Board Game Review – Massive Darkness

The game title isn’t kidding, this game is massive! Massive Darkness by CMON is a cooperative role-playing game (RPG) for up to 6 players. This game is dungeon master-less, and all players will be working with the same goals to defeat the dungeon’s many monsters. The game includes 75 figurines, 280 cards and a bunch of tokens. You and your friends take turns kicking down doors, fighting monsters and collecting loot, all while trying to make it out alive.

Over the weekend my friends and I learned the rules. We then worked our way through the tutorial quest and the first mission. The tutorial was relatively quick, but I think the first mission took us close to 5 hours to complete. Now the game says 90 mins, but our group is pretty slow when it comes to RPGs. We like to discuss all routes and ways to stay alive.

Massive Darkness first mission
Our late night with the first mission.

Without a dungeon master, the monsters function with a set of rules to chase, stab and murder the players.  Additionally, depending on the card draw, the monsters form a mob.  The mob will have a boss that carries and uses a piece of loot, while being protected by its minions (equal to the number of players).  With a difficult door or event card draw, players can become overwhelmed in a hurry.

Massive Darkness Miniatures
The base game includes 75 detailed miniatures.

Play passes around the table, with each hero taking up to 3 actions to open doors, pickup loot, trade gear and/or fight monsters.  Players will have to work together to defeat swarms as they progress through the quest.  As the team moves through the board the monsters get harder, but the loot gets sweeter.

Player Board
The base game includes the plastic player boards which is a great addition to an RPG game.

Overall the combat was easy to learn and looting is a lot of fun.  We saved our progress on the campaign that is included in the base game.  Additionally there are quite a few expansion packs which can mix up the monsters you run into.  I will blog again soon about our progress and the inclusion of the expansion packs.


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Fundrise – Real Estate for all Portfolio Sizes

Fundrise is a real estate investing platform that I came across in August of 2016. This program interests me, as it has large growth potential over a long term investment. This program is not a liquid investment, and can take some time to liquidate funds.

Portfolio Options:

Fundrise has some lower-cost packages to allow newer investors the chance to try out their service with a smaller initial investment.  Their lowest investment package is a $500 starter portfolio and it has a 90 day money back guarantee.  But if you bump up to $1,000 you can move into any of the advanced portfolios for free.  Back in 2016, I started out with a $1,000 investment. Over the past two years, I have seen a lot of growth, and I have continually added additional funds to my portfolio. I am now invested in 123 projects across most of Fundrise’s real estate investment trusts (REITs).

Fundrise Portfolio Project Count
My Fundrise Project Chart

The Best Part:

The cool part about these REITs is that you receive regular updates about the real estate you are invested in. Also, the share value will fluctuate with the performance. I recently chose to fund a couple of their new REITs so I could experience the program from start to finish. I do not expect a return right away, but look forward to the potential return of the future.

My Performance:

  • 7.4% Annually

I am excited for the future of this program and will continue to grow my investment. If you would like to join me on this investment journey, click the link below. Both of us will receive 90 days of zero advisory fees.

https://fundrise.com/r/qgp9k

*I am not a financial planner and all of the above is personal opinion and performance. Your performance and experiences may differ.

Board Game Review – Ghost Fightin’ Treasure Hunters

Ever wanted to find treasure in an abandoned mansion? So did we. The ghosts were not into that idea at all. Apparently, neither were the dice as our rolls were really bad.  Ghost Fightin’ Treasure Hunters by Mattel is easy to learn but tough to win. We first watched the game played at GenCon 2017 at the Mattel booth and bought it on the spot.

Ghost Fighting Board

This game is for 2-4 players and takes about 20 mins to play.  Play goes around the table.  Each player rolls the movement dice, places ghosts, collects jewels, and battles any nearby ghosts.  Players need to plan ahead as the furthest jewels can be the hardest to get to, especially when you are not rolling well.

As the game progresses, the rooms fill up with cute little ghosts.  If you are not managing them, the smaller ghosts will combine to form a Haunting.  If you are in the room with a Haunting, any players carrying a jewel are trapped in the room until a friend comes to help you defeat the Haunting.  The game ends if there are 6 Hauntings within the mansion. We played 3 games in a row, and the jewels are still protected in the house by many scary ghosts.

Ghost Fighting Ghosts

We learned a few tricks along the way, and I hope they work better for you than they did for us.  If we got a good roll of 5 or 6 movement spaces, we would take shortcuts through rooms to bypass the hallways.  For our bad rolls, we would intentionally stop short so that we could fight ghosts already on the board.  Lastly, we tried to collect the furthest jewels first and then work our way back.

Overall we really enjoyed this game.  We will be back soon, hopefully with better luck, in hopes of taking the mansion’s treasure from those pesky ghosts.

Games:


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Card Game Review – Sparkle Kitty

OMG! Sparkle Kitty by Breaking Games is an amazing card game. It has quickly become a staple at our board game table.

Sparkle Kitty Card Game - Player Princesses

This competitive card game is played by 2-8 players and a game can run around 15+ mins. Play against your friends in this Uno style game to be the first to free your princess. Play goes around the table, discarding cards with the matching color or symbol into the spell book, while calling out hilarious phrases such as super cupcake riot or ultra baby devastation.

Sparkle Kitty Card Game - Player Tower

As your friends get closer to winning, you can strategize with special dark magic cards from your hand to add cards to their tower. But don’t make enemies too quickly as they could play a fudge card to fill your hand back up. You also need quick thinking, as playing doubles on others discarded cards can quickly clear your tower to victory.

You’ll laugh, cry and constantly wonder how your friends saved their princesses so quickly. We tend to play many games in a sitting and this is a great game to fill in short bursts of time.


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Board Game Review – Azul

My friends and I recently picked up a new game called Azul.  This tile drafting game by Plan B Games entices players to create a beautiful wall design, while competing to earn the most points.

Gameplay:

Play passes around the table, with players selecting tiles with the intent of completing their wall. Players place these tiles in one of five rows on their player board. The rows require up to five matching tiles to complete.  Once all the tiles have been drafted from the center, players score points.

For each complete row of tiles from the first phase, one of the tiles moves into the wall design.  Each tile moved into the wall design will earn extra points if it touches adjacent tiles horizontally or vertically. The final scoring round is triggered when one player completes a horizontal line in their row.  Bonus points are added for any horizontal and vertical or same color sets. The player with the most points win.

On the surface, this game is quick to pick up and easy to play. The more games you play, the more strategy you will employ. Do you select the tile to prevent your opponents from taking advantage of it? Or do you skip a tile you need, in hopes of selecting more of the same later? It’s up to you to learn.

Azul Board Game - Tiles & Bag

The best part:

The best part of the game is the strategy behind selecting the tiles and completing the design.  By watching other players’ boards and selections, you can plan ahead to what will be available and prevent them from completing their strategy.

Players and ages:

Azul is a competitive game for 2-4 players.  The game includes small parts and is recommended for ages 8+. This game moves quickly and can be completed in 20-30 mins depending on your group. The random nature of the tiles provides hours of replay ability.

Games:

  • Azul (Original, Published 2017)
  • Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra (New, Coming Soon)



*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases from any links.