Spot it! Grab it! Clank!

We got our copy of Clank! During the UK Game Expo 2017, and I’m happy to think it was the last copy available. We have walked through all the stalls, and nothing. Sold out, sold out, sold out. We have even been laughed at ‘you should have come on Friday morning!’. And then we bumped into an old school friend of mine, together with her partner and another friend. We asked if they have Clank!, they nodded and said ‘it’s SOOOO good’. Right, now I must have it – I thought. I asked them if they could keep an eye out for it and let me know.

About 45 seconds later I heard one of them running towards me saying ‘they have ONE round there on your right!’. We ran. And we got it. And OH EM GEE I could not wait to play. It was quick, fun, dungeon crawl + deck builder.

About a month later we got the Sunken Treasures expansion. And again, great game. Some different mechanics, but still not much has changed. Very thematic, scuba equipment to survive underwater, some help with swimming through flooded caves, fish monsters and under-the-sea themed cards. Great job!

And then, as soon as we have played each side of each board at least a couple of times, they announced Clank! In! Space! I read about it, and I shouted to Matt ‘They are releasing CLANK! IN! SPACE!’ – He didn’t say anything, he just felt how the money is coming out of his wallet. Come on, we must have had it! So we waited and waited and pre-ordered, and we finally got it!

And it is so different. First things first – the graphics design of the logo has changed a bit, I fell like it’s more visible, a bit better I’d say. The board is bigger, it requires assembling though. You get main board, plus three double sided modules, plus a quick transfer corridor. You can mix and match the modules, that adds re-playability. Second – meeples. In the original Clank! there was a slight difference between the meeples, but in this one they are completely different.

 

Coins now changed to credits, which look like sim cards, I think that’s quite cool. The cards are thematic, but some of the characters are still there, just with a slight change, for example Goblin becomes G0B-L1N, and Mr.Whiskers becomes a Dr. You can also fight Lord Eradikus himself, as he just pops up in the deck. Another new thing are classes, that affect the way you build your deck. If you focus on collecting one class, they will give you benefits in the future, if they come into play together. Also, there are some new tokens, like the Power Crystals, that give you special powers combined with some cards. There are Cubes, that you need to use to hack two portals in two different modules, to be able to move up the map and get the artefacts. Also, when you hack a portal, you get some stuff depending on how difficult it was – for the easy ones you may actually suffer some damage!

What about the Market? New items, same price! We get keys to unlock some pathways, we get the teleporter key, that allows you to travel across the map faster (but you have to end your move then). There also is Contraband, which gives you some goodies when combined with cards; and there are med-kits.  The whole deck building mechanism is all the same, 10 starting cards : 6 hack (buy), 2 stumble (clank), 1 scramble and 1 access (move).  However with all the classes coming into play, and all the different superpowers gained from tokens, there is a bit of downtime. Unless players think about their moves upfront, if possible.

There is also one more thing, that will want to mess you up. The bounty hunter cube. It is a red cube that is being added to the bag, when Eradikus moves high up on the track. That cube damages everyone. Yes, everyone. That’s what killed me last time, I had two health left, one of my cubes was in the bag (I counted after the game!) and someone pulled out my one and the bounty hunter, I have died two spaces away from the exit. Oh right, exit. There is no one exit, there are four, and you cannot use one twice. And there is no timer as such, however the person who has escaped first on their turn pulls out the cubes indicated. If you survive before the cubes run out  – good for you.

So final thoughts? I’m just gonna have a spreadsheet for it I guess. Yeah, let’s do it.

Clank! Sunken Treasures In! Space!
Type base expansion stand alone expansion
Design 7/10 7/10 8.5/10
Board Medium, 2 sides Medium, 2 sides Big, mix and match
Components Small design variety n/a Good design variety
Complexity medium medium high
Time 45-60 45-60 45-90
Theme average good Very good
Packing up quick quick medium
Quality good good Very good
Player count 2-4 2-4 2-4
Times played 8 6 2
Overall rating 8/10 8.5/10 9/10

 

And for those who hate spreadsheets and just completely skipped it – well, too bad. Clank! is fun, Clank! In! Space! is Fun! In! Space!

OX the Game

So one day I was scrolling through Instagram, and I found a picture similar to this one. And I started googling, following and waiting. This little game looks gorgeous, simple and interesting. Can you stop scrolling now? No? I knew it.

Head to Kickstarter tomorrow and back this amazing project! OXOXOX

 

Kickstarter

So September has been a Kickstarter month for me. I have never been into it, as blindly backing things are not my thing. So this time, I went for three various types of backing.

Vasty Wilds
One day I just got the Kickstarter app and searched for Board Game. This was one of the first things that popped up, with a picture of a hedgehog. I started reading, watched the video and… backed it.

I had my thoughts, as you know if you read me sometimes, but then I had a closer look at the artwork and I was sure it was money well spent. Even if the game turns out to be boring or confusing, I’ll just hang the cards on the wall.

And look at this fox. And the hedgehog. Look!

MINT DELIVERY
The second kind of pledge is the one I am certain of. We bought Mint Works and we loved it. Everyone loves it! This one looks more complex, and it still fits in your pocket!

And the best part is, they have unlocked all the stretch goals! Can’t wait for the delivery!

And last but not least, the campaign that just began (again!) and has been raved about all the time.

7th CONTINENT
This one hurts wallets the most. Basic pledge requires you having the first edition print, the second pledge doesn’t give you the stretch goals and the last pledge is $130…

Go and pledge!

The Most Beautiful Game

Right, so if you visit my Instargram every now and then, you know what game I will be talking about. But, hey, don’t leave! There’s probably so much I haven’t said about it yet!

Abyss, because that’s what we are talking about, it’s not only gorgeous, but great to play. I haven’t played anything like it. It’s a set collection, but also so much more. Let me run through the basics.

On the board you’ve got three areas. Top one is the exploration area, where you gather allies or encounter monsters to get pearls, points or keys. Second area is the council, where you can get more than one ally a turn. Third area is occupied by the Lords.

On your turn you can do ONE of the THREE actions. If you explore the depths, you get an ally or encounter a monster. Allies have 5 races (colours) and numbers (1-5). You need them to buy Lords. There are also Kraken cards (expansion), which act as wild, but give you black Nebulis (silver pearls).

White and silver Nebulis are used to pay the difference for the Lords, if you couldn’t afford them with your cards only. Keys give you access to locations, that score you extra points for various things. You need 3 keys to unlock a location. You get keys from Lords and from monsters. The first person to get 7 Lords ends (but not necessarily wins) the game. Everyone gets one more turn.

You score for the Locations, the Lords, the Allies and the Monster tokens. You also get minus points for each black Nebuli you have, and minus 8 if you have the Kraken figure (for having the most black Nebulis).

It may sound a bit muddled up, but I can’t get over how great this game is. There is, however, one little thing.  First round is always really frustrating, especially for the first player, who only has one option – explore. And if they get what they want on the first go, second player can then can only explore too.

Anyhow – we love it, and Pickle loves it too!

 

 

Robinson Crusoe – review

We have heard the legend about the oh-so-hard Robinson Crusoe game. We’ve heard stories, we saw the reviews, looked at millions of pictures, read a tonne of things… and then, one rainy day, we popped in to Rules of Play in Cardiff and stood there for about 45 minutes, deciding. It wasn’t the time to buy a new game, we just got two new ones and backed some Kickstarters. But we had a crap weekend, so — that’s enough of an excuse. So we had Islebound in one hand, Roll Player in the other, Wasteland Delivery Express in third and pointing at Anachrony with fourth. We ended up buying Robinson Crusoe, because we needed a challenge.

We opened the box, and were overwhelmed with the amount of tokens. But, hey – BANANA TOKENS? That’s like the second best type of tokens – right after cheese tokens (let me know if you know where to get them). We put the stickers on, and had a look at the artwork.

I do love those journal-like sketches. On the main board you can find little notes, as if found in an abandoned notebook. I have chosen to be the Carpenter, because of my love for arts an crafts. And her cool clothes. That’s what I would like to look like, if I’m ever deserted on an island. That, or those lucky girls from lost, with a life long supply of make-up and shavers.

Anyway, so what’s that all about. There are different scenarios, each harder than the other. So it’s really hard to say ‘what it is about’. You walk around, uncover tiles, find things, fall into traps, be bitten by snakes and other animals… Basically, lot of bad stuff happens. Whether you explore, build or gather resources, you roll the dice and find out, if you 1. succeeded, 2. got injured, 3. encountered something interesting (which will most probably come around in the future, bearing additional effects of your decision).

