Recently we reviewed the 2-4 player deck-building game Clank!. In Clank!, players take an adventurer deep into a dungeon in order to loot the dragon’s treasures and make it back out alive. Clank! has been a staple with our playgroup, hitting the table time after time. When I heard that Renegade Games was releasing expansions to this game,. I knew I had to get my hands on them. Let’s see if Clank!: Sunken Treasures and Clank! The Mummy’s Curse can live up to the original’s success.
Clank!: Sunken Treasures
Clank!: Sunken Treasures adds a new double-sided board, 35 new cards to mix in with the base deck, and a few new mechanics to the game. This new dungeon-dive takes place underwater, diving down into the depths of the sea to abscond with the sunken treasures before the sea monster devours us. This is represented well by the new mechanics. Unless you’re an Olympic-level high-diver, when you dive into the deep, you’re going to make a splash. Let’s just say that our resident Clankers aren’t exactly medal material. Your characters’ splashes make extra noise, represented by the new “add a clank” symbol on the board.
Clank!: Sunken Treasures also incorporates the underwater theme by marking certain rooms as “flooded”. A player who ends their turn in a flooded room takes one damage, unless they had purchased a scuba mask at one of the market spaces. (Don’t ask why there are underwater markets. Just go with it.) The scuba mask also allows you to pass through routes depicting the “flippers” icon without spending an extra “boot.”
Of course, the heart of any good deck-building game is in its cards. The cards in the original Clank!, with their tongue-in-cheek nature and humorous flavor text, were as delightful to read as they were interesting to play. Clank! Sunken Treasures keeps that tradition alive with thematic cards such as a Mermaid, which allows you to pass through flooded rooms as if you had scuba gear, and the Goldfish, which naturally gives you gold but can only be found in a flooded room.
All in all, Clank!: Sunken Treasures is a great expansion that builds on the original formula and throws in its own signature flair. All of the Sunken Treasure cards are incorporated into the base game, although clearly marked to help you separate them should you feel inclined. Each side of the board offers a unique configuration that will provide you with more challenges, more opportunities, and most importantly, more fun.
Clank!: The Mummy’s Curse
Clank!: The Mummy’s Curse takes the same winning formula found in the previous expansion and reimplements it by providing a new double-sided board, more cards, and some new mechanics. In Clank!: The Mummy’s Curse, players are exploring an ancient pyramid, again trying to abscond with the antique artifacts before falling prey to the sand dragon. (Again, just go with it. It’s a monster who wants to eat you. Enough said.) However, in Clank!: The Mummy’s Curse, you have to deal with more than just the angry dragon. You’ll also have to contend with the mummy, which traipses around the board cursing everyone in its path. Curses are significant because they will count as negative points at the end of the game.
There are four “regions” of the board, each with its own specially denoted mummy space. Any time the mummy moves, players roll the 4-sided mummy die that contains the four matching location symbols. The mummy then moves to the corresponding location and any players in that region get a curse.
However, all is not lost. Whenever a player happens to be in the same region as the mummy, they can attack the mummy, either choosing to use two “swords” to get four gold but take a curse, or use three “swords,” and remove half of their curses, rounded up.
It pains me to say that I was severely disappointed by the mummy mechanic. While the idea of taking a curse any time the mummy moves to your region is great, the problem is that the mummy hardly ever moves. Even when you are prompted to roll the mummy die, odds are good that it will either not move at all, or move to a section with no players. In my first play of Clank!: The Mummy’s Curse, the mummy was a total non-factor. For my second play, we house-ruled it so that any time the dragon attacked, you rolled the mummy die. This improved it a bit, but it still suffered from the same one in four odds that the mummy doesn’t move at all. It’s a bit hard for a game to bill itself as The Mummy’s Curse, when the mummy doesn’t ever seem to curse anyone.
All that being said, I still greatly enjoyed Clank!: The Mummy’s Curse, even if the mummy/curse mechanic was virtually non-existent. Providing Clank! fans with another double-sided board, and more cards to throw into the game just adds to the replay value of this great deck-building game. The cards, true to Clank! form, are fun and humorous. Where else can you have a hand of cards that includes a Tomb Robber, Kittypatra, and a Camel?
As an additional bonus, all of the cards in The Mummy’s Curse can be mixed in with the expansion cards in Sunken Treasures to play any of the three double-side boards. That being said, some of the elements are map-specific. For example, scuba gear wouldn’t be quite as useful underneath a pyramid.
If you’re a fan of Clank! and want more of it, you should definitely consider checking out these expansions. If the mummy had more of an impact in The Mummy’s Curse, then both of these would be equally as good. Since the mummy mechanic ultimately unraveled, Sunken Treasures gets the nod for me. That being said, both expansions are worth getting if for nothing else than adding new cards to breathe new life into an already enjoyable game.
Just be careful not to make so much noise while doing so, or the sea and/or sand dragons will come after you. Here’s hoping you make it out alive.
Read more Clank! reviews.
Clank! A Deck-Building Adventure Game Review
Clank! In! Space! Review
Well, I don’t own this expansion right now, but wouldn’t it help if the mummy die was rolled at the beginning of each round of play? Surely that would make it a lot more likely to see the mummy move around. Or, just move the mummy clockwise one area each round. I’m sure this problem can be fixed to relieve this situation that seems to come up more often than it should . Better still, it seems to me that more playtesting could have prevented this issue from happening in the first place. Oh, well.