The Best Alternative to Video Games? ‘HeroQuest’ and Tabletop RPG

Ade M. Campbell
4 min readMay 30, 2020

Kids, families — and adults — these days are plugged into Sony, Nintendo or Microsoft home console boxes like never before. For good reason: the graphics are vivid and the games are compelling and immersive. There are also titles to suit most taste and inclination: dance and fitness, creative, open-world adventure, indie platformer, puzzlers, pure action shooters, educational etc…

However, with my nearly 8 year-old son, I’m playing… a tabletop RPG from out of the mists of 80s youth… and yes, he loves it. He’s even made his own dungeon maps for me to explore.

Many parents grew up in a time before video games were less immersive. It was a golden age of board games and hands-on, tabletop Dungeons & Dragons RPG. Friends sat together listening to music (on vinyl, cassettes or disks), painting small figurines and making maps for adventure ‘quests’ we’d then play out together. Games like… Heroquest.

If you’re stuck for activities to find for restless kids, and TV time needs limiting, then it’s time to check out games like Heroquest, or their more modern equivalents. The beauty of them is that each time you play there’ll be more variation than with other, more traditional board games. It was also one of the most accessible RPG games that would otherwise put off a lot of busy kids.

Heroquest (from Games Workshop and Milton Bradley from the late 1980s) was a nice and simple D&D Role-Playing Game for younger kids. You get to play either as the good forces or the bad. The good player chooses from the Warrior, Elf, Dwarf or Wizard, with varying strengths, or Attack and Defence points. You can play as one or all of these heroes, but one of your fellow players must be the bad guy, who must try and stop the others from completing whatever quest he/she dishes out. Not only do they get to assign the quest, but they control all…

Ade M. Campbell

Writer, artist, permaculture explorer of new tech, generative AI, VR, web3, NFTs: Ade’s Press: