Massive Darkness is a dungeon crawling board game for 1 to 6 players. With no game master and streamlined rules, players take their heroes on a series of quests to defeat the forces of Darkness. On their way they’ll face many challenges, including a large variety of enemies that range from mobs of evil dwarves to gargantuan demons and spiders. To be victorious, heroes will need to acquire new skills throughout the campaign, find the the best loot to equip themselves, and learn how to use the cover of darkness to their advantage!
The Darkness that had been vanquished long ago is rallying all manner of wicked creatures to its cause. The legendary Lightbringers who once stood against it are no more, and so it is up to a handful of untested heroes to gather their courage and venture into the dungeons to uncover the Darkness’ plans, and stop them before it can spread throughout the land!
Whether venturing into the darkness on your own, or as a group of up to 6 companions, each of the heroes brings something different to the game. They each possess a couple of special skills that may guide their strategy in the campaign. Exploring the dungeon and killing enemies will also grant them amazing loot in the form of weapons, armor, and magic items, giving them lots of different gameplay options as they advance on each quest.
Heroes are not limited to their natural starting skills, though. At the start of a campaign, players decide what class they want their hero to belong to, represented by a Class Sheet. Your hero’s class will present you with a multitude of skill options to acquire throughout the campaign. The XP gained from defeating enemies can be used in the middle of a quest to purchase new skills, opening up new gameplay options for your hero, or it can be spent to immediately execute your class’ powerful Signature move. By the end of the campaign, your hero should be able to accomplish amazing feats with all the skills they’ve amassed!
However, acquired skills can only be used once players reach their indicated level in the current quest. That means Massive Darkness offers an exciting skill progression not only throughout the overarching campaign, but also self-contained in each game session.
Massive Darkness pits a host of varied enemies against the heroes. As you delve deep into the dark, you’ll encounter challenges in varied numbers, varied sizes, and varied strength and abilities. Enemies may spawn in several different ways: They may be lurking inside a room the heroes explore, they may pounce on the heroes as a surprise ambush, they may be patrolling the corridors ahead, or they may be called as reinforcements by an Agent.
All enemies’ behavior is controlled by simple game rules. On the Enemies’ Phase, they all move to try and attack the hero with the most XP. Depending on whether their main attack is Melee, Ranged or Magic, they each move in a different way, and then attack the most experienced hero they are able to.
There are several types of enemies lurking in the darkness. The most common are Mobs: Led by a Boss, several Minions move together to try and overwhelm the heroes (their numbers varying according to the number of players). Players will need to mow down all Minions before they’re able to defeat the Boss itself. There are also Agents, these lone enemies are a respectable threat by themselves, but they will also call for reinforcements round after round unless they’re eliminated.
And then there are the Roaming Monsters! These gargantuan foes may spawn in levels far ahead of what the heroes currently are, and will require teamwork to be brought down (or it’s no shame to try and hide from them).
Bosses, Agents, and Roaming Monsters, all come carrying a random piece of treasure, one level higher than themselves. That means generally the best loot in the game won’t be found inside a dusty chest, but in the hands of your foes. But don’t think your enemies just carry this treasure for your benefit. If a weapon matches the kind of attack that enemy is able to perform, they will get all of the weapon’s bonuses on their attacks! That means the same kind of enemy can present a host of different challenges depending on the treasures they are equipped with.
All combat in Massive Darkness is resolved with a single dice roll. There are two levels of Attack dice and two levels of Defense dice. Players add the attacker’s dice and defender’s dice together (taking into account any extras from equipment or skills) and make a single roll, quickly determining the outcome of the combat. Both the attacker and defender may possess special enchantments that will be triggered if their dice roll special symbols.
The tiles that make up the dungeons present zones illuminated by torches, and other zones that are shrouded in darkness. This offers some strategic possibilities the heroes will be wise to take advantage of. When not seen by any enemy, a hero may spend an action to enter Shadow Mode. While in Shadow Mode, heroes cannot be seen or attacked, as long as they are in a dark zone. Enemies will ignore them unless they happen to bump right into them. The hidden hero can plan in order to attack from a dark zone, causing the oblivious target to lose some defense. Players can also try to control where the enemies move to, since heroes in Shadow Mode are ignored when determining the enemies’ primary target.
The Massive Darkness core box comes with:
- 75 highly detailed figures, including:
- 6 Hero figures
- 63 Enemy figures
- 6 large Roaming Monster figures
- 6 plastic Hero dashboards
- 6 color plastic bases
- 12 color plastic pegs
- 12 custom dice
- 9 double-sided game tiles
- 280 cards
- 6 Class Sheet pads
- 111 tokens