The launch of high quality dungeon questing games continued with another kickstarter last year from Cmon, called Massive Darkness. With Castle Ravenloft, Descent 2nd Edition, Warhammer Quest, Silver Tower and Sword & Sorcery already competing in this genre it is becoming a tougher market to successfully compete in. However the huge content and excellent miniatures made this a success in terms of backing numbers and was one i decided to get, even though i expect to end up with more dungeon crawlers than i need.
All dungeon adventure games offer slight variations in play style, from the random room generation of Warhammer Quest and Castle Ravenloft to the more pre-made scenario storylines of Descent 2nd Edition and Sword & Sorcery. Massive Darkness follows the pre-set scenario approach, but monster types are randomly generated and you will collect treasure and obtain new skills as you adventure. The other main variable we see is how monster intelligence is handled. In this respect Descent and Sword & Sorcery have more complex ways to help vary what enemies do, while the original Warhammer Quest selects one enemy to each hero approach. Massive Darkness will target the most experienced hero, which seems more on the simplistic side a bit like Warhammer Quest, however it does offer as a new idea some shadow zone areas where heroes can cloak as unseen and stay protected from attacks, and is a nice new cool mechanic for this type of game.
Production is now nearing completion and the rule book is available in pdf, plus a play through video with dice tower is recently available to watch. I was initially concerned this game would be a touch too simple in the current market overload, however i do like what i see, and it offers both one off scenarios and a simple campaign mode, but not up to the story depth of Sword & Sorcery. It may be a little light on the number of different adventures, but the enemy model count and variety which can appear does look so good. This game seems less rules heavy than say Sword & Sorcery and Gloomhaven, but has more depth than Castle Ravenloft and maybe gets closer to competing with Silver Tower or Descent 2nd edition when you use the app Road to Legend. I do also like the way it seems to scale for the hero numbers, which helps it get played with different groups. So far it seems to hold the middle ground area, potentially being quick enough to teach to new or younger players and maybe replacing Castle Ravenloft, but it is going to have to compete with Descent and Silver Tower for a high place in my list, and this looks a tough call at the moment – but i cant wait to try it. New kickstarter details can still be found here > Massive Darkness