Clank! A Deck-Building Adventure is not surprising a deck building game but it is quite a bit more than that too! Clank! was released in 2016 and was my favorite
game of the year.
It was designed by Paul Dennen and published by Renegade Game Studios.
Starting with the board...it is freaking awesome. It is a map of the twists and turns of a treasure/trap/monster filled dungeon labyrinth.
The art is just priceless. As you progress from the top of the board down into the dungeon the tension ratchets up and the pathways get trickier and riskier and lootier. Just terrific.
You start with a deck of 10 cards including two Stumble cards which make noise...a bad thing when there is a sleeping dragon. Throughout the game you can make your deck better. Each turn you start with 5 cards from your deck in your hand.
It is a trade off of hand strength versus quickly getting victory points.
During a turn you can in any order:
Move around the dungeon
Buy advanced skill cards (from a face up market)
Buy regular cards
Fight monsters. If you win you normally gain a one time use advantage card.
Find resources from the board
Go to an underground market to buy adventuring stuff like a backpack, keys or victory points.
The turns are really centered around your movement through that wonderful game board dungeon. Different strategies take you on different paths. Do you run to get a certain item? Do you avoid risks? Do you fight your way through? Don’t go too deep or you may not get out.
And then there is the sleeping dragon in the room...err dungeon. Each time you make a noise (Clank!) there is an increased chance to wake the dragon and get hurt...sometimes badly! Cubes are put into a black dragon bag. The bag starts the game with a lot of neutral cubes but the concentration of bad cubes increases throughout the game...not a good thing! Stealing an artifact? Clank! Stumble? Clank! Shhhh!!!!
If your damage track fills up - you die.
If you get stuck underground when the game ends - you die.
Treasure doesn’t do you much good if you are dead!
When adventurers exit the dungeon the end game is triggered. The other players have four turns to exit the dungeon. The player with the most victory points wins!
The Good: A great mix of dungeon crawling and deck building. A fun game but not relaxing as the tension component can really escalate. Clank! supports many winning strategies. The Bad: Setup takes a long time...especially on the first game or two until you fully understand all the bits and pieces. A couple of our players got turned off of Clank because of the involved setup. Don’t be! It is all worth it! The Dastardly: Those players that grab some loot and head out quickly to leave someone (me) trapped in the dungeon are really, really annoying especially when they win!