Mirror, Mirror On The Wall
The realm of Heroquest is once again at peril as a new evil lurks in its furthest corners. Join me as we take a look into the mirror in Mage of the Mirror and explore what this new expansion of quests has to offer. As always, in this review I plan on showing you everything that this new expansion has to offer whilst keeping the review as spoiler free as I can.
In this newest Heroquest expansion, the Diabolical Archmage Sinestra has trapped our Princess Milandriell in the realm of reflection. In order to free her, players must work through a series of solo quests where they will navigate a treacherous maze before reaching the final showdown and save the princess.
Going At It Alone
It’s worth mentioning from the get go that this expansion differs from the others in a really interesting way. The majority of the quests that are contained inside are all solo adventures. The box contains everything needed for this solo adventure including an elf miniature that’s unique to the expansion. All you need is the base game to build upon with all of your new components. It’s only towards the end of the adventure that you are rejoined by your fellow companions to take on the final challenge.
That being said, there’s nothing actually marked on the front of the box to show that this is limited to two players. And it’s not until you get halfway through the description on the back that it mentions that the box only contains solo quests. Which can be really misleading if you were to pick this up on a whim for your weekend group session, only to realise that 2 people will be left out for the majority of the playtime.
What’s In Store?
So, what can you expect when you crack open this large box of treasures? The following components are all included within this expansion:
- Quest Book
- 33 miniatures
- 2 mirror stands
- 35 game cards
Sheet Of Cardboard Tiles
The quest book is quite a weighty document and has a lot of information to dig through before you get to the quest section. There’s new mechanics, door types, enemies, tokens and icons to get your head around before you can start. That being said, they work in a similar way to the mechanics that already exist in the game, so it’s only a matter of building new steps on top of them. There are 10 quests in total which include 3 solo quests and 7 group quests, so thankfully the solo content doesn’t dominate too much of the expansion. In addition, each quest provides a manageable challenge for 1 or 4 adventurers and offers lots of opportunities for exploration and discovery.
As is the way with all of the new editions of Heroquest expansion; the miniatures included are absolutely stunning. All minis are nicely weighted to keep them sturdy on the table and are full of fine intricate details. My favourite one in this expansion has to be the fireplace which comes equipped with a fire, mirror and hearth adornments. But that’s not to take anything away from the range of other miniatures that are provided which include; bookshelves, armour racks, tables, dungeon doors, treasure chests and a tomb.
The standing mirrors introduce an interesting new mechanic that adds exploration and mystery to certain levels. A cardboard mirror cutout can be slotted into the stands provided and included in the levels that require them. Should a player discover and use one, they may discover great treasures and secret rooms on the other side.
With 35 new game cards included in this expansion alone, it means that there are lots of new additions to the base game and even more variety to experience. The elf is the main character of this adventure and comes with its own card and miniature. 4 new enemies show their faces, including; elven archer, elven warrior, giant wolf and an ogre. In addition there are also, 4 new pieces of equipment, 8 elf spells, 4 treasure cards, 7 dread spells and 7 artifacts.
And last but not least, you also receive a sheet of new cardboard tokens to add to your collection. It features duplicates of tokens you might already have, as well as a few new ones that feature in the expansion quests. These include the inner sanctum and sanctum wall which you can read more about in the quest book.
Down To Business
So, how does this new content hold up? Honestly, its another huge improvement on the slightly disappointing base game and I really recommend moving onto this set or other expansions quite quickly after playing through the core set. This particular expansion updates certain mechanics and rules and includes update rules for spells.
Although the first 3 solo quests felt a bit disjointed when playing as a larger group; it did allow for the idle players to know what was coming and excitedly react when the player in action made a wise or poor choice. We also took it in turns playing through the solo quests so that everyone had a go before moving onto the group ones.
I really enjoyed the new styles of quests and DM features that were included throughout this campaign as it gave a refreshing new take on what the base game had to offer. Coincidentally, my favourite quest was definitely the last one for so many reasons, but I’ll leave that for you to discover on your own.
So that concludes my review of this exciting new Heroquest expansion. It really seems that the game system gets better with each and every expansion that Hasbro creates and releases. Every new mechanic add loads of exciting new ways to play and challenges to face up against.
I wholeheartedly recommend playing through this with a smaller group, and it was thoroughly enjoyable to playthrough with 1 player as the DM and another as the hero. Although it did make certain quests a whole lot harder.
That being said, the joy of the Heroquest game system is that you can shape each adventure to suit the playing styles of your group and have great fun with it. So why not pick up a copy of The Mage of the Mirror and write your own destiny today!