Envision yourself as a bit of a career burglar; perhaps you’re an elven thief looking to uncover new treasures for your clan or a Robin Hood-type stealing to give back to the poor. Now, picture that you’ve uncovered a fantastic cave filled with riches, everything glittering gold, imbued with gems, and worth more than you can imagine. The only thing standing in your way are the other thieves thirsty for the same riches… Oh, and a giant a dragon waiting to destroy you all if you don’t make it out in time.
This is the premise of the deck-building board game, Clank!. Each of the players takes on the role of one of four burglars trying to gain as many riches as possible before the dragon can knock them out.
Clank! is fun two-to-four player game for all ages and doesn’t take too long if you’re playing the basic side of the board (yes, there are two sides and one will murder you). Regardless of which side you’re playing, the goal is simple and every move is transparent. Since everyone starts off with the same deck and all players can see which resources you’re buying, everyone is aware of what everyone else has. That doesn’t mean it’s not competitive, but it won’t ruin friendships like Monopoly. Or is that just me?
The mechanics to Clank! are simple. You have a deck of cards, each of which allows you to do one of three actions: move, buy more cards, or attack a monster. Some cards have effects that allow the player to do special things; such as draw an extra card or remove Clank, which is the amount of noise you are making while moving around the board. On the other hand, some cards have you add Clank, so not every effect is helpful. You normally have to play all five cards in your hand each round, so if you have a regular card that makes you add clank, you have to use it. Each player has different color cubes that act as their Clank and the more you have on the board at the time of a dragon attack, the more likely you are to take damage.
In addition to treasure, the dungeon you’re exploring is also full of monsters. Each of the monster cards have a sword rating of two or more, which you’ll have to match with cards in your hand in order to beat. While monsters normally come with treasure, some will also make you add clank, so be wary when you choose to fight them.
The most evil cards are the ones with the little dragon in the corner. Every time one of these is drawn during the game (save for the very beginning), you trigger a dragon attack. If you’re lucky, none of your clank cubes will be drawn and if you’re all lucky, then only the black dragon cubes will be drawn. If the black cubes are drawn, no one takes damage, but the cubes are then get set aside so that there are less and less as the game goes on.
As soon as a player gets knocked out or a player makes it to the top of the board with an artifact, the end game begins. A dragon attack is instantly triggered and players have three rounds to escape the dungeon. Anyone above the depths of the dungeon is safe and can still win as long as they have an artifact, but anyone still below is automatically out. The players who make it all the way back to the top get an extra twenty points for not being knocked out, and all-in-all, the player with the most riches wins.
Overall Clank! is a great game for people who enjoy a light fantasy setting, an easy to follow deck building game, and want something that doesn’t take five hours to finish. It’s a lot of fun and I highly recommend Clank! for all people of all ages.
If you’re curious and want to learn more about Clank! then you can check it out over on Dire Wolf Digital’s website. Check it out and enjoy responsibly.
Feature Image Credit: Dire Wolf Digital