The Adventure Begins!
Well met adventurer! I can only imagine you’re here to read of my recent adventures? Well then, polish your glasses, take a seat and I’ll begin my tale. As always I’ll try to avoid story spoilers and I’ll lightly touch on the parts that really stood out to me whilst keeping them shrouded just enough mystery to keep you excited. In this exciting Heroquest expansion Kellar’s Keep, players are tasked with rescuing the King himself who has become trapped in the depths of an ancient fortress. As a group, they must race against time and the evil forces of Zargon to reach the King and guide him to safety.
To make things more interesting, there is a hurdle to overcome before you reach your target. The King in Kellar’s Keep is hidden in a secret location, the whereabouts of which can only be found by collecting four fragments of a time torn map. Therefore, players need to work through each scenario looking for these fragments before they can locate the King.
It was actually this feature/mechanic that sold the expansion for me; as I originally left the core game feeling underwhelmed and exhausted by some of the base scenarios. For me to return to the game, I wanted variety, puzzles, and mechanically challenging encounters. Rather than an overwhelming amount of enemies that made getting anywhere near impossible. Thankfully, that’s exactly what I got from this expansion, and then some.
The box for this Kellar’s Keep expansion was much smaller than the other hero quest expansions I’ve seen, but inside, they managed to squeeze in a whole lot of adventuring potential. Inside you get the following:
- Quest Book
- 17 Miniatures
- 8 Orcs
- 6 Goblins
- 3 Abominations
- Cardboard tokens
- 2 Dungeon Doors
- 14 Game Cards
The Kellar’s Keep quest book is in the same style as the one in the core box, but has a few pages of information that introduce you to the new story and mechanics that come with the expansion. There are 10 exciting quests in total which guide you through completing the Royal Heist as I called it. Each one is a good length and the whole campaign can easily see you through a few play sessions.
To bring the game board to life, you also receive a horde of new monster miniatures to use throughout the quests. My favourite thing about these is that they come in a different colour from those in the base game so that you can easily pack them away in the right box at the end of your play session. But that’s not all for miniatures; as you also get 2 beautifully crafted dungeon doors that form the start and end of most of your quests. And if you really wanted to add a touch of class to your adventures, you can bring out all of the fine details on these minis with your painting skills.
Much like those in the base game, I’d say that the tokens are the most disappointing part of this box. They’re flimsy, poorly cut and don’t seem to have the same finish as the rest of the game does. That being said, you get plenty of new tokens and duplicates of core tokens to replace any that might be damaged or misprinted.
And finally, the new set of 14 cards. Consisting of 4 equipment cards to bolster your loadout, and 10 artifact cards to discover throughout your adventures. There’s plenty more variety for your characters to equip and discover as you play through each quest. Unfortunately, as interesting as these cards are, the wording on some of them was a bit lacking during gameplay. With certain descriptions leaving a lot to the imagination.
Re-blasting The Past
It’s worth keeping in mind that this is a new edition of what turns out to be an expansion that’s as old as I am. Originally published in 1991, it came with cardboard doors and sorry looking orcs. And these days it looks more than outdated to say the least.
Thankfully Hasbro have been slowly working through all of the previously released expansions and recreating them to look the part in the modern era. With better card stock, beautiful miniatures and updated box art; they definitely look more enticing now than they ever have.
On The Run!
So, onto gameplay and as I said at the start, I was pleasantly surprised and pleased at what we encountered. Each of the ten quests are a great length and they all provide a manageable challenge for 1 hero or 4. I also love the feature of exploring for the 4 pieces of map that have been hidden in the depths of this underground fortress. It really gives the feeling of adventure as you explore the derelict structure and rifle through the surroundings.
I also really enjoyed the new mechanics that dungeon masters were able to reveal throughout certain scenarios. Although I won’t reveal what they are, each one provides an amazing twist to the quest at either the best or worst time.
Overall, I found myself gripped to each and every quest and couldn’t wait to play the next part. And that excitement was the same for both the Hero role and the Dungeon Master role. Each role gave players a new way of playing the game, and made the experience unique.
So there you have it adventurers, thus concludes the tale of my trip to Kellar’s Keep courtesy of Heroquest. I hope you enjoyed this review, and I hope it gave you an insight into what you can expect if you decide to take on this newest adventure. And furthermore, if you found yourself a bit disheartened after playing the core game, this is definitely the redeeming expansion if I ever saw one.