Sometimes a volcano explodes, destroying the island you are on, sometimes the fog covers everything making searching for stuff EVEN harder. But, you know, sometimes they throw you a dog in, to help you out, or Friday – if you play with 2 players. But more often than not, something bad happens to you. There are times, however, when you see the light (at the end of the tunnel?)

You have a number of rounds to survive and an additional objective, like building a boat or making a fire big enough, so the passing by boat can see it. To be fair, I can see how this game may be hard for 2 players, which was the way we played it for the first time and lost. But then we had a 4 player game, followed by a 3 player game, and we won both.

I think, after playing Ghost Stories several times, the bar is set up really high. This is not the easiest game, but it’s also not relentlessly crushing (like watching the Revenant). Which is good! It is challenging, maybe we were just lucky with cards, and rolls, we hardly ever failed… but we love the theme, and we are yet to play the King Kong scenario. Set up a suitable soundtrack, like the sounds of a jungle, or a Jumanji drums… and try it if you have a chance.

Party time!

So here we are, slightly drunk, Codenames don’t make sense anymore, nobody can draw (even if it’s Drawful), all the impress-the-judge games don’t impress anyone anymore. Ladies and gentleman, make some room, here comes Accentuate!

Cannot remember where and when I found out about this one, but straight away I knew it’s gonna be a great family game. So we bought it, and here’s what comes in the box :

You get a deck of cards with various accents, a deck of cards with movie quotes, a cheat-sheet with all available accents, a timer, a die and a rule book.
You draw a card with an accent, another one with a quote and you roll a die. You may be made to do it, you may be able to make someone else do it, or you may be lucky enough to draw another accent as, let’s say, Cypriot is not your ‘favourite’. Then you say the quote with your normal voice, flip the timer and… lose the ability to talk. You can’t imagine how hard it is! In your head you sound like you were born in Cape Town, but you come out Jamaican. If any word come out at all.

We decided to change one rule, and roll the die only if we are desperate. Otherwise you HAVE TO do the accent.

So anyway, I am not good at accents at all, but I do enjoy this game. Not suitable for sober players.

What is it? I want it!

I don’t earn much, let me open with that. So I need to limit myself to two new games a month. Ok, three. Alright, I am not gonna limit myself. It’s just there are months where 10 good games come out, and there are moments where I just sit there thinking ‘do I really need another game?’. Well, let’s be honest. I got caught up in it, and I won’t stop buying. Can’t—stop—buying—

Anyway! I wanted to whine a bit about games that are on my wishlist (and remind everyone that it’s 99 days to Xmas and 170 days to my birthday).

Starting off with a light, but oh-so-pretty Indian Summer. Another tetris-type from Uwe Rosenberg, which I obviously MUST HAVE. Not only because I found Patchwork and Cottage Garden really satisfying (in your face, all who came around and laughed at CG, and then apologized, after one game..), but also because – look at this fox, LOOK.

Ok, next to something heavier, but also with gorgeous artwork. Those two, Cerebria and Spirit Island – something just drew my attention to them, but to be fair, I feel like I could let those two go. Still want to try them, but I won’t die if I don’t have them on my shelf (which, by the way, needs expanding).

Now hold onto something, we’re all aboard a freaking floating island. Noria got me from the first moment I read about it. Disc building? Like, action wheel building? This is a MUST HAVE, surely. Theme – awesome, artwork – gorgeous, mechanisms – holy crap! I do regret I won’t be in Essen to join everyone at Spiel to try this one out, but I am LITERALLY dying to try it. Can someone sneak me a copy before it’s too late?

And now onto something big. We nearly picked up Anachrony at UKGE, but it seemed too heavy. In our defense, it was the fist time when we saw it and heard about it, and to be fair, the guy at the stand didn’t sell it very well (duh, that’s why we haven’t bought it then). But now, after all the reviews and videos, I really want to have it.

And last, but definitely not least – Gloomhaven. This is a definite buy for us, but because of the price we’ll hold back until Xmas (that’s why I’m counting down days). Legacy dungeon crawl? Hell yes please!

-all pictures come from Board Game Geek-