Lord Eradikus has moved across the galaxy conquering everything in his path. In his trusty flagship he flies across the cosmos, basking in his victories surrounded by some of the most amazing and priceless artifacts the universe has ever seen. But now is the time for you and your fellow thieves to ransack the ship, take the most valuable stuff and escape as quickly and as quietly as possible. Make too much noise, and it could all come crumbling down around you. This is the theme and premise behind the second installment of Clank!
Clank! In! Space! is the newest version of Clank! from Renegade Game Studios. It is designed by Paul Denen. It plays 2-4 players with an average play time of 60 mins that we have found to be very accurate in our own play times.
This game is a heavy, square box that is packed to the brim with all sorts of good things. The components that come with the game include:
-7 game board pieces
-Reserve and Adventure deck cards
-4 starting decks for each players
-39 Major/Minor Secrets
-8 Market items
-4 Escape Pods
-4 Command Code Tokens
-120 Clank! Cubes
-28 Boss and Bounty Hunter cubes
-1 Boss marker
-5 Power crystals
-4 Player pawns
-1 Boss bag
The spaceship boards are two sided and can be assembled in a variety of configurations. Each player puts a pawn on the starting space and takes their Clank! cubes into their supply with their starting deck. All of the major and minor secrets are placed face down on the appropriate spaces along with the Artifacts and Escape Pod tokens. You create a bank on the side of the board along with a Market board to draw from. The Rage track is where you will track the movement of the Boss and add cube as needed when he attacks.
A draw deck of the Adventure cards is made from 6 face cards along with the FAZR, Boldly Go and Memory Core cards. This is where we will be able to draw and purchase cards from and fight enemies when they come up in the Adventure deck.
At its core, Clank! In! Space! is a deck-building game. Everyone starts with a deck that is exactly the same, and the way you win or lose will be based on how you craft that deck. On every turn you have the chance to buy new cards and gain items to help you.
The goal of this game is simple: You must make it on Lord Eradikus’ ship, steal one of his artifacts and make it off. Making it out alive is optional but should still be your goal. To do this, you must hack the ship and obtain a two part code to enter the Command module. It is there that you will steal exactly one artifact and race to get to an escape pod. Along the way you can try to collect loot and other points to be the best thief on the ship!
The cards you will add to your hand will have resources like skill (buying new cards), swords (defeat enemies) and boots (moving on the ship). Some cards also have factions that will allow you to use extra abilities on other cards that match that faction on the same turn. Finally you will also see Enemy cards that you can defeat to gain some type of bonus when you defeat it.
On your turn you can do a few different things. You can:
Move through the ship. Boots will allow you to move along pathways, and certain areas require swords to defeat enemies and locks that have to be opened before you can move through. Buy from the market. Market spaces allows you to take an item for 7 credits and use them to your advantage through the game. Hack a dataport. You must do this two different times in two different modules to move to the Command Module. Use Hyperlifts or Telepads. These will allow you to move through the ship at a much faster speed, taking advantage of these require you to have special abilities or give up other aspects of movement. Stealing an artifact. Once you hit the Command module, you can steal an artifact from here and make a run for it!
Clank! is another important part of this game. When you gain Clank! add those cubes from your supply to the
Clank! area on the board. These cubes will be put into the Boss bag when Lord Eradikus attacks, which happens when a command module is completed, an artifact is picked up or an archive is discovered. If your cube is drawn, you take damage. If you take more than 10, you are dead! If you have made it back to the Cargo Bay with an artifact, you are in luck-your fellow thieves will drag your body off the ship and you can keep your points. If you didn’t make it that far, you are out of luck. You lose at that point.
What could be better:
-Setup. The game sets up well, but the board pieces don’t seem to fit as well as they could. It also takes up quite a bit of space, so keep that in mind in your play area. This is a big game with a big footprint, so have the right amount of playing surface ready to go.
-Variety. The boards flip so it changes things up, but I feel after playing this a few times a little more variety in locations would be nice to give it a different feel each time you replay it.
What we like about it:
-Gameplay. I love deckbuilders and this game takes that and adds a dungeon crawl with a strong push-your-luck mechanic. That combination really shines, more than I thought it might when you smash them all together. The deckbuilding aspect of the game is smooth, and the movement in the ship all makes sense. It plays very smooth when you get into the flow of it.
-Components. The boards and wooden bits in this game are solid, the bag for all the clank pieces is great also. Renegade did a solid job of piecing this game together and making it shine right out of the box.
-Speed. There is a lot going on in this game. It has the feeling of a game that might take awhile to play, but once it starts going it moves very fast. That is a positive in any game, keeping the game moving and not making you feel like you are stuck sitting and waiting, and in some cases bored.
Clank! In! Space! is a fun dash through space, and the game brought a unique idea and combination of gameplay aspects together. Similar to the original Clank!, this version ramps up the work you need to do in the ship before you can grab that treasure and run back out. I love the deckbuilding aspect combined with maneuvering on this board to get out as fast as possible. The ability to run out quick and then start trying to stop your opponent from winning by ramping up the attacks really pushes the fear factor in this one and keeps your adrenaline moving. I highly recommend this game to all of you who have tried Clank! and liked it or are just looking for a new fun game to add to the collection!