Claim your treasures but don't attract the dragon in this deck-building dungeon race.
Burgle your way to adventure in the deck-building board game Clank! Sneak into an angry dragon's mountain lair to steal precious artifacts. Delve deeper to find more valuable loot. Acquire cards for your deck and watch your thievish abilities grow.
Be quick and be quiet. One false step and CLANK! Each careless sound draws the attention of the dragon, and each artifact stolen increases its rage. You can enjoy your plunder only if you make it out of the depths alive!
In Clank! each player starts the game with a deck of 10 starting cards. You start your turn with 5 cards in your hand which you can play for various abilities and resources.
Resources include Skill, which is used to acquire new cards; Swords, which is used to fight the monsters in the dungeon; and Boots which are used to move around in the dungeon. Cards gained from the market are placed in your discard pile. Some cards produce Clank! which you want to be careful about. For each Clank! you produce you add a cube of your colour to the Clank! pool
You acquire cards from a central display of cards, which contains 4 type of cards that are always available and 6 cards that are refilled after each turn. When refilling after a turn it's possible that a card is revealed showing a Dragon symbol. This means the Dragon will Attack! All the cubes currently in the Clank! pool are added to the Dragon Bag. The Dragon Bag starts the game with 20 Dragon Cubes (black). Random cubes are revealed the bag up to the current Dragon Threat Level. If your cubes are drawn from the bag these are added as Wounds to the Wounds track. If you accumulate too many Wounds you can get knocked out, and depending on your current position on the Board this could mean you automatically lose the game.
You have two main goals in Clank! :
1. Retrieve an Artifact from the dungeon and get it outside before you accumulate too many wounds
2. Collect enough point tokens from your Artifact, other loot and your cards.
The players that made it out of the depths of the dungeon in time will count up their points and the player with the most points earns the title for Greatest Thief in the Realm!
Clank! is one of those games that has been on my wishlist for a very long time. The idea of traversing a dungeon using deck-building and a race element really spoke to me. This is also something I really liked in The Quest for El Dorado. The reason I never bought it was because I couldn't really decide between Clank! and Clank! In Space. After some thorough research I decided on Clank! over Clank! In Space because I liked the Theme a bit more.
The unique aspect of Clank! is the dungeon exploring part. You need to retrieve an Artifact from the dungeon, but what Artifact should you go for? Will you play it safe and go for the lower valued Artifacts that are close to the entrance of the dungeon or do you go deeper in to the dungeon to retrieve rare Artifacts worth more points. The fact that you need to make it out in time adds tension to every decision you make and keeps you involved into the decisions other players make. Because once a player gets out of the dungeon the Dragon will attack more often and you will gain wounds more quickly.
If you gain to many wounds you can get knocked out (eliminated), but since this is something you have influence over I don't mind it too much. Getting knocked out also triggers the end of the game timer so you wont have to wait too long for the game to finish.
Clank! offers various strategic paths: are you going for high valued artifacts, various loot, high cost/point cards or are you gonna make sure you escape the dungeon to get 20 bonus points. The variety of cards in the base game alone offers loads of variation especially in a two player game were you're only seeing a third of the deck each game. The board is also two-sided with different dungeon layouts on each side.
The Art / Iconography are great. Each card also has a bit of flair text that add a lot to the theme and story of the game. Lovely to read while waiting for your next turn.
On the downside there is some luck involved, while you have influence over how many of your cubes get added to the Clank! pool, a string of bad draws during Dragon attacks can make you suffer a lot of wounds (and potentially knock you out). While I do think this is part of the tension (the unknown) it's also something to consider if you don't like a bit of luck in your games.
While I like the variety overall I do feel like the two base game dungeons will get old very quickly. This is something that was overcome in Clank! In Space with providing a modular board. However there are various expansions available for both Clank! and Clank! In Space to refresh your experience if you desire so.
👍 Perfect introduction to more involved games for families and/or children
👍 Blend of Deck-Building and Race is well executed
👍 Tension in each decision you make because you need to make it out in time
👍 Artwork, Iconography and Flair couldn't be better
👍 Lots of cards in the base game alone and various expansions available
➖ The two provided dungeon boards could get old quickly as you find the most optimal paths after a few plays.
➖ Bad draws could give a specific player more wound than others
➖ Has player elimination but it's not something I personally disliked as it is part of the tension.
Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure
Clank! mixes Deck Building with a Race mechanic that is exciting and full of tension. It offers meaningful decisions to the players with multiple strategic paths available. While the theme might make it more focused towards gamers I think it's a great game to introduce families and even children to more involved games. If you don't mind a bit of luck or the player elimination element definitely check out Clank!
Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)
Looking for alternatives or similar games? Have a look at Clank! in Space or The Quest for El Dorado