Honestly, despite its seeming simplicity, we could see this game being played in a campaign-style setting, with the Sanderson sisters escaping each dawn and points being racked up for stunning the witches, perhaps. But of course, that's up to players to determine.

But what do you think of this game in theory? Does it look fun? Let us know in the comments below!

About Joshua Nelson

Josh Nelson is a Magic: The Gathering deckbuilding savant, a self-proclaimed scholar of all things Sweeney Todd, and, of course, a writer for Bleeding Cool. In their downtime, Josh can be found painting models, playing Magic, or possibly preaching about the horrors and merits of anthropophagy. You can find them on Twitter at @Burning_Inquiry for all your burning inquiries.

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