Hero Quest

Title screen of champions!

Hero Quest

Genre: Roleplaying/Adventure

Developer/Publisher: Gremlin Graphics

Year: 1991

Disks: 1 (plus a save disk)

Ah, Hero Quest, fantastic game. I could just leave it at that but I think it would be a small injustice to this legendary RPG. I loved (and still do) the board game, arguments over who was going to be DM notwithstanding, but finding a copy of it for under £50 is proving troublesome. Luckily I loved the Amiga version just as much, which is also a little easier to come by, and easier to play if you have no friends… (Ed – so sad). Hero Quest was released in 1991 and published by Gremlin Graphics (Lotus Turbo Challenge, Switchblade, Zool), who also brought another table top game to the Amiga with Space Crusade (1992).

(Ad)ventures galore!

Hero Quest is very good adaptation of the board game, however, the Amiga version fits nicely onto a single disk and at least saves on cupboard space. The game begins with a nice introduction which sets the scene and the story, from here the game offers up to 4 playable characters (with 3 friends, or by yourself, up to you) in the form of an Elf, Barbarian, Wizard and Dwarf, each with their own particular strengths and weaknesses outlined in their vital stats. Once you have selected your player(s) the game can truly begin!

The gameplay is extremely addictive and also easy to learn, no need for a long list of rules in this one as you are plunged straight into the playing field with a selection of ‘quest cards’. You can play the quests in any order, although I’d recommend making your way through from easiest to hardest in order to build up your characters first and upgrade them with potions and equipment. The quests pretty much match the 14 original ones from the board game (European release, I believe, I could be wrong!) and I certainly recognise a lot of the names from the board game that match the Amiga game. The quests each have their own unique flavour and level of difficulty, and in this gamers opinion anything with the word maze in it was always a pain in the backside.

List of the quests:

Quest 1: The Maze

Quest 2: The Rescue of Sir Ragnar

Quest 3: Lair of the Orc Warlord

Quest 4: Prince Magnus’ Gold

Quest 5: Melar’s Maze

Quest 6: Legacy of the Orc Warlord

Quest 7: The Stone Hunter

Quest 8: The Fire Mage

Quest 9: Race Against Time

Quest 10: Castle of Mystery

Quest 11: Bastion of Chaos

Quest 12: Barrow of the Witch Lord

Quest 13: Quest for the Spirit Blade

Quest 14: Return to Barak Tor

Weird how the stairs seem to lead directly into a wall…

The graphics are nice and characters easy to identify, the animations are limited but still fun to watch. The turn based game play makes the game well paced. The controls, via mouse, and an interface are easy to get the hang of, movement is dictated by a spinning coin on-screen which lands on a number when the mouse is clicked. Through the interface a number of functions can be performed (such as next players turn, search, attack) in each room or in the corridors, something I sometimes forget!  Even with 4 people and one mouse everyone gets a turn and gets to use their own unique abilities. Always a good plan to send the Barbarian and Dwarf in first, Elf and Wizard as back up (long-range attacks and all that).

My only small bugbear is the music, it’s a little irritating after a while and the sound often gets turned off with the handy toggle (F10) at the start, its almost like they knew some people would want to turn it off, but it certainly doesn’t detract from the gameplay. Overall Hero Quest on the Amiga is highly playable and a game that has stood the test of time (in playability at least) and is faithful to its original table top version. Put simply it is a superb game. It is a game I always return to and love replaying the missions, although frustratingly, nomatter how many times I rescue Sir Ragnar he always seems to get captured again. Ah, the life of an adventurer.

No, it’s not ‘ok’ :/

Hero Quest also spawned a sequel, a game I’ve certainly not played as much but has as much right to  be included in the Amiga halls of fame. Hero Quest II: Legacy of Sorasil was released in 1994 and again published by Gremlin Graphics. This time across 3 disks the game had improved graphics, more characters to choose from and new quests with much larger playing areas.  Its only downfall was the game save system, games could only be saved after each quest as opposed to anytime during the game.

Amiga Magazine Reviews:

Hero Quest

Amiga Action 21 (June 1991)

Amiga Power 2 (June 1991)

CU Amiga (July 1991)

Hero Quest II: Legacy of Sorasil

Amiga Format 58 (April 1994)

Amiga Power 36 (April 1994)

The awesome Gremlin logo!

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