Recommend
23 
 Thumb up
 Hide
4 Posts

Clank! In! Space!» Forums » Reviews

Subject: BoardGame Generations — Clank! In! Space! rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Kenton White
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Clank! In! Space!

My first reaction to Clank! In! Space! was "what a complex board." There are dozens of odd shaped spaces scattered across 5 connectable puzzle boards, 3 of them double sided. When constructed, these boards represent Lord Eradicus' spaceship. We are interplanetary thieves who, in a most ill-conceived dare, have snuck aboard intent on robbing blind the most feared galactic cyborg. And in this quest, we must navigate through these abstract, oblong spaces with tiny icons. Nothing on this board remotely resembles a spaceship. The branching paths remind me more of UML diagrams from software analysis than the twisting corridors of a spacefaring flagship.

(The board can be overwhelming.)

Fortunately, the first couple of spaces are a simple linear affair. All you can do is move steadily forward. Your starting deck of 10 cards only has 2 movement (cards with a boot), so odds are your first couple of turns will be uneventful. On your turn you play a hand of 5 cards. In Clank! In! Space! you play all of your cards — no holding cards back for another hand. Besides movement, cards can be used to purchase new cards from the market. Yes, Clank! In! Space! is a deck builder. Through the course of your adventure, you will acquire cards that let you move, fight, trash other cards, and earn victory points. All pretty standard deck building fare. Will your deck will see you safely through this dangerous complex? But there is a twist — clank!

Clank is what makes the Clank! series of games so different and special. Clank represent noise. Within your first 2 turns, you will have stumbled, which makes noise. The more noise you make, the more aware Lord Eradicus becomes. Make too much noise and Lord Eradicus attacks the players. The noise you make is represented by coloured cubes — clank. Every time you draw a clank card, like stumble, you add clank to the bag. When the market is refilled after a turn, some cards have an attack symbol. This means cubes are drawn from the bag. If your colour is drawn you suffer damage. Take too much damage and you are out of the game.

Managing your clank in the bag is the central puzzle. At its core, Clank! In! Space! is a race game — you want to the be the first player to steal Lord Eradicus' artifacts and return safely to the escape pods. Move too quickly, you will make more noise than your opponents and have more clank added to the bag. Play too cautiously, you risk falling behind your opponents.

(Lord Eradicus and your fellow space thieves.)

In this central decision, Clank! In! Space! achieves something miraculous — an almost perfect balance between full tilt push your luck and measured restrained game play. Too often, games with large risk-reward elements forget to make cautious play a viable strategy. If you want to win, you must take the risk. Clank! In! Space! solves this problem quite elegantly. The best artifacts, worth the most points, are buried deep in the space ship. If you want to collect one of these treasures, you must play a risky game. But there are some less valuable artifacts that are much easier to get. While these artifacts won't score as much, they do count towards finishing the race. While your more foolhardy opponents brave the deeper dangers, you can collect a small artifact and return safely to a waiting escape pod.

Being first back to an escape pod provides a huge advantage. Once safe, on your turn you pull clank from the bag, chipping away at the health of those still fighting their way back. If an opponent is killed while still aboard Lord Eradicus' vessel, they lose their artifact points. In this scenario, slow and steady can win the race!

My son definitely favours a less risky strategy while I enjoy pushing my luck. He will eschew cards that give clank while I'll grab the most powerful cards and accept the penalty. I race deep into Lord Eradicus' ship while my son carefully makes his way to the closest artifact. Despite these two very different play styles, our games are almost always close: he will make it to an escape pod first and then start whittling away at my health. If I can make it back in time, my high scoring artifact guarantees me the win. However, should I have too much clank in the bag — should I have pressed my luck a bit too much — I'll have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. These end game situations are always exciting, often coming down to a final draw from the bag.

(There are several clever nods to classic sci-fi.)

Along this journey you will explore unique parts of the ship, like the hydroponics lab, engineering, or the med lab; hack the ship to gain access to Lord Eradicus' inner sanctum (where the artifacts lay); and discover special items, like vaporizers, combat boosts or contraband. These items help navigate the ship, manipulate cards, mitigate penalties, and activate abilities. At first I thought some of these items were severely unbalanced. For example, the TelePass lets you use teleplads to quickly move around the ship. With a TelePass you could grab the furthest artifact and then instantly teleport to near safety. But for every item that seems too powerful, there is a clever counter strategy. Teleporting makes you sick (your turn ends) and combined with a well timed sonic grenade, could leave you vulnerable to attack.

Each game of Clank! In! Space! has been memorable. Like the time my son used the master key to escape through the hyperlift just before Lord Eradicus sealed the ship, trapping me inside. Or the time I found a pair of power boots that, while fast, made a ton of noise — that is until I found a crystal that silenced the clanking footwear.

Clank! In! Space! is that rare game that can challenge me with depth while still maintaining enough luck that my family has a chance to win. While I'm exploring different card interactions, my kids are racing to reach an escape pod and start attacking their dear old dad. Win or loose, this is one game where everyone has a good time.

Subscribe for more multi-generational reviews at BoardGame Generations
27 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Renegade Games
United States
flag msg tools
publisher
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
That was a wonderful review of clank in space! I reposted on our FB page
https://www.facebook.com/PlayRGS/
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jared
United States
Telford
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
I enjoy this game, my wife even more so. It definitely tells a story as you play. I’m hoping for some expansion love that adds another layer to the gameplay and switches up relics.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Jarvis
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yeah I love it too, Didn't think my wife would like it as much as me. Wrong.. She loves it too

Shame it doesn't appear in the hotness like Clank, imho Clank in Space is the better game.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.