Game Spotlights

Published: September 9, 2021


New HeroQuest – How Does It Compare?

The best thing about HeroQuest is…

…that it’s back in print!

Now that we’ve got that out of our system, let’s compare and contrast HeroQuest(1989) and Hasbro‘s new HeroQuest (2021).

original heroquest box 1989 1990 milton bradley

1 The Original HeroQuest

In the late 1980s, game designer Stephen Baker left his job at miniature wargaming manufacturer Games Workshop. He took a position with the board game juggernaut Milton Bradley. Immediately, Baker began asking Milton Bradley’s head of development to give him permission to begin development on a fantasy adventure game.

After stipulating that the game must be simple and approachable, Baker was given permission to begin development on what would become HeroQuest(1989). Baker would ask Games Workshop to help in the creation of the miniatures for the game. They obliged, and they would also make contributions to the background world and the art in the scenario and rule books.

Buy, Sell, Trade

We are fortunate enough to have access to an original copy of HeroQuest for photos thanks to our Buy/Sell/Trade program here at Noble Knight Games.  We buy hundreds of gaming products each week including Magic cards, RPGs, board games, wargames, miniatures, even dice, novels, comics, and more. This program is how we are able to provide rare and out of print items to and from all over the world!

If you’re interested in selling to us please visit our Buy/Sell/Trade Page to submit your list, or send your list via email to:


original heroquest gm screen dm art

  • Players: 2-5
  • Play Time: 90 Minutes
  • Ages 14+
  • Complexity: 4/10

The Gist of HeroQuest

“HeroQuest is a fantasy adventure game set deep within a hidden stone labyrinth. This maze of underground rooms and corridors is controlled by the Evil Sorcerer Zargon and his forces of Chaos.

Four valiant heroes have been summoned by Mentor, the good and ancient sage, to do battle with Chaos. Thiers is the ultimate heroic challenge — descend into the treacherous world of the unknown and restore honor to the Empire. Destroy the evil forces of Chaos!”

heroquest miniatures characters dwarf warrior barbarian elf wizard
Ladril the Elf, Rogar the Barbarian, Durgin the Dwarf, and Telor the Wizard
  • Rogar the Barbarian – A warrior prince from the Borderlands
  • Durgin the Dwarf – A warrior from the World’s Edge Mountains
  • Ladril the Elf – A fighter mage from distant Athelorn
  • Telor the Wizard – A mighty sorcerer

“Bonded by their loyalty to the Empire, the brave heroes unite. Stepping cautiously, they journey deeper and deeper into a dark, hidden world…”

– HeroQuest Instruction Booklet

What is HeroQuest’s gameplay like?

The game itself is fairly straight forward, making it a fun option even for younger players.  Adults who have played later dungeon-crawl type cooperative games like Zombicide or the D&D Board Games will already be familiar with the essential gameplay, and indeed HeroQuest inspired many of these games. You can think of HeroQuest as, by and large, a simplified version of Zombicide.

Choose your role

First, one player takes control of the dungeon mechanics, guided by maps and encounters in the provided book. Each other player controls one (or more) of the Hero characters. These heroes venture into a grid-based dungeon, the surprises of which are known only to the game master behind his or her screen. Each “level” of the dungeon is rife with monsters, traps, and treasures for the heroes to encounter. The adventurers must take strategic turns and work together to survive the dungeon!

Player characters have different powers, health, and movement speeds to work with as they explore. Some can also cast limited spells. As they complete quests, (assuming they survive) characters will gain weapons and gear to make them stronger and more durable. These items are represented by cards that can be drawn when a hero searches a room, or purchased at the “shop” between quests. How do you get gold for these purchases? By defeating monsters and searching the rooms for treasures, of course! But beware, for searching a room can also spring painful traps or spawn wandering monsters…

Combat in HeroQuest

Each combat is a contest of dice. The character or monster rolls their allocated number of attack dice, hoping to roll skulls that indicate an attack. The attackee, be they hero or monster, roll their allocated number of defense dice hoping to get shields, which block attacks. Each successful defense shield rolled negates one attack. For each attack that succeeds, one point of damage is dealt. When a character or monster is dealt damage equal to or exceeding their “Body Points” value, they are defeated.

