Clank! A Deck-Building Adventure
By Steve Henderson
Clank! This is the sound of an adventurer tromping through a dragon’s dungeon, trying to collect his artifacts. The citizens of Dragon Keep are holding a competition, where they have invited you and your friends, the best burglars in the land to delve below into the depths to find the artifacts that the Dragon has been hoarding. But you had better be careful, because you might make noise to awaken the dragon!
In Clank! A Deck-Building Adventure, each player begins with a deck of 10 cards to help burgle their way through the dungeon. The cards in this game will help you to add more cards to your deck, fight monsters and move through the dungeon. Players also have a supply of cubes, which will be used to represent the noise (Clank!) you make as the game progresses as well as track the damage the dragon does.
The game begins with the dragon’s 24 black cubes in the dragon bag. Each player has their 30 cubes and 10 cards in front of them. Based on the order of play, each player puts zero to three cubes in the clank zone. There is a line of 6 cards laid out from the main deck of 100 cards to form the dungeon row.
There is also stacks of Mercenary, Explore and Secret Tome cards set to the side to enhance your deck, with a goblin to fight to earn gold coins. There is a beautifully illustrated double sided board to explore with multiple secrets, artifacts, items to be purchased at a market and more.
Through game play, you will purchase cards from the dungeon row to build a better deck to be the first to make it into the dungeon, collect an artifact and escape before the dragon eats you. In addition to allowing you to purchase cards to add to your deck, other cards allow you to monsters to gain other rewards and more cards in your deck provide the ability to move through the dungeon. During the play, not all goes well however. Sometimes you will stumble or have other cards that cause Clank! When this happens, you add an appropriate amount of cubes to the Clank! zone. When you are unlucky enough for a card to be added to the dungeon row, all cubes in the Clank! zone are added to the dragon bag and a number of cubes are pulled. If your color cube is pulled from the bag, you character takes damage from the dragon attack.
In the end, the goal of the game is to escape the dungeon with an artifact and earn the most points. You will have to decide, how far into the depths of the dungeon you will delve to find a more enticing (higher point) artifact or go shallow and escape quickly and risk your opponents collecting more points. You could attempt collect a few secrets, some coins and a cheap artifact or push your luck to try and go deep. The first person to leave the dungeon sends the dragon into a rage, so everyone will then have a limited time to escape. But remember, the citizens won’t let you out of the dungeon without bringing back an artifact. After everyone has either escaped or been eaten, the game ends and points are tallied.
The art on the cards and board portray a beautifully dangerous fantasy environment. There is also a good amount of humour on the cards. As a fan of deck building games in general, the mechanics are spot on. The delving of the dungeon started casual, but became very intense when someone decided to try and leave the dungeon and we realized we need to get out fast! The game was fun and exciting. I will highly recommend it to anyone looking for an enhanced deck building experience or generally unique game.