Nostalgia Night: Hero Quest

The Heroes(tm) begin their quest...
The Heroes(tm) on a Quest(tm)

While my role-playing group is between campaigns, we’re filling our weekly sessions with boardgames and one-shots.   Last week was a blast from the past: Hero Quest by Milton Bradley.   I couldn’t find the doors and a few figures were MIA (the elf in particular) and had to be proxied, but the old school charm remained.

Matt took on the role of the vile Zargon for the first two quests, leaving Chad, Wayne, and me to take on the mantles of the Elf (Elfen John), Wizard (Mr. Wizard), and Barbarian (Thud).   The Dwarf (Ale) was thrown in for good measure.   For the third and final game I took over behind the screen and Matt claimed the Dwarf.

We fully embraced the camp of the game, with “Zargon” reading the boxed text before each adventure with as much melodrama as could be mustered.   As casually as we treated the game, our role-playing roots came through and there were a few more descriptions than dictated by the adventure book as we stomped around the dungeon, hacking up orcs, goblins, and other minions of Chaos.

Wayne Nukes
Wayne Nukes the gobbos

The first adventure was a fun re-introduction to combat, but things got interesting at the end of the second quest.   When you enter the prison room of the NPC you have to save, all of the monsters remaining in the dungeon are immediately put on the board and start activating while you try and get him to the exit stairs.

It was actually a lot of fun, but you could tell we were all MMO players of various experience.   Chad immediately blew a spell to walk through the nearby wall and defensive buff himself to block the choke point, while I ran to the other.   Wayne and the Dwarf provided support as we just held up the lines while our escort got the heck out.

Then we slaughtered all the goblins and took their stuff.

Even though as a group we enjoy the role-playing side of our weekly game, it was fun to have a weekend of mindless hack and slash.   We decided to keep the characters around and break the game back out from time to time whenever a role-playing game is canceled at the last minute.   Maybe I’ll finally have the chance to see all 14 quests that come with the game.

Maybe I’ll even be able to find the doors.


  1. Great post! I really want to revisit this game. It was just to much fun! I’d love to buy a copy but they are really freaking expensive. 🙁

  2. This was a lot of fun. I had never played the game before and went straight home to try and track it down online. Like Chad I found that copies now are just way too expensive.

  3. I’m not sure if it’s nostalgia or the game is actually still good (if you take it for what it is) but it was definitely a good time. I think the “time warp” rules is a good one — basically we allow the players to backtrack freely without having to roll dice every turn. That way they can set up at doors w/o wasting time.

    Dragonstrike (the TSR version of this) has an interesting counter for this by timing quests (each one has a turn limit). It’s not as good as HQ but it might be worth playing once or twice just to see.

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