There are of course some additional rules about attacks of opportunity, line of sight for ranged attacks and so forth. But these rules are fairly streamlined and intuitive.

That’s it! Explore the dungeon, revealing rooms and their contents as you go. Fight the monsters contained therein, duking it out in turn order among your group, collaborating to make the most of your various attacks and defenses.

What’s In The Box?

Full Contents List

Listed in the Instruction Booklet is:

  • Game board
  • Instruction booklet
  • Quest book
  • 4 Character cards
  • Information screen (GM screen)
  • Character sheet pad
  • Cardboard tiles
  • 4 Heroes
  • 31 Monsters
  • 15 Pieces of furniture
  • 21 Doors (16 open, 5 closed)
  • Miscellaneous Items
  • 66 Cards

31 Monsters

8 orcs, 6 goblins, 3 fimir, 4 chaos warriors, 1 chaos warlock, 1 gargoyle, 4 skeletons, 2 zombies, and 2 mummies

15 Pieces of furniture

2 tables, 1 throne, 1 alchemist’s bench, 3 treasure chests, 1 tomb, 1 sorcerer’s table, 2 bookcases, 1 rack, 1 fireplace, 1 weapons rack, and 1 cupboard

Miscellaneous Items

Candlesticks, bottles, scales, skulls, and rats

66 Cards

24 treasure, 10 artifact, 8 monster, 3 air spell, 3 fire spell, 3 earth spell, 3 water spell, and 12 chaos spell

new heroquest box

2 The New HeroQuest

While the new HeroQuest now at retail, we finally have first-hand knowledge about its gameplay and contents.

Where Can You Expect Gameplay Changes?

The new version has an updated rule book and quest book. These have been based off of the U.S. version of the rule and quest books from the original game. It seems like they are staying true to the original game and made only “minor changes.” This bodes well for everyone looking to get a nostalgia kick from the reprint edition! Most of the changes are primarily cosmetic, with a few light rule alterations and updates for clarity. Overall, you can expect the new version to play functionally exactly the same as the HeroQuest of old.



Physical Changes

This is where the changes are most obvious. Although they designed the original miniatures and some of the artwork, Games Workshop was not a part of the new version. So we find ourselves with brand new takes on the player characters and monsters. This includes a name change from Chaos Warrior/Warlock to Dread Warrior/Sorcerer. We also now have fish-like Abominations where we once had Fimir.

All the characters, monsters, and furniture are now single piece, sturdy plastic. Another material upgrade, the box now provides fitted plastic trays for better organization and protection of each and every character, monster, and piece of furniture. So let’s take a look!

Player Characters

The core characters remain unchanged, continuing to include the Barbarian, Wizard, Elf, and Dwarf. However in the new edition, the Elf is female by default. The new edition provides plastic, paintable miniatures, includes brand new sculpts, as well as adding female variants for barbarian, dwarf, and wizard; and a male variant of the elf.

Modern Furniture

The new furniture models seem to have struck a very nice balance. They are more detailed than their paper predecessors, but haven’t been overcomplicated. They seem to hold true to the style of the original game! These solid pieces of plastic furniture are less likely to be damaged, and also open up the option to paint them. Combat and movement speed dice have also been upgraded from light wood to hard plastic, and a larger size. No more will the paint on the original’s tiny dice flake and chip and wear off, leaving you with useless blank dice.

The Monster Rehash

Brand new sculpts of the existing monsters and some new names join the list! We can also now confirm that the beloved Gargoyle miniature, while similar to the original, is now larger and much more sturdy. No more broken wings!


There are also some little added extras depending on which version of the game you pick up! The Kickstarter edition contains many of these special additions.

A Closer Look At The Contents

More glances of the new components of HeroQuest!


A glimpse of new HeroQuest on the table:


Available Now!

Noble Knight Games carries both the original HeroQuest and expansions, the 2021 Kickstarter Edition bundles, and the 2022 Retail Edition core game. All editions of this nostalgic pioneer game are very popular, and selling swiftly.  If the version you want is not available, you can always add it to your Want List. Our handy Want List option will send you an automated email to let you know when the item on your list is again available.

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