Fantastic Beasts the LEGO Board Game

We’ve enjoyed Fantastic Beasts: Cases from the Wizarding World so much that it has inspired us to make our own board game version. Since LEGO worked so well for our last board game, we decided to use it as the base for this game.

Fantastic Beasts Lego board game

We modelled much of the game after the app, so there are many similar elements between the two. We used the same beasts and identifiers:

Fantastic Beasts Lego board game Fantastic Beasts Lego board game

The board game is designed with six locations – each with its corresponding character from the app.

Fantastic Beasts board game

From the top left to right, we have Cerberus Langarm, from the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, in the Ministry of Magic; Gethsemane Prickle, the herbologist and potioneer, in the Potions Lab; and Myra Curio in the Muggle Liaison Office. I know, the LEGO characters don’t look quite like the actual characters but we did the best we could with the LEGO pieces we had on hand.

Fantastic Beasts board game

On the other side of the board (top left to right), we have Sage Bragnam, a historian, in the Library; Omar Abasi, a healer, in St. Mungo’s Hospital; and Mathilda Grimblehawk, from the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, in the Leaky Cauldron.

Fantastic Beasts Board Game

Action cards (Above Left) tell you where you have to go next and whether you can collect an identifier card. Bonus cards (Above Right) can give you extra bonuses or take them away.

Rules of the Game

The aim of the game: Collect beast identifier cards. Once there are enough cards to identify a beast, the first person to get back to the Ministry of Magic and correctly identify the beast is the winner.

Gameplay:

  • Everyone chooses a character – you have a choice of being Newt Scamander, Porpentina Goldstein, Jacob Kowalski, or Percival Graves.
  • The game begins at the Ministry of Magic. The first place you have to get to is the Leaky Cauldron to meet up with your partner, Mathilda Grimblehawk, and investigate for clues.
  • You do not have to roll the exact number to land on a location as long as the number on the die is large enough to reach the location.
  • Every time you reach a new location, you have to pick up an action card that will tell you where to go next and whether you get to collect an identifier card or not. You can move off to the new location on your next turn.
  • Action cards tell you where to investigate next and help you gain identifier cards.
  • Pick up a Bonus card when you land on a dark green square.
  • Bonus cards can give you special powers (e.g. extra turn, more identifiers, double your roll, etc.) or they can be negative bonuses (e.g. lose a turn, lose identifiers, etc.)
  • Movement on the board is always clockwise unless you pick up a bonus card that tells you otherwise.
  • If you land on a square that someone else is on, that person immediately returns to the Ministry of Magic and starts their next turn from there.
  • Once you have enough identifiers to match any beast, head straight back to the Ministry of Magic for the win.

Although there is scope to make the game more complex, we decided to keep it simple. Maybe we’ll SCAMPER it when we get bored.

Fantastic Beasts Board Game

If you would like to play Fantastic Beasts the Board Game, you can download our game cards to make your own copy of the game.

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Trip Report: Highlights from Chiang Mai

We might not be brave enough to do the whole World Schooling Experience but that doesn’t mean we can’t try to give the kids a bit of exposure to different cultures during their school holidays. Over the Christmas holidays, we went to Chiang Mai in Thailand where we saw elephants, a 3D Art Museum, the night market, temples, and more.

Accommodations

Rimping Village

We stayed at a lovely place called Rimping Village that is located just across the river from the old city. Word on the street is that the old city is where all the action was but we found some pretty good stuff within walking distance of our accommodations. Rimping Village also provides bicycles that you can borrow which makes it even easier to get around if you’re brave enough to bike alongside the other traffic. If you want to travel further out, the Tuk-Tuks can take you there for 100 Baht a ride.

