Clank! in Space - Board Game Box Shot

Clank! in Space

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The evil Lord Eradikus has all but conquered the galaxy, and is now on a victory lap across the sector in his flagship, Eradikus Prime. He may rule with an iron grip, but his most prized artifacts are about to slip through his cyborg claws. You and your fellow thieves have challenged each other to sneak aboard his ship, hack your way into its command module, and steal from him.

Along the way, you’ll recruit allies and snatch up extra loot. But one false step and—Clank! Careless noise draws the attention of Lord Eradikus. Hacking into his command module and stealing his artifacts increases his rage. You’d better hope your friends are louder than you are if you want to make it to an escape pod and get out alive…

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“Clanky”

With Clank! In! Space! The theme is you are a space thief who has boarded a spaceship and now want to steal artifacts from the ship and then escape. You are(kinda) racing other thieves who are also trying to steal an artifact. Along the way you make noise (clank), and then if you have made more noise than the others playing, when the boss attacks, you are more likely to be the one who is hurt. The thief who escapes with the most valuable loot is the winner.

In this game, you build a deck of cards that allows you to navigate the board (a spaceship), acquire new cards, and attack, among other abilities. Players can also acquire money they can use to purchase a limited number of items from a market. This game mainly uses deck building, point to point movement, and push your luck.

Some events, cards and actions taken may produce “clank”. When you produce clank, you add clank cubes of your color to the clank area and when a boss attack is triggered, you add all the cubes into a bag and then pull out a certain number of cubes as indicated, and anyone who has a cube pulled out loses a health. So players need to build decks, acquire items, navigate around the ship, steal an artifact and then get off the ship all while getting points and trying to not add too much clank to the bag. There are other mechanisms and bits to the game but I won’t cover them here.

This game also uses a modular board that changes the possible routes that players can take. Additionally, different routes may be preferable depending on the deck a person builds and items they purchase. For instance, if someone purchases a warp key, they may plan a different route from someone who uses the train in the middle of the map.

What I liked:
-narrative element, it does feel like a story unfolds as you play
-Modular board mixes things up
-items that allow for different strategy
-skill, attack, movement and money “currencies” are all useful and important to winning the game
-There were different factions on cards that allowed for some combo-ing (vaguely like star realms factions)
-companion app makes for an interesting solo experience, and can add more variety to regular game

Meh:
-board is overwhelming at first
-fun sci fi references and flavor text
-modular board doesn’t fit great and is hard to store in box
-Player elimination
-Some AP as people decide best way to navigate board
-Not a lot of cards that allow you to thin your deck

I didn’t like:
-takes a while to set up
-rulebook leaves out some details
-kind of a longer game for a deck builder
-faction powers are kinda weak, many times will have negligible effect on outcome
-low player interaction

In all-
I’m not a solo gamer- but I may like this more as a solo game. The gameplay feels like you play your own game even with other players and the solo app is very good.

With other players there’s not as much direct interaction as I like in a board game. There is some indirect interaction through buying shared cards, taking artifacts, using escape pods, buying from market, etc. but it never really seemed to greatly affect gameplay. The game runs a bit long for what is basically a deck builder, and takes a bit of time to set up.

The deck building with factions strategy I’ve found pretty unsatisfying. There are many faction cards but many don’t have a faction ability so the comboing of factions is kind of weak in my opinion. It can be a factor but frequently not. It seems to me like they wanted to include it but not have it be the driving strategy like in star realms so ended up with a weak mechanism. Also, without a lot of ways to thin out your deck, your deck can get big. This can happen in all deck builders, but with a deck of 100 cards there seem to be precious few that allow trashing of cards. I like deck builders where you can get a tight, quick deck, but they don’t really encourage that here. None of these really ruin the game,

All this being said, it’s a pretty fun game solo or with others. Pressing your luck with clank works, the narrative of exploring and navigating an evil space lord’s ship is fun, you have choices in the game that are meaningful. There have been a few games where we can pinpoint when someone pressed their luck too much, or made the right decision. So your choice matter. With so many good cards, we’ve found that usually everyone ends up with a pretty good deck. It’s maybe better at 2p than at 3 or 4 because games will be faster. But because it takes a while to set up and play for what it is, I’m not sure how often I will play this game. Everyone I’ve played with has enjoyed it- but they don’t want to play it again that same night.

 

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