"HeroQuest was created by Stephen Baker, who worked for the UK division of Milton Bradley (MB). The game was released in Britain, Europe and Australia around 1989. It was released in North America in 1990 in a slightly different version. In 1992, HeroQuest won the Origins Award for "Best Graphic Presentation of a Boardgame of 1991". The game consisted of a board and a number of individual miniatures and items. The protagonists were 4 heroes ("Barbarian", "Dwarf", "Elf" and "Wizard") who faced a selection of monsters: Orcs, Goblins, Fimir, Chaos Warriors, a Chaos Warlock (which represented many of the named characters for the various quests), a Gargoyle and a number of Undead—skeletons, zombies and mummies. Many expansions for the game were published, starting with Kellar's Keep, released in Europe and Australia in 1989, and The United States & Canada in 1991. Kellar's Keep added new quests, new items and spells and a further batch of monster figures - more Orcs, Goblins and Fimir. Released shortly in the same years was Return of the Witch Lord which extended the undead with more skeletons, mummies and zombies. The publication of expansion sets was then split between the Europe & Australia markets and the North American market. In Europe & Australia, Against the Ogre Horde was released in 1990, and included Ogres, a more powerful monster type, while Wizards of Morcar was released in 1991, themed around the addition of enemy wizards.
The four player characters offer a choice of gameplay. The Barbarian and Dwarf allow a more combat-oriented game, while the Wizard and Elf can cast spells. The artwork and miniatures of each character are standardized, but the equipment stats vary somewhat from this basic portrait. Barbarian The barbarian figurine is depicted as being tall and muscular, brandishing a broadsword. He is the strongest character in combat, benefiting from excellent attack and moderately good defense, but lacks any magical abilities. He has the most body points, so he can withstand a lot of injury. His starting weapon is a broadsword. He starts with 8 body points and 2 mind points. Dwarf The dwarf figurine is short, stocky and well armored, carrying a battle axe. He is very good in defense, but lacks the attack strength of the barbarian and has no magical abilities. The dwarf also has the unique ability of being able to disarm traps without special equipment. He has slightly fewer body points than the barbarian. His starting weapon is a short sword. He starts with 7 body points and 3 mind points. Elf The elf figurine is tall and slender, armed with a short one-handed sword. He is equal in attack strength to the dwarf, but is able to use one kind of elemental spell - air, earth, fire, or water magic. He has still fewer body points than the dwarf, but higher mind points allowing him to resist magical attack. His starting weapon is a short sword. He starts with 6 body points and 4 mind points. Wizard The wizard figurine wears a full-length cloak and carries a staff. In combat, he is the weakest in attack, but compensates for this by being able to use three kinds of spells, for a total of nine spells. Has very few body points so can be easily killed in combat. His high mind points allow him to be more resistant to the effects of magic. His starting weapon is a dagger. He starts with 4 body points and 6 mind points.
In 1992, The United States and Canada saw the release of two sets of their own: The Frozen Horror, with a snow and ice theme, featured a lone "Female Barbarian", Mercenaries, Ice Gremlins, Polar Warbears and a pair of yeti as well as the "Frozen horror" of the title, while The Mage of the Mirror had an Elven theme: Female Elf against an evil Elven Archmage, Elf warriors and archers, Giant Wolves and Ogres. A HeroQuest Adventure Design Kit was released in Europe in 1990, containing items to help HeroQuest players design their own quests, and an Adventure Design Booklet was published with 4 sheets of adhesive labels and with an 80-page pad of a new design, larger character sheet. There was also a blank quest map printed in the middle of the original game's quest booklet for creative players to make their own adventures. 3 HeroQuest novels were published: The Fellowship of the Four, The Screaming Spectre and The Tyrant's Tomb; and a computer game adaptation was released in 1991, forcing Sierra On-Line to rename their Hero's Quest series to Quest for Glory. A version of the game for the NES was developed to a prototype stage, simply named "Hero Quest", but never released. It featured the UK names eg. Morcar. Advanced HeroQuest was a revised and expanded version of the HeroQuest game. The basic concept is the same: four heroes venture into a dungeon to fight monsters and gain treasure, but the rules are more detailed and complex.