Transport

When moving around the city, we either rode the bicycle, took a Tuk-Tuk, or walked. To travel further out, we hired the cab driver, Robin, who took us from the airport to our hotel on the first day. He charged us 1000 baht to take us around Chiangmai for the whole day. Our trip with Robin was largely on the fly. We did not pre-book any of the activities, which was probably more costly, but it gave us much more flexibility with the kids. We could start our day whenever we were ready, have our meals when we wanted, and go home if the boys were tired.

Places to Eat and Drink

Riverside Bar and Restaurant

Riverside Restaurant

There are two parts to this place – there is the bar which is alongside the river, and there is the restaurant which is located across the road. It was recommended to us by the staff at Rimping Village as an authentic and family-friendly place to eat. It is also an easy walking distance from Rimping Village.

They serve a large variety of food to satisfy just about anyone’s tastes preferences:

Beautiful sandwiches, juicy burgers, fresh salads, spicy salads, colorful curries, steamed or deep fried fish, tasty thai delicacies and typical northern specialities to name a few and of course a large dessert section with plenty of ice creams, home made apple pie and crunchy chocolate ectasies.

These were our personal favourites: Pandan Chicken, Tom Yum Gung, Pad Thai Noodles, and Coconut Ice Cream.

Nacha Coffee

Our guide took us to try “best coffee” after our visit to the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep temples in the hills. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a photo, but this stall is located just outside the Orchid and Jade Factory that is located just across the road from the main entrance at the base of the temple.

Art in Paradise – 3D Museum

3D museums may not be unique to Chiang Mai but we’ve never been to one before so we thought it was pretty cool.

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We had a lot of fun posing for the camera but clearly, we are lacking some serious photography skills. There is an art to posing and photo taking that none of us has quite mastered the basics of. Funny how we never realise how difficult it is until we try to step into the shoes of the professional. Maybe we should look up some basic photography tips before we head off on our next holiday.

Eagle Track Zipline

G1 has been eager to get on a zipline ever since we missed the one in Hawaii. Since this is the closest we’re going to get to a “waterfall” zipline for a while, we decided to give it a go. I must say I’m pretty impressed by how far my three boys have come. I don’t think I could have imagined that a zipline would ever be one of our tip highlights and yet, here it is.

Eagle Track offers three packages:

  • Gold – 35 platforms
  • Silver – 20 platforms
  • Bronze – 15 platforms

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We took the Silver package which was the “get your feet wet” zipline Eco adventure that included:

  • 9 Ziplines
  • 2 Abseils (15 and 40 meters)
  • 1 Bamboo bridge
  • 1 Hill tribe ladder
  • 1 Kung Fu walk
  • 1 Monkey bridge
  • 1 Sky Bridges
  • 1 Spiral staircase
  • 1 Zig-zag walkway
  • 1 Wooden walkway

It also comes with a buffet lunch and water. Our guides were terrific and really friendly. They even helped us take photos! With the cooler weather at this time of year, it made the whole experience a lot more enjoyable than the sweltering heat we had to endure when we went to Skytrex.

Thep-prasit Honey Store in Chiang Mai

We stopped by the Thep-prasit Honey store in Chiang Mai where we had a sample of Thep-prasit honey water and tried their delicious honey ice cream (the plain honey was better than the chocolate honey). The boys were exhausted by this point of our journey and were napping so they missed out.

It might have been interesting if we could have seen the Big Bee Farm where the bees are kept. Given that we were short on time, this was pretty much the next best thing. The video above offers a few insights into the Big Bee Farm (even if it is in Russian).

Gems Gallery in Chiang Mai

Chiangmai

At the Gems Gallery in Chiang Mai, we saw some amazing carvings from Jade, stone, and bone.

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We saw how gems are converted from their dull, raw form to the highly-polished, finished products that are sold in their showroom.

Chiang-Dao Elephant Training Center

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At the Chiang-Dao Elephant Training Center, you learn about the daily life of the elephants living there. Activities to see and do:

  • Feed the elephants bunches of bananas at 20 baht a bunch.
  • Mahout giving the elephants a bath in the river.
  • How the elephants work – dragging logs and stacking them.
  • Elephant painting session – the elephants will paint a picture.
  • Ride an elephant to a Lisu tribe village.

