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Updated: Dec 4, 2019

This game has become legendary. It was perhaps the first attempt by a mainstream toy and game manufacturer to tap into the Dungeons & Dragons oeuvre. Rather than going it alone, Milton Bradley developed the game in collaboration with Games Workshop. What they came up with was a game that was surprisingly good - so much so that HeroQuest is still quite sought after nearly 30 years after its original publication.

In HeroQuest, one player is the dungeonmaster. He sets up the original quest, which can be one of the many in the book that came with the game or could be one of his own devising. The other players play co-operatively, controlling the heroes (an archetypal quartet of a barbarian, an elf, a dwarf and a wizard). As in D&D, players are encouraged to role-play keep a character sheet to track their character's progress and any treasures or artefacts they find in their quest, carrying these over into their next adventure. This made HeroQuest an excellent way of introducing children to the idea of a campaign game.

My sons both enjoyed their forays into the HeroQuest dungeons, and the game was made the more fun for all of us through my introduction of a non-player character (an enhanced goblin called Gobbo) who would offer to accompany the adventurers on their quest in return for a share in the booty. Daniel and Edmund found they wanted the extra muscle that Gobbo brought to the table but his aid often proved a mixed blessing because he would frequently try to cheat them. On occasion, for example, they would send Gobbo off to face danger while their own characters held back. When this happened, when Gobbo returned victorious he would tell them he'd found nothing, revealing only at the end of the game that he'd found some valuable artefact or treasure that he had kept for himself. In this way, HeroQuest proved educational as well as enjoyable.

Though it was much played, my copy of HeroQuest has remained in very good condition. In addition to the core game, I have here the 'Against the Ogre Horde' expansion. I rather regret not having bought others. I did, however, have Advanced HeroQuest, which I rediscovered 'unpunched' when sorting through the loft. :-)

(Review by Selwyn Ward)

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