Clank! is a 1-4 player deck building adventure card game designed by Paul Dennen. Players will be delving deep into the dragons lair as they compete to acquire the most valuable treasure and make it out alive! In typical deck builder style, all players start with a basic ten card deck that they then upgrade and augment as they progress through the game.
Clank! will be very familiar to those that have played any of the myriad of deck builders on the market, but one of the features that helps to set Clank! apart is the unique way in which players use their deck. Clank! is complete with a double sided game board. This represents the dungeon your hero will be traversing through, via the use of his cards. There are three primary resources generated by the cards in Clank!. They are Skill, Boots and Swords. Skill is what players will use to purchase new cards and equipment. Boots will be used to generate movement, while Swords will be used to defeat the monsters that dwell in the depths of the dungeon.
In addition to these resources, you’ll also be generating money from various activities and, of course, Clank! This is the noise your hero makes as he is Clank- ing around the dungeon! The more Clank the more chance of being targeted by the dragon. Clank is represented by wooden cubes that, over the course of the game, will be added to the ‘dragon bag’. When the dragon attacks, cubes will be drawn from the bag. If your colour cubes are drawn, you’ll be taking damage! The way in which damage from dragon attacks is attributed makes for some incredibly tense and entertaining situations. There’s a great ‘push your luck’ element to the game as you force yourself to deeper depths, all the time making more and more noise. Then, with each dragon attack, you cross your fingers, hold your breath, and pray that someone elses cubes are drawn! For an overview of how the game flows, check out my time lapse video below.
The thing that makes Clank! so awesome, and helps elevate it above so many games of its class, is its incredibly immersive nature. Deck builders can sometimes feel a little dry and mechanical but with Clank! the theme really shines through. Clank! is one of those games that will just suck you in, providing players with an incredibly thematic experience. That’s not to say Clank! is without strategy though. It still provides those core mechanics we expect from a quality deck builder. There are plenty of deck building paths players can take. From stealthing your way through the dungeon to stomping around like an ogre in a china shop, you’ll have lots of fun experimenting with new strategies!
If you have seen my time lapse video that accompanies this article you’ll notice I’m using a companion app for Clank!. The app allows solo play through the introuduction of a ‘threat’ track, essentially creating a turn limit to the game. As well as taking damage during the game, you’ll also be accumilating ‘threat’. It’s a fun mechanic that really makes solo play viable. If you enjoy playing your board games solo, then the companion app is a must.
When it comes to component quality and artwork Clank! really delivers. The artwork on the cards and game board are both good and fit the theme well. Components are all of a high quality with some nice touches. The dragon bag, used for drawing cubes, is sturdy and of a good size. The game box has a nice plastic insert that, you’ll be happy to know, accomodates sleeved cards. Text is well written and easy to understand and the rulebook is clear and easy to follow. I would have loved to see a thicker card stock for the cards, but the card stock is of a standard quality and in line with what other games offer.
Clank! is one of those games that really lives up to the hype. It’s a great game that is going to keep both regular and casual gamers happy and will see plenty of table time amongst most gaming groups. I’ve been playing it for months now and it has been a big hit with everyone I’ve introduced it to. If you’re looking for something new to bring to your next gaming session then Clank! is well worth a closer look.