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You can also take a ride on a bamboo raft along the Mae Ping which was long and pretty uneventful especially after your boatman catches a river snake for dinner! It also gets a bit hot under the sun.

Chiangmai holiday

Yes, that is our boatman holding the snake he fished out of the water.

We booked our tour through Viator. We had a wonderful guide who was incredibly knowledgeable, sharing with us information about the old city, the different tribes, the orchids and the elephants.

Night Markets

There are a few night markets to visit in Chiang Mai. The most popular one is the Sunday Night Market at Tha Pae Gate. It was really packed when we visited so we had to keep a firm hold on the kids as we shuffled down the street. Most of the stuff at the markets are pretty much the same thing in repeat so I didn’t think it was really necessary to fight the crowd just for the experience.

Image Source: Tripadvisor

I was far happier at the much quieter Anusarn Market which was within walking distance of Rimping Village.

Chiang Mai Temples

What’s a visit to Chiang Mai if you don’t see the temples? Unfortunately, the boys were particularly keen on a half day tour of the temples so we kept it to a minimum. We visited only two. According to our sources, the number one “must-see” temple is Wat Phra That Doi Suthep.

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

Wat Phra That Temple

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is the temple in the mountains. It boasts some spectacular views of the city – not that we saw much of it since it was foggy. Views aside, Wat Phra That also houses an extensive collection of religious artifacts when you aren’t busy exploring their vast grounds. To get to the pagoda, you can either hike up the 309 steps to the top or take the elevator. No prizes for guessing what we ended up doing.

Wat Phra Singh

Chiangmai temple

Wat Phra Singh is a restored 14th Century temple located within the old city of Chiang Mai and hailed as the number two “must-see” temple in Chiang Mai. Legend states that if you walk around the golden pagoda, you will be bestowed with good fortune.

Wat Buppharam

Christmas Holidays

We stumbled upon Wat Buppharam one evening as we were walking to the Sunday Night Market. The temple was already closed, but it sure was a pretty sight lit up in the darkness.

And that was our first experience in Chiang Mai.

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Ever since we heard about the new Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie, we’ve been on the edge of our seats waiting for opening day. G1 even read the screenplay in his eager anticipation of the movie. DH was of the opinion that G1 would ruin the experience if he knew what was about to happen next. It turns out that the only experience that was affected was mine – I got the full insider’s scoop running dialogue alongside my movie experience.

Nevertheless, we all enjoyed the movie. Whether we can be considered objective reviewers is possibly somewhat in question since we have been starved of news from the Wizarding World ever since the last installment of the Harry Potter series ended. We gobbled up Harry Potter and the Cursed Child as soon as it hit the bookstores. We were lucky to be in Hawaii on the day it launched and G1 picked up a bonus Ravenclaw badge with it. He was barely out of Barnes and Noble when he had the cover open and was reading it.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

By the time Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hit the cinemas, we were well and truly in famine mode. We can’t believe we have to wait another two whole years before we can watch the next movie in this new series from the Wizarding World (apparently there are four more movies in the pipeline).

To ease the agonising wait, G1 has also been studying his Hogwarts-approved text of the same name written by Newt Scamander. I’m pretty sure he’s more than ready to sit for his Care of Magical Creatures O.W.L.s and join The Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures.

Which is exactly what he did when we started playing Fantastic Beast: Cases from The Wizarding World. G1, A.K.A. Septimus Summers, has joined forces with Mathilda Grimblehawk at the Ministry of Magic’s Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. He has been hard at work to protect magical creatures of the Wizarding World from the Muggles and vice versa.

Fantastic Beast: Cases from The Wizarding World

Fantastic Beasts: Cases from the Wizarding World runs in the style of the Hidden Object Game. Its begins on your first day at the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures where you meet your partner Mathilda Grimblehawk. Things heat up quickly when Cerberus Langarm from Magical Law Enforcement shows up and tells you that there has been a terrible accident at the Chudley Canons training ground. You’re called upon to investigate your very first case where you have to search for clues to identify the mystery beast.

Fantastic Beasts

**********Warning! Spoilers Ahead!!!!!!!**********

The images we have included reveal clues and answers to the first four cases so please stop reading if you don’t want to know. You have been warned.

There are currently 10 cases available – each with its own magical creature to identify – although they add that there will be more to come. You begin each case at the scene of the accident and you need to search for hidden objects as well as clues to help you progress in your case. As you figure out the clues, new scenes will be unlocked with more clues eventually leading to the mysterious beast that you have to catch.

Fantastic Beasts

There are nine scenes to search for each case (except the first one). Six of these scenes are specifically related to the case. They hold clues that help you uncover the beast. These scenes are pretty straight forward – you have a list of items that need to find. The remaining three scenes (right-hand column) are bonus scenes with a twist:

  • Mirror – the list of items you have to find are written in mirror-writing.

Fantastic Beasts Cases

  • Timer – the list of items you have to find are broken into groups of three and you have to find them as quickly as you can before they are replaced with the next group of three items.

Fantastic Beasts Cases

  • Diamond – this is basically a spot the difference puzzle where you get two scenes and you have to spot the differences between them.

Fantastic Beasts

Once you collect enough identifiers to figure out the magical creature on the loose, you need to catch it and put things right again in the Muggle world (we can’t have Muggles running around raving about monsters now can we?). Along the top of the screen, you’ll see some numbers. From left to right, they represent your level, energy, gold coins, gems, and shopping cart.

Fantastic Beasts

Levels – every time you search a scene you will earn XP (points) to help you level up and gold coins you can use to make purchases. Each level you reach unlocks special upgrades you can purchase with your gold coins, like:

  • Multiplier Max – increasing your score multiplier when you search a scene.
  • Extra Experience – helps you earn more XP and level up faster.
  • Wit-Sharpening Potion Recipe – gives you the ability to brew the wit-sharpening potion which you can use to pause the clock while you search a scene.
  • Coin Collector – helps you earn more coins for each scene you search.
  • Energy Cap Increase – which increases the amount of energy you can store.

Energy – you will continue to earn one unit of energy every two minutes of time passing. Once you reach your energy cap, it stops until you start using up your energy again. You need energy every time you search a scene. It takes 20 units of energy to search a scene once.

Stars – you can earn up to five stars for each scene you search. How quickly you earn those stars depends on how fast you are at finding all the hidden objects. You need the stars to help you investigate clues and speak to witnesses.

Fantastic Beasts

Gems – are earned whenever you play and win the Beast Quests. You can trade your gems to buy potions, energy, or special bundles from the store. If you don’t have gems, you can also use real money.

Beast Quests – these are special quests that become available once you have almost completed the case. Every case has them except for Case 1. There are three levels of beast quests – bronze, silver, and gold. Each level contains four quests. Complete the quest and you will earn gems.

Fantastic Beasts

Potions – the ability to brew special potions is unlocked when you reach certain levels and purchase the upgrade with your gold coins. Once you have the potion recipe, you find potion ingredients as you search the scenes. Once you have all the ingredients, you can brew the potion to be used whenever you need a little extra help searching a scene.

G1’s Case Files

G1 created the following case files for each of the cases we’ve solved so far. When I first started playing the game, he would try to guess the creature before all the identifiers were out. I think Newt Scamander would have been proud – G1 will definitely be getting his O.W.L. for his Care of Magical Beasts paper.

FB Cases 1FB Cases 2

FB Cases 3FB Cases 4

FB Cases 5

He created the following video for extra credit (if only he would take school work this seriously):

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